The Gingivectomy Procedure: Treatment for Gum Disease
By Chetan Patil, DDS PhD on July 04, 2017
Gum disease can have a serious impact on dental health and overall wellness. In later stages of the condition, gum disease can lead to gum tissue pulling away from the teeth, creating pockets along the gumline. When these pockets form, plaque and accumulate there. This can lead to cavities forming along the gumline, which can be very difficult to treat.
The team at our Englewood dental care center offers state-of-the-art periodontic treatments for gum disease and other problems affecting your gum tissue. One of these treatments is known as a gingivectomy. Let's cover the basics and importance of the gingivectomy, allowing you to understand the various steps in the treatment process.
What Is a Gingivectomy?
A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that helps address advanced stages of gum disease when plaque has built up under pockets in the gumline. The procedure essentially involves the removal of diseased gum tissue. This makes it easier for dentists to perform root planing and scaling, and to prevent more serious dental problems from occurring.
Ideal Candidates for Gingivectomy
Ideal candidates for gingivectomy are people who have advanced gum disease that cannot be treated by antiseptic rinses, root planing and scaling, and antibiotics alone. These patients should still have teeth that are generally healthy, and whose periodontal disease has not yet progressed to a point in which far more invasive therapies are required.
Gingivectomy can also be performed for cosmetic reasons if needed, exposing more of the tooth and lengthening the crown in the process. In these cases, the procedure is typically referred to as a gum lift or crown lengthening. Ideal candidates are people who suffer from gummy smiles (i.e., smiles in which the gums are too prominent).
During the consultation process, we can determine if a gingivectomy is ideal for you or if another gum disease treatment may be more ideal.
The Gingivectomy Procedure
During a gingivectomy, patients are given local anesthesia in order to prevent pain or discomfort along the gumline. A periodontist or oral surgeon will work carefully to remove the damaged gum tissue, leaving enough gum tissue to protect the root structure of a tooth.
Rather than using scalpels and traditional surgical tools, we use dental lasers to treat the gums. This means less bleeding during the procedure, a reduced risk of infection, and improved healing times for patients.
What to Expect After a Gingivectomy
Following a gingivectomy, patients will experience minor soreness and irritation of the gums as they heal. This is temporary and can be addressed with the use of recommended pain relievers (often over-the-counter pain medications). Patients may be asked to eat soft foods and to avoid chewing with the portion of the mouth that was worked on.
More detailed post-op instructions including oral hygiene instructions can be provided during the consultation process.
How Effective Is Gingivectomy?
A gingivectomy is a very effective option for treating serious gum disease, and it can help prevent more severe health problems in the process, such as tooth decay below the gumline and root canal infections. As far as the cosmetic results of a gingivectomy, patients with gummy smiles experience less prominent gums and smiles that are more aesthetically pleasing.
Learn More About Gingivectomy Treatment
To learn more about gingivectomy and other procedures that can help improve periodontal health and wellness, be sure to contact our experienced dental care team today. The team at our practice will help you smile with renewed health and better overall appearance.
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“Dr. Patil and his staff could not be more professional. They take the time to talk to you and explain what will be done. I am constantly surprised at how little pain is associated with the procedures they perform.” Jack T.