Gingivectomy for Gummy Smiles

This periodontal procedure is designed to expose more tooth structure prior to cosmetic dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. A gummy smile is apparent when the gum tissue is very thick and large, covering the tooth surface and making the teeth look too short. This can be caused by medications, bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, inflammation due to gum disease or your genetic predisposition.

If your teeth appear small and your smile seems gummy, your teeth may actually be the proper length, but hiding under too much gum tissue. A gingivectomy procedure will reshape your excess gum and expose the natural shape of your teeth. The term “gingivectomy” is derived from Latin: “gingiva” means gum tissue, “-ectomy” means to remove.

Gingivectomy can also be performed on a single tooth to even your gum line, improve symmetry and create a more pleasing smile.


During a gingivectomy excess gum tissue is reshaped to expose more of your natural teeth, which can significantly enhance your smile. In certain cases a laser can be utilized to remove the excess gum tissue. Most gingivectomy procedures are very straightforward with little to no post-operative discomfort. The surgical sites may be sore for 24-48 hours, but medication will be provided to alleviate any discomfort experienced. A one week follow-up appointment is usually needed to ensure proper healing.


Cosmetic: To make teeth that are covered by excessive gum tissue look longer and more proportional.

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

Bone and gum health around the teeth: To shrink deep gum pockets to achieve periodontal health. This procedure might require some bone work as well. For further information please review osseous surgery.

front teeth


front teeth