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Gingivectomy for Gummy Smiles

A gingivectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the gum tissue (gingiva). More often than not, a person undergoing a a gingivectomy may also have a gingivoplasty which is a form of gum surgery performed to reshape the healthy gum tissue adjacent to the teeth. The two gum surgeries are performed by periodontists who have competent skills in treating all structures including gums that support the teeth.


What is the Purpose of a Gingivectomy?

The gingivectomy procedure was developed for the treatment of periodontal disease, but it has also been used extensively in cosmetic surgery to get rid of the excessive gum tissue, resulting in an improvement in the appearance of the gums. There are various reasons that may necessitate the need to perform a gingivectomy including severe gum disease (periodontitis) which cannot be treated using antibiotics or root scaling and planning. At Avenue Dental Care, we can help in removing the gum tissue if it has been pulled away from the teeth. The pockets from excess gum tissue may trap food debris that can harbor colonies of bacteria, making it difficult to clean the plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and gum.


How is a Gingivectomy Performed?

A gingivectomy is performed by removing and reshaping the loose, diseased gum tissue in order to eliminate the pockets between the gum and the teeth. As a result, the procedure allows easy access and removal of food debris hence creating a favorable environment for restoration and healing of gingival contour. When preparing to undergo a gingivectomy, thorough tooth cleaning is carried out to get rid of the plaque and debris from the pockets created around the teeth. The periodontist uses a local anesthetic to numb the gums before using the scalpel or laser to remove the overgrown and loose gum tissue. There are special tools designed for gingivectomies that have angled blades to enable them navigate the teeth during the surgery. The length of time required to perform a gingivectomy depends on the amount of gum tissue expected to be removed. After the procedure is completed, periodontal dressing on the gums protects the surgical area from bacterial infection and facilitates healing. Although the procedure has no major complications, dental follow-ups are vital to monitor the healing process of the wound.

Emergency appointments may be required if the patient has unstoppable bleeding or has excessive pain around the surgical area.


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