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Periodontal Disease: Crown Lengthening Surgery

When you look in the mirror, does your gumline look uneven? Or do you see too little gum? These are common effects of periodontal disease. A type of gum surgery called crown lengthening can lower, raise, or even out the gumline. And if more of the tooth structure needs to be exposed for the tooth to be restored, crown lengthening surgery can fix that, too.

Crown lengthening surgery may be performed for functional or cosmetic reasons.

Crown being placed on shaped tooth. Dotted line shows new gum line.


Dotted line showing where gum tissue will be removed above tooth.


How Crown Lengthening Works

Surgery to expose more of the crown (the part of the tooth you can see) includes:

  • Functional lengthening. In some cases, a restoration (crown) is needed. Gum and bone are removed to expose enough tooth to anchor the new crown. This also helps prevent future damage to gum and bone near the restoration.

  • Cosmetic lengthening. This is done to remove an overgrowth of gum and, in some cases, bone tissue that causes a “gummy” smile. It can improve your appearance and may make teeth easier to keep clean.


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