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Gingivectomy: What You Need to Know

Nov 13, 2022 | Periodontics, Surgery

A common dental condition that many patients have to deal with is what is known as a gummy smile; this means that the patient has excessive gum tissue that hangs over their teeth. This may be caused by various problems, including medications, gum inflammation, or due to bone growth abnormalities. Patients who have this problem need to take extra caution to brush along the edge of their teeth, under this flap of excess tissue to remove all bacteria.

When a patient needs to have a portion of soft gum tissue, not bone, removed, this procedure is known as a gingivectomy, not crown lengthening.

At The Mugford Center we can help you have healthy teeth and gums, decreasing the incidence of periodontal disease, or gum disease, by removing the places that bacteria can hide. Excessive gum tissue can create flaps helping food debris and tartar to hide; our goal is to set our patients up for success with regular brushing and flossing, removing those flaps.

What is a Gingivectomy?

As mentioned above, patients with gummy smiles encounter many problems with oral hygiene. This is especially true for patients with braces.

A gingivectomy is the surgical removal of this excessive tissue and is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth creating deep pockets. The pockets make it hard to clean away plaque and calculus. We will create some small cuts to remove the tissue, being sure to create a smooth look, and contouring the surface to appear natural. This process will help shrink deep gum pockets, decreasing the places that bacteria can rest.

By removing the pocket walls, gingivectomy provides visibility and accessibility to remove calculus and thoroughly smooth the tooth roots. This creates a favorable environment for gingival healing and restoration of the gingival contour. Although gingivectomy was initially developed to treat periodontal disease, it is now a common cosmetic surgery, also.

What to Expect During the Gingivectomy Process

The gingivectomy process begins with Dr. Mugford anesthetizing the area. This means that the patient will feel little or no discomfort. We will then remove the excess tissue; the entire process should take under 30 minutes. In most cases, there are no stitches required. Following your gingivectomy procedure, you may experience some soreness for a day or two, but it should be easily alleviated with an over the counter pain relieving medication.

In most cases, a gingivectomy is usually done before the patient has experienced problems with gum disease damaging their bone that supports their teeth. By decreasing the size of the patient’s gum pockets, we hope to promote their dental health. For some patients, we may prescribe an antibiotic, to prevent or minimize infection.

If you have been instructed to wear a clear stent or an upper denture to cover your gums, please do not remove the device for at least 24 hours. Our team at The Mugford Center will be sure to give you clear instructions for your situation.

Get More Information

Our team at The Mugford Center wants to promote your oral health and decrease the incidence of gum disease. For more information on a gingivectomy, contact our Crofton, MD front office. We also encourage our patients in outlying areas such as Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, DC to call and schedule an appointment. Call The Mugford Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants today at (410) 260-0790.