Gingivectomy means excision of the gingiva, or gum tissue. A gingivectomy is necessary when the gums have grown over the crowns of the teeth, creating deep pockets. These pockets make it hard to clean affected teeth. The procedure involves removing and reshaping this excess gum tissue to eliminate the pockets between the teeth and gums. Following this procedure, more of your tooth will be visible. With good oral hygiene and regular maintenance visits to your dentist and periodontist, it is likely that the gingivectomy will stop gum disease progression.

When feasible, a laser may be utilized to expose tooth structure.  The procedure involves the use of light energy to remove the desired amount of gum tissue without contacting bone.  This results in adequate crown length and provides for a more aesthetic smile.

Case Study 1

15 year-old male with gingival enlargement due to poor oral hygiene complicated by braces

Initial presentation before surgery – the patient’s gums have grown up over the top of his braces preventing the orthodontist from placing a wire to continue to move the patient’s teeth.


Photographs taken 2 weeks post-surgery – patient was returned to his orthodontist to continue with orthodontic therapy


Case Study 2

Don’t be fooled, excess gum tissue can occur around implants just like teeth! A 60 year-old male who had lower an implant supported fixed dental prosthesis placed two years ago presented with sore gums. Due to poor oral hygiene, the gum tissue had grown up over the top of the restoration requiring gingivectomy.


By gently lifting the excess gum tissue back, you can see all of the plaque and calculus built up on top of the dental implants

2 weeks post gingivectomy the implants and restoration are now cleansable


Case Study 3

Combination case: 45 year-old woman presents with severe gingival enlargement and generalized severe chronic periodontitis



Disease control phase of treatment plan was developed, including scaling and root planing, gingivectomy, and removal of several hopeless teeth (due to severe bone loss).  The photos below were taken one week following disease control therapy. Note the extreme improvement in the health of the healing gum tissues.


Phase I re-evaluation – 6 weeks post extractions, scaling and root planing and gingivectomy. At this point, the patient is on 3 month periodontal maintenance and wearing upper and lower partial dentures to replace her missing teeth. She no long has pain and continues to work on improving her oral health.


Prior to any periodontal treatment                            6 weeks after initial periodontal therapy