The gum tissue can be very thick and large covering the tooth surface making the teeth look short. This can happen because of medications, bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, or inflammation due to gum disease.
A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that eliminates excess gum tissue. The term “gingivectomy” is derived from Latin:
- “gingiva” means gum tissue,
- “-ectomy” means to remove.
The following are some reasons a gingivectomy might be needed:
Cosmetics: To make the teeth look normal in size when the gum is covering too much of it, making the teeth look longer and more proportional.
Functional/Esthetics: To remove excess gum tissue (gingival overgrowth) that has formed making it difficult to obtain adequate home care as well as visualization for the completion of the orthodontic therapy.
Bone and gum health around the teeth: To shrink deep gum pockets. This procedure might require some bone work as well.
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The Gingivectomy Procedure
We first will anesthetize the area(s) to be treated. The excess of gum tissue is removed. In most cases no sutures (stitches) are required. The surgical sites will be sore for 24-48 hours, and medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced. A two-week follow-up appointment is usually needed to ensure proper healing.