A gingivectomy is a type of dental surgery performed by Dr. Maryanne Butler, Dr. Amy Riffel, and our team at Mountainview Periodontics in Parker and Glendale CO. The procedure improves the health and appearance of your gums by removing the excess gum tissue to reduce pockets around the teeth, which can trap bacteria and lead to gum disease.
The procedure can also reshape the gum line and remove excess gums around the teeth to promote aesthetic improvements. If you are unhappy with how your gums look, a gingivectomy can help create a more attractive smile.
If you are considering this type of procedure, it is crucial to understand what the surgery entails and what the recovery process will be like.
What to Expect Before Surgery
The best first step would be to consult our team to determine if you would benefit from the gingivectomy procedure. During this consultation, we will ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination. You may also need to have x-rays taken to get a better look at the teeth and bone supporting the teeth. If there is excess gingival tissue (and not excess bone) found during the examination, a gingivectomy could enhance esthetics and decrease pocketing and trapping of bacteria. If there is excess gingiva and bone surrounding your teeth, a procedure called crown lengthening would better treat your condition. Dr. Butler and Dr. Riffel will determine the best treatment option for your specific situation.
What Happens During Surgery?
We typically perform a gingivectomy using local anesthesia to numb the area around your mouth so that you do not feel any pain during surgery. In some cases, we may also use sedation to help you relax. Once you are comfortably numb, Dr. Butler or Dr. Riffel will use a laser or scalpel to remove any excess gum tissue as indicated. Stitching of the gums is typically not required as we are not altering the underlying bone and simply removing excess tissue.
What to Expect After Surgery?
After surgery, it is normal for your mouth to feel sore. You may also experience minor bleeding and bruising, which should subside within a few days. To help reduce swelling and pain, it may help to apply ice packs to your face for 20 minutes at a time throughout the day on the day of the procedure and the day after the procedure. It would also be best to avoid strenuous activity or exercise immediately following the process, as this can increase swelling.
You will be required to avoid hot liquids or foods for the first 24 hours. You should avoid eating hard, crunchy, or chewy food until after your first post-operative appointment in approximately 2 weeks. Instead, stick to soft foods such as soup, applesauce, mashed potatoes, etc.
Most people take one to two days off from work or school following a gingivectomy, but this depends on the extent of the procedure as well as each individual’s healing process. It is essential to follow all post-operative instructions provided by our team in order to ensure proper healing.