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If teeth become cracked under the gum line, then your dentist may recommend a crown lengthening procedure. The crown is the visible part of the tooth above the gums. Crown lengthening reshapes gum tissue to expose more tooth structure. It allows a restoration to cover damaged parts of a tooth, it can improve gum health, and it can make teeth appear taller if they are covered with too much gum tissue.

Crown lengthening is a minor periodontal surgery where your dentist will:

  • Inject a local anesthetic to numb the area
  • Make incisions to the gums to pull them away so the dentist can work on both the tooth and gum tissue
  • Suture the gum tissue together
  • Clean the area with salt water and apply a dressing

If you need a crown for your tooth, you will wear a temporary one until your gums heal enough for the permanent restoration. You may experience some bleeding and sensitivity after the surgery. Any pain your feel can be remedied with pain killers.

After a crown lengthening procedure, it is important to care for your oral health by following the aftercare instructions your dentist gives you. These instructions may include:

  • Eating a soft diet
  • Rinsing your mouth with a prescription mouthwash
  • Keeping good oral hygiene practices (being careful around the gum area)

If you experience problems such as infection, severe pain, or excess swelling and bleeding, then contact your dentist immediately for treatment.