Periodontal disease can cause a loosening of the gum line as bacteria eat away at healthy gum tissue. This can create deep, loose pockets in the gums around the teeth. A gingivectomy is performed to remove the loose, diseased gum tissue. The procedure reduces the pocket depth between the teeth and gums and helps return the gums to health. Gingivectomies are usually only performed when a patient has severe periodontal disease that has not been effectively treated with other non-surgical methods.
The area around where the gums will be removed will first be completely numbed using a local anesthetic. Small incisions are then made to remove the excess gum tissue. The gums are then reformed and reshaped to fit more snugly around each tooth. A putty-like substance is then placed over the gums. It is designed to protect the gums as they heal.
After the procedure your diet will be limited to soft foods and cool or slightly warm liquids. Though you must not brush the area where the gingivectomy was performed, it is still important to keep the mouth clean. You may still be able to brush and floss the rest of your mouth as you are healing. After a few weeks the gums will be completely healed and it will be possible to resume gently brushing and flossing the area as usual.