Generally, a gingivectomy takes anywhere from half an hour up to an hour depending on the amount of gum tissue to be removed. If only a few teeth require work, it could require just one session, while more involved procedures could take a few visits with time to heal between them. The process begins with local anesthesia to numb the area. Using either a gingivectomy laser tool or scalpel, your dentist cuts away the gum tissue. Expect your dentist to keep a suction tool in your mouth to remove excess saliva while they work. Your dentist may also use a special laser to remove the remaining tissue and shape your new gum line. Finally, they will apply a soft, pliable substance and bandages to your gums for protection during the healing process.
A gingivectomy can help people struggling with gum recession due to gum disease, aging, injury, or bacterial infections. It can prevent further gum damage and make cleaning easier for you and your dentist.
Though most dentists don’t recommend it, you could choose to have an elective gingivectomy for purely cosmetic reasons. People with too much gum tissue may not like their smiles and see the gingivectomy as a way to improve their appearance. Again, gingivectomies for purely aesthetic reasons are not necessarily recommended because there are always risk factors to consider..
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to manage any pain
- Changing bandages for a few days until the bleeding stops
- Eating soft foods for a few days
- Warm salt water rinses to clean out bacteria and debris