The gum tissue, or gingiva, can be very thick and redundant, extending over the crown and covering the tooth surface, making the teeth look short. There are several causes of this excess gum tissue including medications, bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, inflammation due to gum disease, or altered passive eruption.
A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that eliminates excess gum tissue. The term “gingivectomy” is derived from the Latin word “gingiva” which means gum tissue and the suffix “-ectomy” which means to remove.
A gingivectomy may be indicated for the following reasons:
- Cosmetics: To restore normal appearance in size of the teeth when the gum is covering too much of its surface. A gingivectomy will make the teeth appear longer and more proportional.
- Functional/Esthetics: To remove overgrown gum tissue that has formed because of certain drugs such as anti-seizure, anti-hypertensive and organ-transplant medications.
- Bone and gum health around the teeth: A gingivectomy reduces deep gum pockets when the bone is not involved, which improves the bone and gum health around the teeth.
About the Procedure
While anesthetized, Dr. Noraian will remove the excess of gum tissue with a scalpel blade or a laser depending on tissue thickness. In most cases no sutures (stitches) are required. The surgical sites will be tender for 24-48 hours, and Dr. Noraian will provide medication to alleviate any discomfort you may experience. You will probably see Dr. Norarian for a follow-up appointment after two weeks so he can ensure you are healing properly.