What Is the “Tunneling” Technique for Gum Recession? Bloomfield Hills, MI

What Is the “Tunneling” Technique for Gum Recession?

Gum Recession Graphic

If you have sensitive teeth and have noticed your teeth appear longer, chances are you have gum recession. While your gum tissue will never grow back on its own, Dr. Anderson can “reverse” gum recession with a unique surgical “tunneling” technique. Dr. Lauren Anderson, our board-certified periodontist, uses this minimally invasive technique as an alternative to traditional gingival grafting.  In addition to earning her masters in soft tissue grafting techniques at the University of Michigan, Dr. Anderson remains ahead of the curve.  In 2019, she became certified as a S.M.A.R.T. (minimally invasive tissue grafting) provider at the University of Pennsylvania where she trained under its founder Dr. Ernesto Lee. This technique not only addresses cases of bone deformity, but treats recession as it reinforces the structures that determine the position of the soft tissue.


Why Gum Recession Occurs

Gums can recede for a variety of reasons and due to its slow progression, many people don’t realize they even have this condition. Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause of receding gums, which is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Other factors that contribute to gum recession include:

  • Aggressive tooth brushing
  • Tooth grinding and clenching
  • Poor dental health
  • “Frenum” or muscle pulls
  • Genetics

How the Tunneling Technique Treats Receding Gums

The tunneling technique is a multi-step process. First, Dr. Anderson cleans the surface of the teeth, including the exposed tooth roots and applies an etch to the roots (EDTA) to allow soft tissue ingress. Next, using a laparoscopic type technique, Dr. Anderson gently tunnels under the gum tissue with a specialized dental tool. The gum tissue between the teeth remains intact, while the tissue below will have a space for the new graft. Then, Dr. Anderson inserts the tissue graft under the gum tissue to cover the exposed roots, making sure to optimize the aesthetic look of the tissue, as well. Finally, she will suture the graft in place so the treated site can heal. Treating your gum recession with this minimally invasive technique can improve your gum health, root sensitivity and smile appearance – most of all it reduces your risk profile anatomically.


Schedule your appointment

Have receding gums and are ready for treatment? Contact Dr. Lauren Anderson of Anderson Periodontal Wellness today to schedule your consultation for gum recession in our office in Bloomfield Hills, MI.