A gingivectomy – What is it?

The gingivectomy is the removal of gum tissue (gingival) through surgery. Gingivoplasty is a type of gum surgery used to reshape healthy gum tissue around teeth.  Periodontologists usually perform two types of surgery. These dentists specialize in treating gums and other structures that support the teeth.

In which case should one undergo a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty?

Gingivoplasty is the operation of changing the shape of the gums when the gums have an unusual shape or when they have not formed normally. Causes may include genes, illness or trauma to the person. A multi-bag orthodontic treatment can cause gingival hyperplasiaand, in this case, will require gingivectomy and gingivoplasty.Gingivoplasty remodels the gums to make them more natural . This technique is often performed alone but can be done during or after a gingivectomy. Gingivoplasty can also be performed with a gum graft. This type of surgery adds tissue to the gums in cases such as gingival recession, the bare tooth becomes sensitive, then proceed to a gum transplant.

Gingivectomy has been developed to treat periodontaldisease. Today, it is more commonly used to remove a piece of gum that has proliferated or to improve the appearance of the gums. We may have to reduce the gums in two cases

  • Periodontal pockets have formed between the teeth and gums. The gum is no longer adherent to the neck of the tooth. The gum does not play its hermetic role anymore and these pockets can trap food pieces, and harbour colonies of bacteria, and it is difficult to keep the area clean. If the pockets only involve soft tissues, they can be removed by a gingivectomy.
  • There is too much gum tissue around the teeth. In cases of gingival hypertrophy, there is often a cause such as taking medication, for example nifedipine, cyclosporine and more particularly phenytoin (Dihydan). do not like this proliferation of gum that hides part of the outer surface of their teeth. It can also make teeth and gums difficult to clean. In severe cases, this condition can interfere with chewing and speech. Excessive growth of gum tissue can be caused by certain medications. Sometimes there is no apparent cause.

Conditions for performing a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty

Before a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty, you must receive a complete dental cleaning. This cleaning removes bacteria (plaque) and calculus (calculus) from the pockets around the teeth. Your periodontologist will explain in detail how to take care of your teeth and gums after surgery.

How to proceed to a gingivectomy or gingivoplasty?

Before or the other procedure, you will receive a local anaesthetic to anesthetize your gums. A gingivectomy can take from a few minutes to over an hour. The length of the intervention time depends on the amount of tissue removed.Gingivoplasty is usually done in minutes.

These two surgical procedures are usually performed with scalpels. They can also be done with electrosurgery or lasers. Your periodontologist may use special tools that have been designed for gingivectomies.

Operative suites

After either technique, a periodontal dressing will be placed on your gums to protect the wound for a week to 10 days. A periodontal dressing is soft and has the texture of play dough. During this time, you will need to follow a relatively mild diet and avoid spicy and crunchy foods. Your dentist may prescribe analgesics for pain and antiseptic mouthwash.

It is very important to keep your mouth clean while the healing phase. You will not have to brush your teeth in the surgical area while the periodontal dressing is in place. You will be able to brush the rest of your teeth by carefully avoiding the operated area.

If the surgical dressing comes off, you can brush the area gently. Healing tissues can bleed when you brush. Your gums will begin to recover a normal appearance within three to four weeks. It can take two to three months for the tissue to heal completely.

What are the risks of these operations?

There are no major risks for both procedures. Infection and prolonged bleeding may occur. However, both are rare.The affected area may ooze for the first 24 to 48 hours. After that, he should not bleed a lot, if at all.

In which cases should I call my periodontologist?

  • If you have unwanted bleeding that you cannot control.
  • If you have excessive pain that does not stop with the analgesics it has prescribed
  • If you think the area may be infected.
  • If you have a lot of abnormal swelling of the operated area.
  • If the periodontal dressing becomes loose or comes off in a few days.