A Gingivectomy is a procedure that is sometimes performed when a patient’s teeth appear too short because of gums that seem too thick or large. Also called a ‘gummy smile’, this condition can be caused by certain medications (e.g. prescribed organ transplant, high blood pressure and anti-seizure medication), genetics, or swollen gums due to Gingivitis. A Gingivectomy is therefore performed to expose more of the tooth to make your gum line look nicer and natural and/or to expose more of your tooth structure as preparation for cosmetic surgery.
As the dental assistant I can tell you that swollen gums due to gum disease should not be left untreated. If you have gum problems due to Gingivitis, the reality is that you have an infection in your gums and that Gingivitis is just a milder form of Perionditis, a more serious situation that can lead to much bigger problems. With Gingivitis you might not even feel much discomfort; you will just notice that your gums are swollen and red, and they might bleed easily.
A Gingivectomy procedure can be done on just one tooth or a complete gum line. Gum tissue can sometimes cover a tooth or teeth that are of perfectly normal length, but are just hidden away under too much gum tissue. Wherever it is done in your mouth, it will definitely improve your smile if you are currently stuck with a smile that shows too little of your precious teeth or an uneven gum line!
A Gingivectomy can be done with laser or by using scalpels. The aim of both methods is the same though: to remove excess gum tissue and reshape the gum line. A Gingivectomy can take from a few minutes to longer than an hour, depending on your personal needs and reason(s) for having it done and you will usually receive a local anesthetic pre-procedure.
Generally there is little to no discomfort after the procedure either! You doctor will also send your home with a periodontal dressing on the area that was worked on. As a rule you will have to keep the dressing on for 7-10 days.
Healthy gums should show little points between teeth, causing the teeth to be well-supported and your smile to look awesome. And these are the things a Gingivectomy will give you!