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?
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 has braces, this can be even more difficult. Most often a gingivectomy is performed for patients with braces.
A gingivectomy is the removal of this excessive tissue. 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.
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. Please take the antibiotics as instructed by Dr. Mugford until the medication is completed.
If you have been instructed to wear a clear stent or an upper denture to cover your gums, Do Not Remove the device for at least 24 hours - even if the device appears to be pooled with blood. We will give you care instructions to swoosh using a Chlorhexidine rinse or lukewarm salt water. Our team at The Mugford Center will be sure to give you clear instructions for your situation. These instructions may include not drinking from a straw for the next 24 hours because this can induce bleeding, and to keep your fingers away from the surgical site to reduce the transfer of bacteria.
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 front office.