Gummy Smile Solutions: a Case Study

Teeth that appear too short, gums that appear too long. At Perio NYC, we call this situation a gummy smile.

When it seems like your gums are longer than your teeth, your smile may appear unbalanced or out of proportion. This might make your teeth look much shorter than they are and make you feel self-conscious about your appearance.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. A lot of patients come to Perio NYC in Manhattan looking for a solution for their gummy smile. Today, we’re here to talk about one of our recent patients who underwent an amazing transformation: a 35-year-old marketing director named Michelle*.

Big Gums? Small Teeth?

Several months ago, we got a call from a woman named Michelle who confessed that she was self-conscious about her smile. She didn’t know whether she had large gums or short teeth, but she did know that she didn’t like how much her gums were exposed when she smiled.

She also told us that she was getting married this year and that on her wedding day, she wanted to have a smile worth showing off.

What We Did

At Perio NYC, we all lead active lives, so we understand the importance of being comfortable in your appearance. A confident smile can equate to more than just improved aesthetics, and we wanted Michelle to feel her best on her wedding day.

We asked Michelle to come in for a consultation. We noticed that she had excess tissue along her gum line, which made her teeth appear very small. Luckily for Michelle, she had several centimeters of healthy teeth beneath her gum line, so a simple, in-office surgery was all that we had to do.

The Crown Lengthening Procedure

The surgery we performed was a procedure called crown lengthening. Essentially, the surgery entails removing gum tissue along the top of the crown.

We administered local anesthesia, and when it was numb, we made minuscule cuts in the gums to pull them away from the teeth. We removed about a centimeter of gum tissue along the top, revealing more of the previously covered teeth.

Once we were done, we washed her gums with salt water and stitched up the sites, and that was it! The entire procedure took only an hour and Michelle didn’t feel any pain at all.


We gave Michelle a prescription for pain relievers and instructed her to eat soft foods until her stitches came out, which took 8 days. She also made sure to brush her teeth very gently around the surgical sites so that she didn’t disrupt the healing process.

It took about 2 months for Michelle’s gums to fully heal, but when they did, she couldn’t have been more thrilled! The change totally transformed the way she felt when she smiled. Her teeth appeared longer and gave her smile a much more symmetrical look.

And on her wedding day, Michelle’s family, friends, and new husband could not stop talking about how beautiful she looked!

Something to Smile About

We’re honored that we were able to help Michelle feel more confident on her wedding day. That’s a huge reason why we do what we do—we want to make sure that all of our Manhattan patients feel good about themselves. If you’re like Michelle and are looking for a way to upgrade your smile, give us a call. We’re eager to work with you and get you smiling brightly once more!


*name changed

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