Gum tissue covering the tooth surface can be large and thick, making the teeth appear short. This can be the results of medications, bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, or inflammation due to gum disease.

The term “gingivectomy” is derived from Latin: “gingiva” meaning “gum tissue,” and “-ectomy” meaning “to remove.” So it makes sense that a gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that eliminates excess gum tissue.

A gingivectomy might be needed for the following reasons:

  • Cosmetics

    To make teeth look longer and more proportional if the gum is covering too much of them.

  • Functional/Aesthetics

    To remove gingival overgrowth that has formed as a result of certain drugs including anti-seizure, organ-transplant, and certain high blood pressure medications.

  • Bone and Gum Health Around the Teeth

    To shrink deep gum pockets, which may also require bone work.

Woman Smiling


First, we will anesthetize the designated area(s). Then, excess gum tissue will be removed with a scalpel blade, rotary instruments, or a laser. In most cases, no stitches are required. Medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced, as the surgical sites will likely be sore for 24-48 hours. We’ll also schedule a week follow-up appointment to ensure proper healing.