Elongated teeth aren’t always a natural feature of your face. They could indicate gum recession, which is the exposure of the tooth’s root system, which leads to tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. At Ueno Center Dental Specialists in Campbell, California, serving San Jose, Cupertino, Los Gatos and surrounding areas, the team of board-certified periodontists provides gum grafting to cover and protect the roots of your teeth and to improve the way your smile looks. Request your consultation for gum grafting surgery by calling the office directly or using the online booking tool today.
Gum grafting is an effective surgical treatment for gingival recession. When your gums start to recede, they invite bacteria into the crevices and spaces between your teeth. This can leave you vulnerable to more cavities and tooth damage, including tooth loss. Gum grafting protects the roots of your teeth and the spaces between them from decaying and wearing down.
During a gum grafting procedure at Ueno Center Dental Specialists, your periodontist uses local anesthesia to numb your gums. They choose one of these gum grafting techniques:
Free gingival grafts use tissue harvested from the roof of your mouth to cover your exposed roots. This style of graft is common around implants and teeth with poor quality gum tissue.
During a connective tissue graft, the most common type, your periodontist cuts a flap of tissue on the roof of your mouth and removes some tissue from under the surface layer. Then, they stitch it onto your gum line to cover your gum recession. Depending on how many teeth you need grafting, you may or may not have enough of your own tissue for this style of grafting.
A pedicle graft is a technique that your periodontist may use if you have lots of extra gum tissue near the area of your gum recession. They cut a flap of nearby gum tissue that stays attached in its original place on one side and pull the other side across your exposed tooth roots.
If you’re not interested in using tissue from your own mouth, your periodontist can use treated donor tissue for your gum graft. Donor tissues are treated, so there is no chance of disease transmission. There is no second surgical site from the roof of the mouth, and since there is an unlimited supply of donor tissue, many teeth can be grafted in one visit! Your periodontist will inform you if donor tissue is preferred in your case.
Gum grafting is recommended if you have the following:
Unlike other dental surgeries, gum grafts don’t require extensive preparation on your part. Your periodontist describes the procedure, so you know what to expect, but you won’t have to stop eating or change your medications before your appointment unless you are going to be IV sedated or have twilight sedation.
If you are going to be sedated, you must find a friend or family member to drive you to and from the office on the day of your procedure. The team at Ueno Center Dental Specialists gives you medication to manage the pain, and you shouldn’t drive while it’s active in your system.
If your gums no longer protect your teeth from sensitivity and decay, call Ueno Center Dental Specialists or reserve an appointment online to find out if you need a gum graft today.
The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST) is a specialized, minimally invasive procedure developed by John Chao, DDS, that's used to treat gum recession. Featured in the International Journal of Periodontics, PST is a simple and scalpel-free approach to improving your oral health.
The periodontists at Ueno Center Dental Specialists are extensively trained in the PST technique. To perform it, your periodontist makes a small hole in areas where you have receding gums. They add a donor soft tissue to stabilize the area. The Pinhole Surgical Technique improves your oral health and protects your overall wellness by strengthening and restoring a healthy gum line.
The most common cause of gum recession is gum disease or periodontal disease. Other causes include:
You may also have gum recession if you’ve had orthodontic treatments or oral appliances such as braces or a retainer. You are at higher risk for gum recession as you age, if you have diabetes, or if you smoke.
Whatever the underlying cause, PST can help restore the integrity of your gum line and protect from complications of receded gums, such as abscess and tooth and bone loss.
Traditionally, gum recession treatment involves a tissue graft. Tissue grafts involving suturing connective tissue harvested from different places of the mouth to supplement areas of recession.
While often quite effective, this treatment method has drawbacks, including two to three weeks of recovery time, pain, increased risk for infection, and multiple incision sites. The graft site may also look different than surrounding gum tissue, as donated tissue may have a different color or texture.
In contrast to traditional gum recession treatments, the Pinhole Surgical Technique offers benefits such as:
An added benefit of PST is that your periodontist may treat multiple areas of recession during one visit. This means your course of treatment may be easier, and you’ll see an improvement in your gum recession faster than you would otherwise.
To see if the Pinhole Surgical Technique can help treat your gum recession, call the office or schedule an appointment online with Ueno Center Dental Specialists today.
Pinhole before and after photos
Removal of Class V composites to get root full root coverage
Exposed implants grafted