The gum tissue can be very thick and excessive covering the teeth, making them look shorter. This can occur in particular periodontal conditions, or as a result of certain medications.

A gingivectomy is a periodontal procedure that eliminates the overgrowth of gum tissue. The term “gingivectomy” is derived from the Latin:

  • “gingiva” meaning gum tissue.
  • “ectomy” meaning to remove.

The following are some reasons a gingivectomy might be required:

Cosmetics: To make the teeth look more normal and proportional in size, when the gum is excessive.

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

Treatment of periodontal disease: To help reduce deep gum pockets, sometimes in conjunction with osseous surgery.


We will first anesthetize the area(s) to be treated. The excessive gum tissue is removed with special instruments. In most cases, no sutures (stitches) are required. The surgical sites will heal uneventfully. Mild pain medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort. A follow-up appointment is usually required to ensure proper healing.