When I was a teenager, small surface holes developed on my teeth. My dentist at the time applied bonding on ten teeth to hide the tiny holes. Over the years as the bonding got old, the dentist recommended a combination of crowns and veneers. I have veneers on my upper front teeth and crowns on the four teeth on either side. Since 2018, I’ve had problems with swollen gums. Now I have a new dentist who prescribed an antibacterial liquid. My gums are inflamed around my upper and lower dental work, but the upper teeth are worse. I should add that my gums around my natural teeth are not inflamed.
Also, I’ve had the crowns and veneers for so long. Why is this happening now? My dentist says she can trim my gums to see if it calms the inflammation. I declined that treatment because it seems like a guess about resolving the issue. She says we can try it on a few teeth, and if it works, she can do the rest. I want to know what is causing the inflammation. My gums are red and sometimes hurt. Since I am not your patient, I know that you can’t say for sure, but what could be causing this issue? I am afraid I have an infection that will spread throughout my mouth and cause tooth loss. I have always dreaded the thought of needing dentures! Thank you for your opinion. Will from Michigan
Thank you for contacting us. You are correct. Dr. Finley or Dr. Henderson would need to examine your crowns, veneers, and gums to determine the cause of inflammation.
What Causes Gum Inflammation Around Dental Crowns?
When you have gum inflammation around your dental crowns, the cause depends on how soon you react to the crowns:
- Excess cement – When the dentist bonded the crowns to your teeth, they may have failed to clean cement around the crowns.
- Crown fit – Poor-fitting crowns can irritate your gums
- Crown position – If your crowns sit too deep beneath your gumline, it will cause irritation, inflammation, and infection.
- Allergic reaction – If your crowns have a cheap metal foundation that contains nickel or another base metal, you can have an immediate or delayed reaction. But if you are experiencing the same problem with porcelain veneers, an allergic reaction is unlikely.
- Gum disease – If your teeth are inflamed by gum disease, sometimes your overall health makes the condition worse. Unfortunately, many dentists are not attentive to your gum health.
Get a Second Opinion from a Gum Specialist
Your dentist has almost admitted that she does not understand the cause of your gum inflammation. Yet, she recommends trimming your gums. We advise you not to allow your dentist to trim your gums. A periodontist is a gum specialist who can determine the cause of your gum disease, whether a health condition is affecting it, and recommend treatment.
There is no reason that the situation would lead to extractions and dentures. Ask your dentist to refer you to a specialist or self-refer.
David Finley, DDS, a Monroe, Louisiana cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post. Dr. Finely is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry.