Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty
My gums have become loose and larger than normal. What's wrong?
Healthy gums, tight against the necks of the teeth, are an important part of a beautiful smile. But sometimes, a problem like this can develop. As the gums extend onto the front surface of the teeth, the natural balance between the length of the teeth and the height of the gums was lost.
What is a gingivectomy and what does it entail?
The first step in a gingivectomy, or gum-removal procedure, is making sure that all of the involved areas are completely numb with a local anesthetic. A small incision is made and excess gum tissue is removed. After removing the gum tissue, a temporary putty-like substance over gum line is put. This will protect gums while they heal.
What is a gingivoplasty?
Gingivoplasty is a procedure in which the gum tissue is surgically reshaped and re-contoured for cosmetic, physiological, or functional purposes. Gingivoplasty is the surgical reshaping of the outer surface of the gums and it's usually done in combination with gingivectomy. Many patients have a gummy smile which is caused by excessive and overgrown gum tissue. Excess gum tissue can usually be removed to reveal a beautiful smile underneath.
How is a gingivoplasty done?
After a gingivectomy procedure, the gingivoplasty procedure thins the remaining gums tissue so the tissue looks natural and pleasing. It's done using an electrosurgery unit or a soft tissue laser. The electrosurgery unit uses electricity to cut the gum tissues and at the same time, causes the gum tissues to clot and stop bleeding.
It sounds like one and the same. What is the difference between a gingivoplasty and a typical gingivectomy procedure?
Gingivoplasty corrects the remaining thick and unnaturally shaped gum tissue left after the gingivectomy procedure exposes the hidden teeth. Natural gum tissue thins as it approaches and surrounds teeth. The two procedures are almost always used at the same time. These procedures can also be used to reshape irregularly shaped and unattractive gums.
I have periodontitis (severe gum disease). Why has my dentist recommended a gingivectomy?
You may need surgery for severe gum disease (periodontitis) if it cannot be cured with antibiotics or root planing and scaling. A gingivectomy removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums.