While the majority of individuals who do not like the appearance of their smile are unhappy with the alignment of their teeth, gum tissue can also create a problem for many, as they feel they either have too much or not enough gum on show when smiling.
Both of these procedures are carried out by a periodontist who specialises in treating gums, but there is a key difference between the two.
A gingivectomy is the surgical removal of gum tissues – which is also known as gingiva – while a gingivoplasty is the reshaping of the area around teeth, which is often carried out on individuals who feel they have an excessive gum-to-tooth ratio.
Originally developed to treat gum disease, this course of action is now used more commonly as a cosmetic procedure.
Patients who seek this treatment usually do so for one of two reasons:
The act of reshaping the area through gingivoplasty can help to make gums appear more natural and can be used to correct asymmetrical gums, those that are badly formed, when they have been affected by gum disease or malformed due to genetic problems, as well as treating individuals who have sustained dental trauma.
Before either treatment is carried out, our periodontist will discuss the process with each patient, as well as enquire about their oral hygiene routine. Initially patients usually receive a thorough mouth cleaning in order to remove plaque or calculus.
Local anaesthetic is given first. Both procedures are usually administered using a scalpel or a soft tissue laser is used.
Following the operation, a periodontal dressing will be placed on the gum tissue and is left in place for between one and two weeks. During this period, individuals are advised to consume a soft diet and avoid spicy foods, while also abstaining crunchy items. Some dentists prescribe some pain medications and chlorhexidine mouth rinse.
It is vital for those that have undergone either procedure to keep their mouth clean, but they should avoid brushing their teeth in the surgical area while the dressing is still in place.