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Pinhole Gum Surgery

Receding gums are frequently caused by advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Bacteria has fallen under your gums, which have pulled away from your teeth due to inflammation. It can also be caused by aggressive brushing of your teeth, certain health conditions, smoking, or even by age. No matter what the reason for your receding gums, the roots of your teeth become exposed, leaving your teeth susceptible to sensitivity and a higher risk of tooth decay. Traditionally, the solution to receding gums was a gum graft, an invasive surgical procedure that is still sometimes used to this day. But now there is an alternative: pinhole gum surgery.

Gum Graft

A gum graft is a procedure in which tissue taken from another part of your body, the roof of your mouth or from surrounding healthy gums, is stitched to existing gum tissue to cover the roots of your teeth. The donor site is also dressed. There are situations that might warrant the use of tissues from another donor.

After surgery, recovery can take a few weeks, and you are likely to experience pain and swelling. You also need to follow specific dietary and hygienic guidelines to ensure you don’t irritate the surgical site.

What is pinhole gum surgery?

Pinhole gum surgery is an alternative to the traditional gum graft. After your teeth are cleaned of plaque and bacteria, a small hole is created in the gums near the teeth where recession has occurred. This is much less invasive, requiring no cuts on the gum tissue. Dr. Southard uses specially designed tools to move your gum tissues to their proper place, covering the roots of your teeth. Next, collagen strips are placed under the gums in order to help stabilize them.

Benefits of Pinhole Gum Surgery

Pinhole gum surgery offers several benefits over a traditional gum graft:

•  It is a non-invasive procedure that requires no gum cutting or sutures.
•  There are less post-operative side effects. Less swelling, bleeding and even pain.
•  The recovery period is greatly reduced, which allows you to get back to your normal life much quicker.
•  Results are almost immediate, giving you back a healthy smile, without the definitive signs that a procedure has been done.
•  Several areas can be taken care of in a single visit.


Because of the non-invasive nature of the procedure, recovery from pinhole gum surgery is practically nothing at all. This is because there are no major wounds created on your gums or on the roof of your mouth. Your gums aren’t manipulated nearly as much. The pinhole created in order for the procedure to be done usually heals within a day, and you are free to get back to your life as normal.

Of course, you may still experience some swelling, tenderness and bleeding. If so, pain can be managed with over the counter pain relievers. Any swelling can be dealt with using ice.

And keeping your teeth cleaned with a regular brushing and flossing routine, as with gum graft surgery, is important as well. While these procedures are meant to be permanent, poor oral care can result in another instance of gum disease and you can put yourself back in the situation of needing another surgery.

If your gums have receded, pinhole gum surgery might be the solution. Call us at (816) 207-4005 today for more information.
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Steven Southard DDS, MS
Midwest Periodontics
1006 W St Maartens Dr, Suite A
St Joseph, MO 64506

(816) 207-4005

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