Gum Receding Around Crown | Causes, Solutions

Gum receding around crown

Problem: “I have gum receding around a crown. The tooth root feels sensitive when heat or cold comes in contact with it, and the crown itself looks unhealthy. 

Solution: “Your problem is more common than you might think, and treatment is possible. You need to find a dentist who can perform a gum graft to promote tissue re-growth around the crown.”

If you want to learn how to correct the receding gum tissue around your crown, you’re in the right place. By reading this article to the end, you’ll find out:

  • Why gums recede at the base of a crown
  • How a gum graft procedure can cover exposed roots
  • Where gum grafts come from
  • Whether your crown needs to be replaced
  • How to find a great dentist for gum restoration

What causes gum receding around a crown?

Gum problems

The average American doesn’t usually think about gum tissue, but it’s a very important part of the oral system. Gums protect teeth roots, which aren’t coated with dental enamel. Gums also help support teeth to keep them stable in the jaw.

When healthy gum tissue begins to recede from the base of a tooth or a dental crown, the tooth begins to look longer. The exposed roots might develop sensitivity. Gums recede for a number of reasons, but the most common is poor oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste helps keep teeth and gums healthy. Add antibacterial mouth wash and a tongue scraper to your routine for an extra boost. You should also visit the dentist twice a year for a comprehensive dental checkup and cleaning. Plaque and food debris left on and between teeth promote bad bacteria growth in the oral cavity. If it’s not cleaned off, plaque hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed by mere brushing. If you neglect daily oral hygiene, you’re a sure target for gum disease. 

Brushing too hard, for too long, or too often, can also cause gum recession. Using a hard bristled toothbrush can damage gums, as well. And while not everyone experiences it, gum recession is more common with age.

Hormone changes, medications, and dry mouth increase the risk of getting gum disease. Because the disease is chronic, there is no cure. 

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, afflicts many. What begins with a little plaque build up and irritated gums can quickly turn into a bacterial infection called gingivitis. Gum recession doesn’t have to be corrected as long as gum disease is treated. However, you may want to seek treatment if you:

  • aren’t happy with how your teeth look with receding gums
  • develop a cavity at or just below the gum line
  • experience tooth sensitivity on exposed tooth roots

Grinding or bite problems

When the teeth don’t match well with bite problems, chewing is more abusive. Any type of abuse to the teeth will cause damage to the bone. Teeth grinding is a common cause of bone loss. Even long term normal wear and tear will cause bone loss and gum recession. Crowns that are not shaped like normal teeth take more biting abuse. It is common to see the gums receding around a crown more than around natural teeth.

Crown fit problems

It is true that your can limit or stop gum recession with good oral hygiene. When a crown does not fit properly, it can make it difficult to clean it thoroughly. Chronically failing to clean your restoration will allow gum disease to start around it. Gum recession occurs with the subsequent bone loss.

gum recession

Gums can recede from around crowns or natural teeth. Often a graft can stop the recession process.

Stops gums from receding around a crown with a gum graft

What is it?

A gum graft, also called a gingival graft, is a surgical procedure that places healthy gum tissue over an area where tissue has died or receded. The graft is usually sutured into place to allow time for healing. You won’t need a hospital stay for this oral surgery. Gum grafting takes place in a dentist’s office, in most cases. 

How does it work?

Doctors can add healthy gum tissue over the exposed teeth roots where the gums have receded. This gum grafting helps new tissue regeneration.

Where do tissue grafts come from?

Gum grafts are usually taken from the roof of the patient’s mouth, though they can be purchased from a tissue bank. If there is enough healthy gum tissue near where the gum needs to be improved, a lateral graft may be possible. With this treatment, one side of the thick, healthy gum tissue is cut, then the skin is stretched over the area needing reinforcement. 

What’s recovery like?

If your graft was taken from the roof of your mouth, two sites will need to recover: the roof of your mouth and the grafted area. The dentist may give you a stint to wear over the roof of your mouth to protect it as it heals.

The dentist will give you a prescription for antibiotics. When filling the prescription, pick up some Tylenol (acetaminophen) and gauze pads. If you were given special mouthwash, continue to use it following surgery.

You’ll need to keep an ice pack handy. Putting the ice pack over a cloth on the exterior of your face, over the surgical site, will help reduce swelling and discomfort. Plan to eat a liquid diet for a few days and take time to rest.

Don’t give up your oral hygiene routine during recovery. Brush your teeth, but avoid the grafted area. As your mouth feels better, you can gently re-introduce brushing and flossing as normal.

If the gum is receding around a crown, does the crown have to be replaced?

Not unless the crown has become damaged, unsealed from the tooth it protects, or the patient wants a restoration with better esthetics. Dental crowns can last for decades, depending on the material they’re made of. Zirconium crowns have an indefinite lifespan, while porcelain crowns and porcelain fused to metal crowns generally last 5 to 15 years. All metal or precious metal crowns may last for a lifetime.