Gingivectomy for Gum Disease
A gingivectomy is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. The pockets make it hard to clean away plaque. Gingivectomy is usually done before gum disease has damaged the bone supporting your teeth.
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.
Our doctor will start by numbing your gums with a local anesthetic. We then use a laser to remove loose gum tissue. After removing the gum tissue, we will put a temporary putty over your gum line. This will protect your gums while they heal. You can eat soft foods and drink cool or slightly warm liquids while the putty is in place and your gums are healing.
What To Expect After Surgery
You can return to your normal activities after the anesthetic wears off. It usually takes a few days or weeks for the gums to heal completely. Most gum surgeries are fairly simple and are not too uncomfortable. You can take ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to reduce pain. After a gingivectomy, it will be easier for you to keep your teeth and gums clean, although the contour or shape of your gums may change.
How Well It Works
If you maintain good dental care after surgery, a gingivectomy is likely to help stop gum disease. Your gums should become pink and healthy again.
What To Think About
Gingivectomy may help keep gum disease from further damaging your gum tissue, teeth, and bones by helping you to clean better around and between your teeth. If bones are damaged, it is more likely that you will lose your teeth. Gum disease usually will progress if you do not brush and floss regularly after surgery or if you continue to use tobacco. To promote healing, stop all use of tobacco. Smoking or using spit tobacco reduces your ability to fight infection of your gums and delays healing.
Regular follow-ups with us are important, as are regular dental cleanings.