When your gums are in good shape, they stave off bacteria that cause tooth decay, ensuring your teeth stay strong for years to come.

Of course, preventative measures, like regular flossing, help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis — but what if you’re already experiencing symptoms associated with the later stages of gum disease, like gumline recession?

Don’t despair. Houston Uptown Dentists in Houston, TX, offers the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique for restoring your natural gumline. It’s minimally invasive — with no surgical cutting or sutures involved — and the procedure can be completed in as little as an hour. Read on to see if you could benefit from this innovative solution to gumline recession. Give us a call today at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment.

What is the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique?

Even though gum graft surgery is the most common way to treat receding gums, there is another way — one that minimizes pain and recovery time. The Chao PinholeⓇ Surgical Technique is a specialized procedure that Houston Uptown Dentists is proud to offer.

Here’s how it works: we numb the inside of your mouth so you won’t feel a thing, and we’ll make a tiny, pin-sized hole in the gums near the affected area. Using special tools, we’ll carefully loosen the gumline and reposition your gums so they’ll better protect your teeth. The procedure is fast — so fast that its creators call it “the Lunchtime Gum Lift” — and you’ll see results soon after it’s over. In most cases, patients heal completely overnight.

What is Gumline Recession?

When the tissue surrounding your teeth recedes, it can leave “pockets” or gaps between your teeth and gums — spaces that encourage bacteria buildup that can ultimately cause tooth decay or damage to roots that might be exposed.

Though gum disease is most commonly the driver of gumline recession, it can be caused or aggravated by a variety of things, including:

  • Genetics
  • Tobacco use
  • Overly aggressive brushing
  • Poor dental hygiene habits
  • A bad bite
  • Certain illnesses

Gumline recession occurs gradually. If you’ve ever noticed that your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks, or if you’ve noticed that your teeth are longer in appearance than normal, it’s possible you’re experiencing the early stages of recession. Call Houston Uptown Dentists at 832-463-1021 if you suspect recession is affecting your smile. It’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent future damage and discomfort.

How is gumline recession usually treated?

Concealing pockets with natural tissue can both restore your gumline and reverse damage caused by recession.

Traditionally, recession is treated through gum grafting, where a dentist removes a bit of tissue from another part of your mouth and secures it over the gumline using sutures. At Houston Uptown Dentists, we use local anesthetic to numb the area and ensure your comfort.

With gumline grafting, the small amount of tissue is sometimes taken from your palate, or the roof of your mouth. There may be discomfort in the days after the procedure, but nothing too severe. Some have described it as similar to what you might experience if you’ve burned the roof of your mouth on a hot piece of pizza.

It generally takes a week or two for you to fully recover from the procedure, but you’ll likely be able to go back to work the next day.

Do these surgeries cure gum disease?

Both grafting and the Chao PinholeⓇ Surgical Technique are a solution to a symptom of gum disease — recession — but getting rid of infection requires cleaning out bacteria buildup in the gumline. In fact, some say that even though gum disease can be managed, it can never fully be cured.

At Houston Uptown Dentists, we have everything you need to keep your gums healthy. We use state-of-the-art dental lasers to remove infected tissue, as well as traditional deep-cleaning techniques like scaling and root planing. With scaling, we remove plaque and tartar buildup from the gum line, and with root planing, we smooth the roots of your teeth so bacteria are less likely to latch on.

Regular brushing, flossing and dental exams help prevent gum disease, but we can also provide antibacterial treatments like Perio Protect® to ensure your gums stay in great shape. The Perio Protect® Perio Tray looks like a mouthguard but delivers antibiotics below the gumline when worn for just a few minutes a day.

Gum disease doesn’t have to interfere with your smile. Let’s work together toward improved oral health. Give Houston Uptown Dentists a call today at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment.