Excessive gingival display upon smile is usually considered esthetically displeasing. Based on the etiology, this condition can be treated with orthodontics alone or with an interdisciplinary approach including other dental specialists. This article focuses on periodontal methods that can be used to improve the "gingival smile" when it is caused by altered passive eruption and vertical maxillary excess. The anatomy of the normal periodontium, the concept of the biologic width, the etiologies, and diagnoses of excessive gingival display are discussed and surgical techniques are described. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.