Gingivoplasty involves the surgical reshaping of gum tissue around teeth with healthy gums. They typically are performed by our periodontists, dentists who specialize in treating gums and the other supporting structures of your teeth. It can help give the gums a more natural appearance. This procedure can be used to correct malformed or asymmetrical gums caused by genetics, disease or trauma, and might be done solely for cosmetic purposes. Gingivoplasty often is done alone, but can be done during or after a gingivectomy, which removes excess gum tissue, or a gum graft, which adds tissue to the gum line.

After a gingivoplasty, a periodontal dressing (a type of bandage) will be placed on your gums. This usually is left in place for a week to 10 days, during which you will need to follow a somewhat soft diet and avoid spicy and crunchy foods. We might give you prescriptions for pain medication and a chlorhexidine mouthwash.

It is very important to keep your mouth clean during the healing period. You will be advised not to brush your teeth in the surgical area while the pack is in place. You will be able to brush and floss the rest of your mouth normally. When the pack comes off, you can brush and floss your teeth normally, but gently. It is not uncommon for the healing tissues to bleed when you floss or brush immediately after the dressing is removed.

After seven to 10 days, you will return to us to have the pack removed. Your gums will begin to look normal in three to four weeks, but it can take two to three months for the tissue to heal completely.