If the gums don’t have a close fit to the teeth, a tiny pocket will remain and mineral deposits will form over time. Since cleaning plaque from these pockets is sometimes difficult, bacteria will invariably start to multiply in them. This will eventually lead to gingivitis, a bacterial inflammation of the gums. Unless the diseased tissue is removed and the pockets sealed, gingivitis will spread and worsen, causing periodontitis, infection of the structure that supports the teeth. Another reason for an intervention is to reduce oversized gums, which can make the teeth look too small and undermine confidence.
The procedure of removing and reshaping gum tissue, whether to prevent, heal gingivitis or for cosmetic reasons, is called gingivectomy, which comes from the Latin gingiva, “gums”, and Greek ektomia, “surgical removal”. This is done under a local anesthesia, most often with a laser, which cauterizes the wounds as they are being made, minimizing pain, bleeding and time needed for recovery. You may be required to wear periodontal dressing over your gum line for some time after the procedure to help your gums recover. After they heal completely, you will have a noticeably easier task of maintaining your dental hygiene and more of your teeth structure will be exposed, making them appear longer.
Gums are among the fastest healing tissues in the body, since they have an abundant supply of blood. Do not be worried if your gums look unappealing after the procedure as this will change for the better within a few days. Gingivectomy itself is a quick and relatively painless procedure, though the numbness from the anesthetic may persist for several hours. This is always intentional, to help you get through the worst pain. To prevent further problems after a gingivectomy, you should regularly floss, brush your teeth and stop smoking tobacco.
There are no downsides to a gingivectomy. It is a simple, straightforward, minor procedure that reduces the likelihood of serious oral infections and the end result will always leave you amazed with your perfectly pink and firm gums.