Gum tissue can be very thick and large, covering the tooth surface and making the teeth look short. This is sometimes referred to as a “gummy smile.” A gummy smile can happen because of a few reasons including medications, the bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, or inflammation due to gum disease. A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that eliminates excess gum tissue.

We first anesthetize the treatment area(s). A laser removes the excess gum tissue. In most cases, sutures (stitches) are not required. The surgical sites will be sore for 24 to 48 hours, but medication is provided to alleviate any discomfort. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for a week after a week is usually needed to ensure proper healing.

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Gingivectomy FAQ

A gingivectomy to fix a "gummy smile" is permanent. The gum tissue is removed and will not grow back.

Excess gum tissue or gingival hyperplasia can develop because of genetics, a side effect of certain medications, trauma, or disease. Talk to Dr. Newhart to help you discover what the cause might be and how to resolve it.

We will numb the area before the procedure so you won't feel pain. The numbing medication will wear off in a few hours after the procedures. You may feel a sharp or persistent pain. However, over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) will help with the pain.

It will take a few days to a week to heal from a gingivectomy. To help with healing, eat soft foods, change your bandages often until the bleeding stops, and take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).