It hurts when you drink cold or hot drinks. The sensitivity is horrible. “Oh, shoot!” you think as you suspect you have a dreaded cavity—time to find a dentist that does tooth fillings in Weber County.
Did you know you can get cavities in the gumline? Cavities can form anywhere on the teeth. Cavities form when bacteria produce acids on the surface of your teeth. If the acids stay there, they dissolve the hard minerals within the tooth and cause a cavity. You can get different types of cavities based on where they form. Today, we will discuss gum line cavities and how to treat them.
What is it?
You guessed it, a gum line cavity forms in the area between the teeth and gums. A gum line cavity can refer to two different categories of cavities: smooth surface cavities or root cavities. It depends on what area the gumline cavity affects. If they impact the smooth surface of the tooth’s crown, they will fall into the smooth surface cavity category. But if the cavity forms on the root of your tooth, it would classify as a root cavity.
The Cause of Gum Line Cavities
All cavities form from bacteria, sugar, and plaque. Those sour patch kids you eat produce acid that aggressively attacks your teeth. This gradually damages the enamel and spreads to the dentin and pulp of your tooth.
Plaque can also be a significant culprit in gum line cavities. Although the preventative measures are the same for any cavity, some people, especially adults, are prone to gum line cavities. Susceptibility to gum line cavities usually has to do with receding gums.
Gum recession is common among adults and occurs when the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls away from the teeth and exposes the root. This causes sensitivity and decay. Yikes!
Using restorative procedures, your Utah dentist will treat a gum line cavity just like any other cavity. The type of restorative procedure will depend on the location of the pesky cavity. Your dentist will likely use composite fillings for small- or medium-smooth surface cavities. They’ll use a composite filling to restore your smile if your gum line cavity does not involve the root of your tooth.
If your cavity is below the gum line, things get more complex. It first depends on the severity of the cavity. A cavity on the root may require gum surgery or a root canal. This is often the case if the gum line cavity extends below the gum tissue. Your dentist will thoroughly assess before discussing a treatment option with you.
How to Prevent Gum Line Cavities
Gum line cavities can stem from:
- Poor oral hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is just asking for cavities. Brush twice daily, floss daily, and see your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. In addition, try to keep sugary foods and drinks in moderation, and don’t leave sugar on your teeth for too long. Become a mouth rinser after treats. Poor oral hygiene not only leads to cavities but also bad breath and gum disease and can increase the risk for stroke and heart disease if the bacteria from your mouth enters the bloodstream.
- Dry mouth
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition that affects your mouth’s ability to produce enough saliva. This leads to excessive dryness in the mouth, leading to other problems such as tooth decay and gum disease because of insufficient protective saliva. Dry mouth may result from medications, lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking, or medical conditions.
Oh, how fun it is to age and face more health issues. Not only do our joints weaken as we age, but our risk for gum line cavities also increases. Isn’t getting old great? Our saliva production naturally lessens as we age; it’s just part of the cycle of life. In addition, older adults may become lax or have difficulty keeping up with their dental habits if they have physical limitations.
Genetics plays a huge role in your susceptibility to cavities. You can be the most avid brusher and flosser in the world but still get cavities because of your genes. Thanks, Grandma Sharon! The most considerable preventative measure is the simple daily brushing and flossing that we all know. The second most significant defense against cavities is those dental cleanings every six months. You will pay the price for lousy hygiene, and anyone with a root canal will tell you it was not worth it. If you keep up with your dental health, it’s very easy to sustain a healthy mouth. Cavities can still occur due to genetics, aging, and dry mouth, but if you’re scheduling those bi-annual cleanings, your dentist can fill them in before they get to the root canal level of severity.
Cavities are the most commonly treated dental issue in the U.S., with 90% of adults aged 20 and up having had at least one cavity in their life. Gum line cavities are no fun, so do what you can to avoid them.