Gingivectomy is a surgical gum disease treatment used to remove diseased gum tissue, helping to reduce pockets and slow down the progression of gum disease. A gingivectomy is usually done before disease has damaged the bone supporting teeth. A gum specialist (periodontist) or oral surgeon often will do the procedure under local anesthetic. A laser may be used to remove gum tissue which may be followed by the dentist putting a temporary putty over your gum line to protect your gums while they heal.
Benefits of Gingivectomy:
- Ability to clean better around and between your teeth
- Keeps gum disease from further damage
- Keeps further damage of your teeth and bones
Risks of Gingivectomy:
- Can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream
- Gum tissue is a risk of infection
- May need to pre-medicate before and after surgery for people with high risk of infections such as those with heart problems or impaired immune system.
Patients may experience some bleeding, swelling and pain following a Gingivectomy. Ice packs (30 mins off and 30 mins off) may help with swelling. Over the counter non-aspirin may help with pain, or a prescription tablet may be needed. Drink plenty of liquids is also recommended, clear liquids are best.
Contact your dentist if:
- Signs of infection
- Prolonged bleeding
- Excessive pain
- The periodontal dressing becomes dislodged early
Although Gingivectomy was initially developed to treat periodontal disease, it is now a common cosmetic surgery as well.
To promote healing it is important to stop all use of tobacco. Smoking or using spit tobacco reduces your ability to fight infection of your gums and delays healing. Brushing and flossing regularly after surgery will reduce the chances of gum disease returning and progressing. It is important to follow-up with your dentist. If your gum disease gets worse, you may need a different type of surgery.