The gum tissue can be very thick and large covering the tooth surface and making the teeth look short. Excess gum tissues can make home care nearly impossible, setting up the area for gum disease.  This can happen because of medications, genetic conditions, 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. The term “gingivectomy” is derived from Latin:

  • “gingiva” means gum tissue
  • “-ectomy” means to remove

The following are some reasons a gingivectomy might be needed:

Cosmetics: To make the teeth look normal in size when the gum is covering too much of it, making the teeth look longer and more proportional.

Functional/Esthetics: To remove excess gum tissue (gingival overgrowth) that has formed as a result of certain drugs such as anti-seizure and organ-transplant medications, and certain high blood pressure medications. 

Bone and gum health around the teeth: To shrink deep gum pockets. This may require some bone attention as well.


We first will anesthetize the area(s) to be treated. The excess of gum tissue is removed with a scalpel blade. In most cases no sutures (stitches) are required. The surgical sites usually have very little pain due to the very small wound area which is the thickness of the gum tissues at the new gum-line. Medication may provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced if needed.

This procedure can be a life changing event in your smile, showing off the beautiful teeth that were previously covered with tissues. The results are rewarding and patients usually can’t believe the difference!