A gingivectomy is a common procedure for addressing gum disease by removing damaged or infected gingiva (gum tissue). It is an important dental care procedure used to preserve the health of your natural teeth when gum disease has begun to affect them. Gum disease causes deep pockets in your gums, exposing tooth roots and creating a viable environment for bacteria to thrive.
An experienced periodontist in Knoxville, Dr. Robert Cain may recommend a gingivectomy to restore the health and stability of your gums. A gingivectomy can treat:
- Advanced gum disease
- Pockets between the teeth and gums
- Diseased gum tissue
Laser Gingivectomy: What to Expect
A gingivectomy is performed in the comfort of our office using a local anesthetic or another form of dental sedation as needed. Dr. Cain will go over all aspects of the procedure during your initial consultation so that you are well informed on what to expect the day of, and how to care for your gums afterward.
Dr. Cain uses a dental laser to perform most gingivectomy treatments for a more accurate, less invasive procedure with fewer side effects. Once you are comfortable and the area to be treated is cleaned, Dr. Cain will strategically remove the diseased or damaged gum tissue identified in your dental exam using a dental laser.
Dr. Cain reduces pockets to create a uniform and healthier gum line. As needed, sutures are used to reattach the gum tissue around tooth roots and to allow for a stable recovery. Finally, Dr. Cain usually places a special dental putty material to hold the new gum contour in place and protect the soft tissues as they recover. Dr. Cain applies bandaging, which will also prevent infection and control bleeding.
Gingivoplasty: Improving the appearance of the gums
Do you have a gummy smile? Do your gums appear uneven? Dr. Cain offers gingivoplasty as a treatment option to address a gummy smile and enhance the appearance of your teeth.
We also call it crown lengthening, although many procedures can lengthen the tooth crown. Using a dental laser, we can remove areas of the gum that cover portions of the crown of your teeth to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
Proper aftercare reduces pain and swelling and minimizes the risks of complications from the procedure. Since we use lasers, you should have less swelling and bleeding after the procedure than normal. Use over-the-counter pain medication to manage this, as you’ll experience some pain and soreness after the anesthesia wears off. Call us immediately to examine the area if you experience severe pain or bleeding.
For the first 24 hours, don’t brush, floss, or rinse out your mouth. This helps the healing process proceed smoothly. You can then resume your usual oral healthcare routine, but avoid brushing or flossing in the area where the procedure took place. Once 48 hours are up, start rinsing your mouth with warm salt water a few times daily. Rinses keep the area clean and help to speed up the healing process.
For the first week, you also want to avoid touching the area where we performed the gingivectomy. Not only should you avoid it with your fingers, but your tongue as well. You don’t want to disrupt the healing area. Don’t strain your mouth open to look at the area, either. This can stretch the gum tissue in these areas.
Is a gingivectomy painful?
Using a local anesthetic, you will be comfortable during the procedure and feel no pain. Minor discomfort and swelling are common after treatment. Bleeding can also occur. Over-the-counter pain medication can manage pain after treatment. Dental lasers minimize these side effects and stimulate the body’s natural healing process immediately during the procedure.
Can I eat after a gingivectomy?
We recommend that you wait a couple of hours before trying to eat anything. We will recommend that you stick to a soft diet for several days after your procedure to minimize the risk of damaging the healing tissue, causing infections, and unnecessary pain. Dr. Cain will provide detailed instructions specific to your case and needs.
Is a gingivoplasty treatment permanent?
Yes. Gingivoplasty to correct a gummy smile is a one-and-done treatment if performed correctly by an experienced periodontist. You will not have to worry about it returning once we remove gum tissue from a gummy smile. Gum tissue does not regrow.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Consultation
Are you unhappy with the appearance of your gums? Do you have deep pockets that are impacting your oral health? Even if you have been avoiding the dentist out of fear or embarrassment, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cain in our Knoxville periodontist office.
Our team provides comprehensive care for your needs in a caring, compassionate manner. We try to educate you on your oral health condition and treatment options. Contact our office at (865) 276-7173 or request an appointment online today.