Is A Gum Line Cavity Different From A Regular One?

February 29, 2024

Have you been diagnosed with a cavity on your gum line? Do not worry; there are various treatments available. Both standard and gum line cavities are different, we will address why they grow and ways you can manage them.

Cavity Growth on Gum Line

It is a type of cavity that shows up between your teeth and gums. You can blame acid-producing bacteria that erode the surface of teeth, dissolving the hard enamel for this. A gum line cavity can be a smooth surface or in the root, depending on where it forms. Smooth surface cavities are found on the tooth crown, while roots are just like its name says.


Gum line cavities, just like their counterparts, form due to the same factors that contribute to other types of cavities:

  • Bacteria
  • Sugar
  • Excess plaque

When bacteria in your mouth use sugars from foods, they release acid that demineralizes the enamel, forming a hole in the tooth. If you do not brush after taking meals, plaque, a sticky film, forms on teeth that contribute greatly to gum line cavities because it traps bacteria, making it easier for acid to attack. Additionally, if one suffers from gum recession, the roots are exposed, increasing the vulnerability to decay.

Gum line cavities can be divided into two categories:

  • Smooth surface cavities – form on the smooth surfaces of teeth near the gum line.
  • Root cavities – develop on the roots of teeth below the gum line.

Proper oral hygiene, less sugar consumption, and regular dental visits can be good moves to prevent this.

How are Gum Line Cavities Treated?

The type of treatment depends on the area they emerge from.

  1. Above your Gumline
    If the cavity is present over your gum line, it means the damage is not too extensive yet, and a filling is sufficient for tooth restoration. Your dentist will start by removing the decayed portion of the tooth and then filling it with a material like composite resin or dental amalgam.
    Composite resin is tooth-colored and popular for its natural aesthetic appeal, whereas dental amalgam is silver-colored, more durable, and long-lasting. However, it is not that much used due to its characteristic appearance.
  2. Cavity below Your Gum Line
    Invasive treatment is required for this kind, like a root canal. During this procedure, your dentist will take out the infected pulp from the tooth and fill the empty space with a filler material. You must note that in some cases, even a combination of treatments may be necessary to manage the cavity effectively and prevent further damage.

Closing Note

Gum line cavities are located near or beneath the gums. They are more common than you think and, if let as it is, can be extremely harmful. If you have more questions in mind, schedule an appointment at Smile Designs Dentistry with Dr. Sanjay Kumar Vanjarapu, DDS, extensively trained by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), on ways we can be of help. Contact us at any of the following locations:



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