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3 things to expect after a gingivectomy

So you’ve had a gingivectomy. Or maybe you’re considering it but want to know what to expect afterwards? This blog talks about the aftercare following this procedure. At Riverstone Family Dental, we can discuss your options when it comes to your gum health. Prevention is always better than cure. This is why 6 monthly checkups are so important to help keep on top of your oral health. Even after having a gingivectomy, we recommend you keep up with your 6 monthly checkups to ensure your gums stay in the best shape possible. Give us a call today on 8678 3538.

What is a gingivectomy? It is a dental procedure which involves the removal of gingiva (gum) from in and around a tooth. It is done to treat gum disease or cosmetically to elongate the appearance of a tooth.

Your gums will feel different

A gingivectomy involves removing gum tissue. As such, your gums will be sore for the first two weeks after this procedure. Try to gently brush your teeth and gums using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Remember to angle your brush at 45 degrees to the surfaces of your teeth and be very gentle. Your gums will look and feel different, be prepared for a slight relapse of the gums from about 4 weeks after the procedure.

Your oral care routine will change

Cleaning in between the teeth is known as interdental cleaning. Get used to using an interdental cleaning tool. This will be necessary to maintain the health of your gums and ensure a speedy recovery following a gingivectomy. Initially, the gums will be tender and some blood may ooze out, the key is to be gentle and consistent with your oral care routine.
Tools such as floss, flossettes, piksters and interdental brushes can all effectively clean in between the teeth. It is recommended you do this at least once a day because a toothbrush cannot reach these spots to clean plaque and food away from them.
Whatever tool you decide to use, make sure it actually makes contact with the teeth surfaces. In doing so, it mechanically removes plaque and food and therefore prevents gingivitis (gum infection) and tooth decay. For example, when choosing a pikster, ensure it is large enough to allow friction when inserted in between two teeth.

You may need pain relief

You may or may not feel pain after a gingivectomy. Gentle rinsing with salt water can help keep the area clean. Pain killers such as paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen may be required.
If the pain is exacerbated by hot or cold foods and drinks, try using an anti-sensitivity toothpaste when brushing. Another product you can try is Tooth Mousse. Coat your teeth with a pea-sized amount of this product to help prevent sensitivity.

Finally, remember to see your the dentist every 6 months (or every 3 months for ongoing gum conditions). Your dentist will check the levels of inflammation of your gums and measure the ‘pockets’ in your gums. This will help diagnose problems early on and keep on top of any gum problems.

Need a caring family dentist? Give us a call at Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538.

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