Cavities form because of acid produced by bacteria or by acids in foods, such as the ascorbic acid in soft drinks. But one area of teeth that can be especially susceptible to cavities is the area along the gumline. If you miss the plaque along the gumline when you brush, eventually a cavity will form.
You should seek treatment for all dental cavities quickly. But gumline cavities are especially urgent. Gumline cavities can lead to the following oral issues if not treated quickly.
1. Severe Pain
Small cavities on the surfaces of teeth generally won't begin to hurt until the cavity has penetrated to the inner part of the tooth. This is because the cavity begins to affect the nerve. And it can take quite a long time for a cavity to grow large enough to cause you pain. But gumline cavities grow faster than cavities elsewhere on a tooth.
The roots of teeth, which are just below the gumline, don't have a protective layer of enamel. Only a thin layer of cementum covers the roots of teeth. As such, if a gumline cavity extends to the root of a tooth, it will quickly damage the root and cause you severe pain.
2. Gum Recession
Gum line cavities are also a risk because they allow oral bacteria to penetrate the underlying layers of your gum tissue. Once infected, the gum tissue will then begin to recede and pull away from the tooth. Without its protective layer of gum tissue, your tooth's root will be at the mercy of the oral bacteria causing the gumline cavity.
Even if a dentist treats the cavity in future, you may still need gum surgery to reposition the gum tissue over the repaired tooth root.
3. Tooth Loss
The most pressing reason to repair a gumline cavity quickly is tooth loss. When a cavity extends below the gumline, it begins to affect the periodontal ligaments and even the bone holding the tooth in place. The tooth could then loosen in its socket and eventually fall out.
Gum line cavities are also difficult to reach when they extend below the gumline. Dentists usually have to make an incision in the gum tissue in order to reach and repair the cavity. But if the cavity has destroyed too much of the tooth's root, extraction might be the best option as without a stable root, the tooth may fall out later anyway.
If you have a gumline cavity, see a dentist as soon as possible to avoid the aforementioned problems.