In a previous blog post, we discussed all of the interesting things that could cause gum recession. From smoking and grinding to orthodontics and toothbrushing, we discussed the research that explains why these things cause the gums to go away. Once patients are diagnosed with gum recession, the next question becomes “what can I do to treat my recession?”. We have compiled a list of the few different types of treatment that can treat gum recession.
Why does gum recession need to be treated?
The gums serve as a seal or a barrier to the bone and teeth. When the gums recede, the sensitive part of the teeth roots can become exposed. This can cause sensitivity with cold and sweet things that ranges from slightly uncomfortable to unbearable pain. Also, when the roots of the teeth get exposed, they become susceptible to decay. These areas of the root are not designed to be exposed to the mouth and are easily eroded or decayed. The last and most important reason to fix gum recession is that it can lead to tooth loss! If you lose enough gum and bone, your teeth could actually fall out of your mouth!
Here is a list of the top ways to treat gum recession:
The Vista Technique is one of the first minimally invasive gum recession techniques to be invented. The Pinhole Surgical Technique and the Gum Drop Technique are based on the Vista Technique. It requires only a small incision and very little suturing. The gums are lifted and placed at the correct position and usually filled with a connective tissue graft taken from the palate of the patient.
The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique is a variation of the VISTA technique where no incisions or stitches are needed. The gums are accessed through a few small “pinholes”, so the gums can be gently lifted and placed in the correct position. Collagen is then inserted into the gums and left to heal.
Gum Drop Technique
The Gum Drop Technique is a different variation of the VISTA technique requiring no incisions and using natural growth factors from the patient’s own blood. Like the Pinhole Surgical Technique, the gums are lightly lifted and placed in the correct position. The difference with this technique is that the gums are filled with all natural growth factors that have fantastic healing properties due to the growth factors from the patient’s own blood.
Connective Tissue / Gingival Grafting
Connective tissue and free gingival grafting are the gold standards in gum recession treatment. They have been used for decades with a large amount of success. The negative aspect of this type of treatment is the fact that tissue must be harvested from another part of the mouth (usually the palate) which can cause more pain and requires more stitches. There are times when the minimally invasive techniques such as VISTA, Pinhole, and Gum Drop are not possible and the traditional surgeries must be utilized.
Which type of gum recession treatment is best for me?
When you are a patient with gum recession, you need to know your options. The best thing to do is to speak to your dentist to know what is available for your situation. Not every case can be treated with every type of surgery. Your dentist should choose the most minimally invasive type of surgery that works best in their hands and will give you the highest success rate. Whether it is Pinhole, Gum Drop, VISTA, or traditional gum grafting, every treatment can work well and give great results.