Gingivectomies are surgeries performed to treat periodontal disease or for cosmetic purposes. As untreated periodontal disease progresses, deep pockets form around the teeth, and the gums pull away from the teeth. In a gingivectomy, some of the soft tissue of the gum may be surgically removed to help prevent bacteria and food particles from being trapped there and to make it easier to keep teeth and gums clean. The gum tissue is reshaped to reduce the pockets between the teeth and gums.

Sometimes, certain medications or other conditions can cause gum overgrowth, producing excess gum tissue.

Orthodontists may refer a patient to a periodontist during or after orthodontic treatment(braces) because excess gum tissue develops.

Some people have teeth that appear too short, almost like baby teeth, because of excess tissue. Removal of some of the gum tissue through a gingivectomy can make the shortened teeth appear longer and result in a significantly improved smile.

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