Researchers Unveil Painless Treatment for Receding Gums

BBE038Until now, correcting receding gums involved a relatively painful procedure that may have included some type of laser surgery in the mouth. An three-year study at Tufts University now reveals that receding gums can be treated with a specialized gum grafting technique that involves very little pain, and minimal downtime.

Results of this study have been published in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of Periodontology, and reveals an innovative tissue regeneration application treatment that can restore healthy-looking gums and improve overall results of this type of surgery.

Terrence Griffin, DMD, associate professor, chair of the department of periodontology, and director of postdoctoral periodontology at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, explains that “Patients have a less invasive treatment option for receding gums and we now have evidence to support the stability of this relatively painless procedure. Instead of leaving the dental office with stitches in the roof of their mouth, a patient leaves with a small bandage on the arm that can be removed in an hour.” (Source:

Many patients would experience significant post-operative bleeding, pain and discomfort from the traditional grafting technique used in gum recontouring and reshaping procedures because gum tissue had to be extracted from other areas of the mouth. The new procedure involves using a platelet-concentrate gel that is applied to a collagen membrane around the tooth, instead of the patient’s own gum tissue. This gel is soaked in the patient’s platelets, and then surgically secured in place.

Gum recession is the leading cause of periodontal disease, and the primary cause of tooth decay and tooth loss for adults aged 35 and older according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Gum recontouring and surgery can help many patients restore their disappearing gum tissue and preserve their original teeth. Overall, this new procedure is less painful than conventional gum recontouring procedures, and produces a better end result.

Further Reading

  • While the economy is still pulling itself out of a recession, many Americans are holding off on cosmetic work including cosmetic dentistry procedures. Unlike some plastic surgery procedures that have low-cost alternatives, cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers and orthodontics come at a hefty price.

  • For the thousands of Americans  considering plastic or cosmetic surgery in 2010, procedure such as tummy tucks, breast implants and Botox treatments are surprisingly lower on the list than teeth whitening.

  • Dr. Nick Mohindra, a London dentist, has invented a plastic mouthguard called the Oralift that’s designed to help patients look younger by sculpting the facial tissues and increasing the strength of the jawline and facial muscles. The Oralift mouthguard is placed in a microwave to soften the plastic and then fitted to the lower teeth. The mouthguard helps to prevent the grinding of teeth and also helps to stretch the freeway space between the back teeth so that the facial muscles become stronger.