Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty

Gingivoplasty is the surgical reshaping of gum tissue around the teeth to either correct deformities or, simply, for cosmetic purposes. Gingivoplasty is similar to gingivectomy but with a different objective; it removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of pockets between the teeth and gums.

For either a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty, our periodontist will have a discussion with you regarding your oral hygiene habits and give you instructions for preparing properly for surgery. To reduce chances of infection during surgery, you will need to undergo thorough cleaning. Therefore, you may have to go through root planning in order to remove any tartar or calculus from the existing pockets.

A gingivectomy or a gingivoplasty is usually performed using a scalpel. It can also be performed using elctrosurgery units, diamond dental burs, and lasers. Your periodontist may use specialized instruments designed for gingivectomies like angled blades that allow your dentist to work around your teeth.

Before either of these procedures, you will receive a local anaesthetic injection that will make your gums numb. A gingivectomy may last for a few minutes to more than an hour. The duration of the surgery will depend on the amount of gum tissue that has to be worked on. Gingivoplasties are usually done in a couple of minutes only.

What is a gingivectomy used for?

Gingivectomy was originally developed to treat periodontal disease but nowadays it is used more commonly for cosmetic procedures. There are two main reasons you may have to remove your gum tissue:

  • Gaps and pockets have formed between your teeth and gums, which trap food particles. The trapped food begins to harbour colonies of bacteria,, making it difficult for you maintain good oral health. If the pockets only involve soft tissues then these gaps may be removed by simply trimming the gums through gingivectomy.
  • You may have too much gum tissues for your teeth. Aside from cosmetic reasons, this will make it harder for you to maintain good oral health. In the more severe situations, this condition can interfere with the way you eat and talk.

What is gingivoplasty used for?

Gingivoplasty is a procedure used to reshape your gums. Whether it be to correct asymmetrical gums, badly formed gums, diseased gums, genetically malformed gums, trauma, or for purely cosmetic purposes.

What are the risks associated with either of these procedures?

There are no major risks to gingivectomy or gingivoplasty so infections aren’t common in such procedures. It is possible for your gums to bleed although this is rare as well. The affected area may ooze blood for a day or two but it should eventually subside in time.

See also our Lingual Frenectomy service.