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 your teeth, or inflammation due to gum disease.

What Is a Gingivectomy?

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.

Why a Gingivectomy Might Be Needed:

  • Cosmetics: To make the teeth look normal in size when your gum is covering too much of it, making the teeth appear longer and more proportional.
  • Functional/Esthetics: To remove excess gum tissue (gingival overgrowth) that has formed as a result of certain drugs, such as anti-seizure and organ-transplant medications, and certain high blood pressure medications.
  • Bone and gum health around the teeth: To shrink deep gum pockets. This procedure might require some bone work, as well.

The Gingivectomy Procedure

The area(s) in your mouth to be treated are anesthesized. The excess of gum tissue is removed either with a scalpel blade, rotary instruments, or a laser. In most cases, no sutures (stitches) are needed. The surgical sites will be sore for 24-48 hours, and medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort you may experience. A follow-up appointment pone week following the procedure is usually needed to ensure proper healing.