gum line

Gum Line Cavity Explained

July 19, 2022

Did you know that not all cavities are the same and that some of them are easier to get than others? This is because plaque can build up easier in certain areas on our teeth and in your mouth. Because cavities have the ability to form in various places around our teeth, gum line cavities are able to form.

While you may never have had a gum line cavity, knowing what to look for and what to avoid will help you keep your smile happy and healthy. This article will go over symptoms, cavity prevention and when it’s time to see your dentist when it comes to having a gum line cavity.

What is a Gum Line Cavity and How Does it Develop?

Gum line cavities are cavities that form on the side of the tooth, right where the gums meet the tooth. A gum line cavity is not a specific type of cavity, as it can be classified as a smooth surface cavity (cavities that form on the flat, exterior surfaces of teeth) or root cavity (tooth decay on the root surface of teeth). Gum line cavities form when plaque and bacteria build up on a tooth in your mouth, just like other cavities. Areas along the gum line are where this bacteria build up thrives because of how much food and plaque can get stuck there. This gives the perfect environment for cavities to form. The acid from the bacteria will eventually eat a hole through the cementum (covering your gums) and then the tooth enamel.

Causes of Gum Line Cavities

Dental plaque is one of the biggest reasons someone may get a gum line cavity. This sticky layer of plaque then breaks down the hard enamel layer of your teeth. If left alone, plaque will eventually turn into tartar, which is a yellowish layer that forms along the teeth and gum line.

The biggest risk factor for getting gum line cavities is gum recession. When gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, which can expose the root of the tooth leading to tooth sensitivity and decay. Gum line cavities become more prevalent as you age because your gums start to recede as you get older, so it’s easier for the cavities to get into your gum line, especially if you are not brushing and flossing as directed by your dentist.

Gum Line Cavity Symptoms

Most cavities start small and so it may not be noticed until it develops further if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some of the signs you may have a gum line cavity:

  • A toothache. This is one of the most common signs that a cavity is developing
  • Teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures
  • Teeth are sensitive to sugary treats
  • White spots or stains on your teeth
  • Holes or pits in your teeth. If you notice a pit or hole in your tooth, contact your dentist immediately


To treat a gum line cavity, you will need to get the cavity filled which is the same process to treating other cavities as well. The dentist will remove the decay and then fill in the hole with composite resin or another similar material. If the gum line cavity is a root cavity, then you may need to have minor gum surgery to treat the cavity property. The best way to avoid these procedures is to practice good oral hygiene.

Preventative Care

Here’s what you can do to keep yourself free of gum line cavities:

  • Brush twice a day to keep tartar and plaque off of your gums and teeth
  • Floss at least once a day to help get food out of the areas your toothbrush can’t reach
  • See your dentist every six months or if you are having any pain/sensitivity that won’t go away or is getting worse
  • Fluoride mouthwash to help rinse away any bacteria or plaque build-up

Your Smile is in Good Hands with Carrie Muzny DDS

No one likes to think about tooth decay, but with regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong. Don’t wait until you have a toothache or sensitive teeth to visit your dentist.

Carrie Muzny DDS has been giving exceptional treatment to patients in the Woodlands, Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, and the Conroe/Montgomery area for years. Using our abundant knowledge and experience in painless procedures, robust teamwork, and cutting-edge dental technology, we deliver exceptional dental care and customer service so you can feel confident and comfortable walking into their office every six months. 
To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!

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