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Some dental procedures require surgery of the soft areas of the mouth, including the gums and the tongue. Modern surgical techniques usually means that soft tissue surgery is relatively simple, and heals quickly.
For cosmetic or medical reasons, sometimes it might be necessary to cut, trim and realign the gum line. This may be because too much gum is visible (a ‘gummy smile’) or because the teeth and gums have grown and developed in an erratic manner.
Gum lifting (Gingivectomy) is often done with lasers these days, quickly trimming away excess soft tissue. The laser cauterises and seals the incision so that no stitches are needed and there may be little or no bleeding. If the gummy smile is not just due to excess gum, additional surgery (crown lengthening) may be required which gently trims the bone around the teeth affected by the ‘gummy smile’.
The whole procedure can happen under a local anaesthetic.
Read more about Gum Lifting
While Gingivoplasty trims the gum, a Gingivectomy removes a section of gum. This may be because the gum has grown over the surface of the tooth or the gum is uneven.
Sometimes this operation may be necessary to remove a decayed tooth.
Just like a gum lift, a gingivectomy is a simple procedure requiring the dentist to make an incision and remove the excess gum tissue.
A fold of tissue connecting the lip or cheek to the gum, a frenum can sometimes interfere with teeth alignment or movement of the tongue. For example, a patient described as ‘tongue-tied’ has a frenum attaching the tongue to the bottom of the mouth that is too short or tight, preventing the tongue to form certain sounds or words properly.
However, it is a simple procedure to cut away and remove the soft tissue. This frenectomy is a simple and quick incision to remove the tissue and heals quickly.
After any oral surgery, you will need to look after yourself to make sure the area heals correctly and there is no infection.
You can read about a number of recommendations and instructions for good Post-Operative Care.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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