Do you have a cavity on the front tooth gum line? If so, watch out! These sorts of cavities can quickly erode your tooth and should be dealt with quickly. Tooth decay at the gum line is nothing to mess around with and we'll be discussing in detail what you and your dentist can do to deal with this issue. Are you ready? Let's discuss gum line cavity issues and how to obtain a gum line cavity filling.
So, I can just get a filling?
Yes, you can, but it can be a little more complicated than that due to the nature of gum line cavities. In order to be thorough, we're going to go into the causes of these cavities, prevention, and then we will get into remediation.
Causes of gum line cavities
One cause of gum line cavities is exposed roots. While the upper portions of your teeth have a protective enamel, the roots of your teeth are composed of a material called cementum. Cementum is strong but not as resistant to decay as upper tooth enamel. This means that once the gums are no longer protecting it, your roots may go from mild plaque to gum line cavity very quickly. Worse, this can spread quite easily.
The other main cause for gum line cavities is simply your old standard, plaque buildup. As plaque builds up you can develop lots of bacteria which, in turn, begin producing acids that eat at your teeth until a cavity is formed. Other inconvenient cavities may develop, such as on the back of the teeth or in between the teeth, so you must remain vigilant to keep this at bay. Regular dental visits are a must.
How to prevent gum line cavities
As B. Franklin once said, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.'. This is
just as true today as it was in his time. Once these type of cavities get a hold of your teeth then they can spread like wildfire. So what can you do to prevent the unfortunate outcome of a tooth rotting at the gum line? Here are a few tips that should add up to AT LEAST an ounce of prevention:
- Use proper brushing technique - When brushing, you want to always use a 45 degree angle in order to maximize the cleaning for your brushing session. A good rule as well is to time yourself, brushing for 2 minute sessions. This lets you divide your cleaning into 4 sections, 2 on the upper set of teeth(left anf right) and the same on your lower teeth.
- Brush twice a day - Once you've mastered your technique, don't let it fester. Brushing at least twice a day will keep that plaque at bay(although you can carry a brush with you and clean after lunch as well if you really want to be thorough.). Twice a day, without fail, is the best way to go.
- Floss, floss, and floss again - Well, you just brushed your teeth, but we aren't done yet. Time to break out that minty, useful dental floss. Flossing daily will help get food and that yucky plaque out of those hard to brush spaces between your teeth. Pro tip: If you oop the floss around each individual tooth, you can also gently floss underneath the gumline for an extra thorough clean.
- Consider an electric toothbrush - Electric toothbrushes have a lot of good things going for them. Numerous heads mean a more thorough cleaning. Some come with apps to track and improve your cleaning sessions. Subscription services can make sure you get new, clean brush heads monthly. Consider adding one to your dental arsenal and kiss plaque goodbye!
- Visit your dentist regularly - So, you've got your routine and now you feel that you are a dental ninja? Don't forget to visit your Sensei! The dentist is always going to have a tip or trick for you that you simply did not have access to before. They've also got hardware and expertise to ensure that your smile sparkles, so be sure to visit them at least every 3 months to maximize the brightness of your smile.
What if I already have tooth decay at the gum line?
Already have an ugly hole in a tooth at the gum line? Relax, this can be dealt with. There are a few tried and true methods that your dentist can employ to manage and correct this issue. If it is under the gum line, for instance, and has formed an abscess then antibiotics are in order first. Following this, the most common treatment methods include:
- Root canal - In extreme cases of decay a root canal may be the solution. The tooth it excised of decay(along with the pulp) and then the tooth is fitted with our next option.
“A porcelain that mimics the color and look of your natural tooth.”
- Crowns - A crown is a protective covering placed over the remainder of your teeth. Typically a high noble metal(such as gold, palladium, or silver, for instance) is placed over the tooth. Fused to the metal is a porcelain that mimics the color and look of your natural tooth. These can last many years and look great, so this is a great option to consider if the dentist suggests it.
- Fillings - If the cavity is deemed a good candidate for this treatment, a simple solution is a filling(if the gum placement allows for easy access). Typically an alloy of metals called an amalgam, a filling is quite affordable and can last many years as well(although eventually a crown may still be required.)
Throughout this article we have detailed information for the nature, prevention, causes, and the treatment of gum line cavities. Use this information to your advantage to keep them at bay and to keep your smile at its best. Take care of those teeth, for your smile is one of your most valuable assets!