WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - There's a new less painful surgery for people with gum recession called Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation, and it's an incision-free procedure.
If you can't eat ice cream or brush your teeth comfortably, you probably suffer from gum recession. That's when the roots of your teeth are exposed because of a loss of gum tissue.
You used to have to go through a painful procedure called gum grafting to solve the problem. That involved taking tissue from the roof of your mouth and sewing it to the top of the tooth root, but now there's an alternative.
The Chao Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation procedure includes the dentist numbing your gums and then making a small hole with a needle. They then loosen the tissue and pull it down.
John Hendrick suffered from gum recession; every tooth on the top row of Hendrick's mouth has lost tissue.
"My teeth had been bothering me for years," Hendrick said.
Hendrick was willing to try anything, but did not want to do the grafting procedure. He heard about the pinhole technique and decided to try it.
"There was no pain," Hendrick said. "You could feel pressure though, because he uses a dental pick to pull the gums away from the bones to lower the gums so you could feel tugging."
Dr. Michael Kuzma of Kuzma Advanced Dentistry in Wilmington has been using the procedure for three months and performed the procedure on Hendrick.
"It's not invasive, there's no stitches, there's no cutting so the patient walks out with instant gratification," Kuzma said.
Seven weeks after his surgery, Hendrick is still singing the procedure's praises.
"I don't have the sensitivity eating sweet foods and cold foods anymore, I don't have sensitivity when I try to brush my teeth. It's definitely made a tremendous difference," Hendricks said.
Hendrick said that the surgery only took an hour and a half and that he had very little pain after the procedure. He is also happy that he won't be losing any of his teeth.
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