February 3, 2010


Gingivoplasty is one type of work done by a cosmetic dentistry specialist, known as a periodontist. This type of work reshapes gum tissue. It is used to help improve the way the gums and teeth look. This is often done along with other work such as a gingivectomy (work done to remove gum tissue).

A dentist may suggest a gingivoplasty to a patient who is unhappy with some common gum features. These include gum tissue problems caused by poor oral hygiene or by some illnesses or medications. A “gummy” smile, in which the teeth are covered in part by extra gum tissue, may be dealt with in this way.

What You Need to Know About Gingivoplasties

If you are about to have this type of work done, you should have your teeth cleaned first. This helps to remove plaque and tartar from the areas around the teeth.

The gingivoplasty procedure may be done with a scalpel, lasers, or with other surgical tools. The patient is first given a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort. The work can be done in a few minutes. A soft, clay-like dressing is then placed over the gums, which will be removed after a week or so. Until the dressing comes off, it is best to eat soft, non-spicy foods.

The dentist may also prescribe a painkiller to help manage any soreness during this time. Patients must not brush or floss in a way that would disturb the dressing until it can be removed and the area has healed all the way. It may take up to four months for the tissue to heal.

While the risks with gingivoplasty are minimal, those who have a lot of bleeding, pain, or swelling in the days after the work is done should contact their periodontist.

Talk to your dentist to learn more about this and other types of cosmetic dentistry work.