Are you unhappy with the size or shape of your gums? Did your dentist or periodontist recommend changing the shape of your gum line as part of a larger treatment plan?

It sounds like you may benefit from crown lengthening or gum contouring! Learn more about these 2 similar treatments and find out which one is best for you.

Common gum line concerns

When it comes to your gums, there are 2 complaints we hear quite a bit:

  • My teeth are too short!
  • My teeth are too long!

What are short teeth?

Most commonly thought of as a “gummy smile”, this concern is when you see more of your gums than your teeth.

There are a number of causes of a gummy smile:

  • Teeth that appear short because they erupted improperly and remain partially covered by gum tissue
  • Teeth that are small in comparison to the gums due to genetics or wear
  • An upper lip that is too short

What are long teeth?

Some people feel that their teeth appear too large when they smile. Maybe you’ve always thought your teeth look long, or maybe you’ve noticed one or a few teeth that have started to lengthen in the last few years.

Whatever the case, long teeth aren’t actually larger than what’s considered normal. Instead, long teeth are usually caused by:

  • A small jaw that makes your teeth appear larger
  • Gum recession as a result of periodontal disease or brushing habits

How to fix long teeth or short teeth

Whether you want to fix a gummy smile or are dealing with receding gums — or a combination of both — talk to us about your options. The most common procedures for fixing an uneven gum line are crown lengthening and gum contouring.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure to remove excessive gum tissue and expose more of the tooth structure. Crown lengthening has both aesthetic and health benefits:

  • Aesthetic — Addresses cosmetic concerns about “short” teeth
  • Health — Those with short teeth often have trouble being fitted for a dental crown. Crown lengthening adds more space between the supporting jawbone and a dental crown, which prevents your new crown from damaging gum tissue and bone

Gum Contouring

Also called gingival contouring, gum contouring is a procedure that permanently smoothes out an uneven gum line, particularly when you have receding gums or “long” teeth. 

Gum contouring is primarily a cosmetic procedure and is used to perfect the look of your smile. However, gum contouring can also be done to reduce your risk of periodontal disease.

At our office, we use high-tech lasers to perform this procedure and ensure a beautiful outcome.

Do I need crown lengthening or gingival contouring?

We recommended scheduling an appointment with a periodontist to evaluate your situation and provide the best, most personalized recommendation. To get a better understanding of what type of treatment might be right for you, keep reading.

Crown lengthening is best for those who:

  • Suffer from a “gummy smile” and have teeth that look short, since they’re largely covered up by gum tissue
  • Are dealing with cavities or a fractured tooth hidden beneath the gum line
  • Don’t have enough tooth structure exposed to properly fit a dental crown or other dental restoration

Gingival contouring is best for those who:

  • Appear to have very long teeth
  • Have a receding gum line on one or more teeth
  • Want a more uniform gum line
  • Need to reduce their risk of periodontal disease

What to expect from a crown lengthening or gum contouring procedure


before crown lengthening gum contouring Atlanta Center for Advanced Periodontics


after crown lengthening gum contouring Atlanta Center for Advanced Periodontics
Whatever type of procedure you need, here at our offices, you’ll be comfortable the whole time. We’ll use a local anesthetic to numb the area and offer sedation options, if necessary.

Here’s what else you can expect:

  • Using high-tech lasers and advanced techniques, we’ll reshape the gums at the base of your teeth, exposing or covering your tooth surface.
  • In some crown lengthening cases, adjusting the bone level to extend the size of your visible tooth may also be necessary.
  • We’ll finish the procedure by cleaning and sterilizing the area.
  • Depending on your treatment, you may require a few stitches to prevent infection.

That’s it! You’ll feel great in no time and have a beautiful, healthy smile to show for it!

Ready to learn more? Get in touch

periodontist Midtown Atlanta Georgia

If you’re interested in reshaping gum tissue and perfecting your smile, contact us today to schedule an appointment. No referral is needed!

As periodontists, we specialize in all matters concerning your gum line and have the experience to ensure a comfortable experience and amazing results.

Find out if gum contouring or crown lengthening is the right procedure for you. We’re happy to answer all your questions and give you a personalized recommendation based on your health situation and goals.