A gingivectomy is the removal of gum tissue around a tooth that is decayed or infected and is often performed if the patient is suffering from gum disease. This surgery can be done with a scalpel, or a laser, depending on the severity of the case and how advanced the infection has become. Gingivectomies may be performed on both your upper and lower teeth.
What is a gum graft?
After the removal is complete, the spaces that were created can be filled with a gum graft from a different source, such as the roof of the mouth or from a donor source. Gum grafts are a type of soft tissue graft where tissue is taken from an area of the body and sutured to the affected area. This helps to thicken up the gums and prevent further recessions from occurring. Your dentist will talk with you about the best treatment method for you once they’ve had a chance to examine your teeth and make an accurate diagnosis.
When is a gingivectomy recommended?
A gingivectomy may be recommended if a patient’s gums are swollen or inflamed, making it difficult for the patient to maintain oral health care at home. Unhealthy gum tissue may also affect the appearance of your smile and prevent you from getting the smile of your dreams with cosmetic dentistry treatments such as porcelain veneers. Gum disease can also cause gum recession, resulting in exposed roots and tooth sensitivity. In cases of severe gum disease, a gingivectomy may also be performed to reduce pockets caused by advanced stages of periodontal disease.
During a gingivectomy, the excess gum tissue is removed, and the gums are reshaped to create a more attractive appearance and healthy smile. In some cases, bone and tissue may need to be smoothed out to reduce pocket depths between the teeth and gums. Generally, local anesthesia is used to numb the area and prevent pain and discomfort during the procedure.
After the procedure is completed, patients may experience mild discomfort and swelling for several days following the surgery. However, these side effects can be managed by over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses. Recovery from a gingivectomy usually takes about a week, at which point patients can return to their regular activities.
While a gingivectomy is often the treatment of choice when suffering from gum disease, other treatment options include scaling and root planing. If left untreated, gum disease can only worsen and cause further damage to oral health. Therefore, if a gingivectomy is performed, it is important to maintain visits twice a year for routine cleanings and exams to allow your dentist to monitor your progress and ensure the health of your smile does not deteriorate over time.
Is a gingivectomy right for me?
Your dentist can determine if your tooth is a candidate for a gingivectomy during a routine visit. Generally, this procedure is performed when deep pocketing is present, and the roots of the teeth cannot be adequately cleaned through normal brushing and flossing. A gingivectomy may also be performed in cases of periodontal disease.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our dental practice, call (801)- 269-0303 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 155 E 13800 S Ste F4, Draper, UT, Draper 84020.