Caring for your gums is important to your dental health. When we need to make restorations to your soft tissue, by removing portions of your gum tissue, not your bone, this is known as a gingivectomy. This process is different from crown lengthening. It is the removal of excessive gum tissue which has folds and crevices for bacteria to rest and hide. At Implant & Periodontal Associates NW in Kenmore we understand that part of having healthy teeth, is having healthy gums. By removing excess tissue, we can strengthen your gums and decrease the likelihood of developing periodontal disease. We want to help our patients be able to care for their teeth and gums through regular brushing and flossing, and we can do this by removing hazards such as hanging gum tissue
Patients with braces sometimes need this procedure.
What is a gingivectomy?A gingivectomy is a dental procedure that helps patients who have what is referred to as a “gummy smile.” A gummy smile refers to gum tissue that extends past the gum line covering a portion of your teeth. Patients can acquire excessive tissue like this from a handful of various problems including gum inflammation from periodontal disease, from certain medications they are taking, or because of jawbone abnormalities. Patients may express not liking the look of a gummy smile, but for us, the biggest concern is that this excess tissue creates folds and pockets for food debris, bacteria, and tartar to settle and rest, undisturbed by toothbrushes. When a patient also has braces, mixed with excessive gum tissue, this can be a recipe for disaster. In most situations, a gingivectomy is a dental procedure that is done on patients with braces.
What is the gingivectomy procedure?Your doctor will begin your gingivectomy procedure with first anesthetizing the area, this will help the patient feel little to no discomfort during the process. The entire procedure will take less than 30 minutes. Once the patient is numb, we then work to remove the excess tissue.
We perform a gingivectomy by removing the excessive gum tissue. This is done by creating a number of small cuts, we want to first remove the excess tissue, followed by contouring the gum tissue to give a smooth, and even look. We work to give the surface a natural appearance, improving the overall aesthetics while shrinking the deep gum pockets and decreasing the surface area for bacteria to hide. For most patients, there is no need for sutures or stitches.
Some patients report soreness in the day or two following their gingivectomy procedure, in most cases this is easily alleviated with the use of an over the counter pain relieving medication. If the patient is experiencing any unusual bleeding or pain, we ask that they immediately contact our front office at Implant & Periodontal Associates NW in Kenmore.
Why is a gingivectomy important?We hope to decrease the chance of periodontal disease, which is caused by bacteria infecting the soft tissue and bone. In addition, by decreasing the size of the patient's gum pockets, we hope to increase their dental health.
An antibiotic may be prescribed following your gingivectomy, this is to prevent or minimize the instance of infection. We recommend that patients take the antibiotics as instructed by your doctor until the medication the duration of the the medication is completed.
For some patients, we may recommend that they wear a stent or an upper denture in the days following your gingivectomy, this is to cover and protect your gums. It is important that the patient does not remove the prescribed device until they are directed to by your doctor - even if the appliance appears to be pooled with blood, this is normal.
We will provide the patient with care instructions, which may including washing with a medicated mouthwash, known as chlorhexidine rinse or using a lukewarm salt water.
To schedule an appointment please call 425.939.0545