What Exactly Is a Gingivectomy?


Posted on 10/30/2010 by Dr. Brandon Cooley
What Exactly Is a Gingivectomy?If you are living with gum disease, your dentist may recommend a gingivectomy to heal the damage. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to receding gums, tooth loss, and infection, so this procedure could make a major difference in your overall health. Read on to learn more about what exactly a gingivectomy entails.

What to Expect

A gingivectomy involves the total removal of a portion of the gum – on gingiva – from around the teeth. This is done to either treat gum disease or to lengthen or widen a tooth. Either a periodontist or dentist with training in periodontal surgery can complete this procedure, which will take 2-3 hours to complete under local anesthesia.

This surgery uses either a scalpel or low frequency laser to cut away the diseased tissue. Once removed, the remaining gums will be reattached around the teeth and fixed into place with sutures. The area is thoroughly cleaned with saline and specialized rinses to prevent infection, and a surgical dressing is put into place once complete. The dressing will be left in place for approximately one week so that the affected area can heal.

Recovering from a Gingivectomy

To speed up the recovery process, be sure to follow your dentist's instructions. The day that you return home after the procedure, you should plan on resting in bed, and you'll want to arrange a ride to get you home.

The next two days should consist of minimal physical activity. Strenuous activity can lead to post-operative swelling and complications. By the fourth day post-surgery, you can resume your normal activity, with the exception of exercise. Wait until at least 10 days post-surgery before you start to work out again.

A gingivectomy can help your mouth to heal from periodontal disease. If you are suffering with this advanced form of gum disease, give our office a call to see if the procedure might be right for you.
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