If you are struggling with gum disease, gingivectomy may be an option to heal the problem and improve your smile. Luckily, your dental insurance will likely cover part of the cost of this procedure. Gingivectomy is a surgical procedure that removes excess gum tissue from around the teeth.
A dentist can perform a gingivectomy manually using a scalpel, electrosurgery, or a laser. The laser tool offers a more precise cut and can cauterize as it cuts, which can speed up healing. Laser surgery also offers a lower risk of infection. A gingivectomy takes between 5 minutes and an hour to complete, depending on the jaw-mouth anatomy of the patient and the amount of gum tissue that needs removing.
People get gingivectomies for a variety of reasons. Some have a gummy smile and want to reduce the size of their gums, while others have had an overgrowth of tissue due to medications or hormonal changes. Having excess gum tissue can lead to gum disease, so it is important to keep it in check.
A gingivectomy is a minor surgical procedure that requires no downtime, though your mouth will probably feel tender for a while after the surgery. To help manage discomfort, you can use an ice pack and take painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen as directed by your doctor. It is also important to brush and floss regularly after a gingivectomy to avoid gum disease from returning. You should also continue to see your dentist or periodontist for routine preventive visits to clean in and around the area of the surgical site.