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FAQs -> gums

question (id # 2038)

A couple of years ago, I finally got around to visiting an NHS dentist, after not going regularly for several years.

I'd had extensive crown work some 20 years previously on the NHS back in the early 90's. (My dentist was at pains to point out that I'd had over 60,000 worth of work done at then current private prices, just to make me feel 'small' about it...)

Over the years, most of the crowns had one by one come away or broken off at the gumline due to decay as my gums gradually receded. (I'm now in my mid-50s.) Having become very self-conscious about opening my mouth at all, I decided to bite thew bullet, and get them seen to.

I had several badly decayed lower molars removed initially, then got made redundant. This meant finances were at a premium suddenly, and further treatment had to be put on the back burner.

Lat year, I managed to scrape together enough money to go and see about having the remaining decayed teeth extracted, and dentures fitted. To my horror, the Polish lady dentist didn't extract the remainder of my teeth, but instead ground them back to the gum-line AND THEN FITTED THE NEW DENTURES OVER THE TOP OF THEM!

I'm no'expert', but surely this is malpractice? These 'stumps' will continue to rot away, and then I can see endless problems arising.

What are your views on this.....and do I have a legal case here?

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question (id # 1871)

I have suffered from gum disease for a number of years and it has gone untreated. My dentist has referred me to a specialist periodontist in a hospital and as waiting on my appointment I have noticed the problem has got worse. I'm wondering what my best option would be, could I have all my teeth removed and dentures fitted or could i have a gingival mask fitted as the condition of smile now has deteriorated so much that I'm embarrassed every time I have to open my mouth in public.

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question (id # 1866)

I have recently had my wisdom teeth removed. This went well however when I went in for my followup, the xray showed a little sliver of metal in one of my sockets. My surgeon said this is nothing to worry about and that my gums will grow over it. He mentioned that it could have come from the device to remove saliva or perhaps a chip of filling. Is this something to be concerned about or will this just become part of my body.

question (id # 1861)

Hi. I have just yesterday had 2 teeth removed from the top. The eye tooth from each side. I now have a full top denture. When the dentist tried the plate it fitted ok, but when I came home and tried myself, the new dentures wont fit because of a swelling on the gums where the extracted teeth used to be. I'm wondering if it's an abscess? It is quite sore when I touch it.

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question (id # 1774)

Hi, I've just had a front crown removed including the root as the root was fractured. I also have a dental plate with the two side teeth on, so the dentist added a front tooth on to my exsisting plate.\r\nMy question is, is it best to keep the plate in at night time, as I\'ve noticed the gum is starting to settle away from the new front tooth, which is now exposing more of the tooth and is concerned this will get worse?\r\nI hope that makes sense to you, any advise would be much appreciated.

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question (id # 1725)

visited my dentist today after a filing fell out, He mended the filing but told me he was referring me to the hospital as i had lines on my gums which was not normal. he told me not to worry, obviously i am worrying, any idea why he felt the need to refer to hosptial and what could this be ??

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question (id # 1698)

I recently had a really bad toothache about 2 months ago and went to see the Dentist and Hygienist. I had red sore gums. My dentist and hygienist said I should be flossing once a day, using fluoride based toothpaste and a daily mouthwash.
I know I have gum disease because in the past my gums would bleed when I flossed. I have changed my oral hygiene and now floss everytime I eat, rinse my mouth with water after meals. I have also changed my diet, I no longer eat fruits throughout the day just after meals and limit acidic fruits. I'm a little worried about the bacteria in my mouth, I don't brush my teeth after eating. Should I be brushing my teeth after I eat, waiting 1 hour after meals? Other than brushing my teeth twice a day and flossing after eating what else can be done to control the bacteria growth on a regular basis to prevent infections?
I don't want to lose my teeth, both of my parents are in their 60's and have teeth missing.
Everyone's opinion is welcomed! Sui

question (id # 1695)

My gums have started to recede, how can I reverse this?!
I've been Using parodontax everytime I brush which is at least 3times a day, I got my teeth scaled & cleaned about a month & half ago & my dentist told me I have good oral hygiene. After every smoke I have a rinse my mouth with water, sometimes Salt water or mouth wash & sometimes brush my teeth.
Is there something I can do for them?
Please look at picture !

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question (id # 1658)

3 years ago my filling fell out, I have had no cash and it did not hurt so i left it. Yesterday the tooth itself fell out. I think its just rotted away. However, there is no root showing? its seems like gum over the root ? when i touch it then smell my finger it stinks. am I ok leaving this ? Im brushing with anti bacterial toothpaste and using a mouth wash.

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question (id # 1640)


I am 44 years old and until Feb 2012 still had two baby teeth. One became very wobbly so my dentist took both out and had a denture made ready for me to wear straight away. He then referred me to hospital in order for the two impacted canines that never errupted to be removed from my gum, in order for bridging or implants to be done.

I had the surgery last Wednesday 30.05.12. The surgeon informed me that they had to remove more bone than anticipated on the right side of my mouth. Which I understand could mean an implant was not feasible without taking bone from my hip or chin. My main concern is that part of my gum on my second tooth (3/3 teeth were removed) is missing revealing part of the root and asthetically it looks wrong. Can this be rectified? Also when i went to put the denture back in yesterday for the first time, it doesn't fit as soon as I talk it falls out!

I am due to have my follow up appt on 25.06.2012. Should I request a sooner follow up in light of the gum issue?

Any advise would be appreciated, on the whole issue including whether to go for bridging or implants.

Many Thanks


question (id # 1631)

My new nhs dentist referred me to the hospital as she felt my gums needed specialist help. The specialist refused to treat me and just diagnosed. He said I need root planing, upper and lower partial dentures. Re align 11 and carry out splinting. New crowns from 14 to 23. The nhs dentist said this is outside her remit and I have been referred to a private dentist. I am seeing someone this week. Any advice you can give would be really gratefully received.

I have been going to various dentists as I just knew my gums and teeth we're not right and this latest dentist picked up on it straight away, but now I am left with it his problem.
Please advise me. Many thanks

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question (id # 1480)

Hi, for a few years now the gum line on my bottom lower front tooth and the one next to it has been quite red with a distinct white line next to the redness on the actual tooth. Over the last month though the bottom of the tooth appears to be turning greyish-black. It is quite tender and bleeds a little bit when brushing. I have a dentist phobia and havent been since I was a child but do have good dental hygiene and have had no other major problems with my teeth. I know I am gonna probably have to find the courage to go to the dentist but am so scared of them saying they have to be pulled out.

question (id # 1412)

The gum between my two front teeth at the bottom has receded right back and is sore.  You can see some of the root.  Am I going to lose these teeth and if so can I have screw ins?..please help x

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question (id # 1336)

I live in Hertfordshire. I am trying to find someone who will make me a gingival mask. At the moment I have an acrylic one which is good but badly needs changing. I have just had one made and it was awful. Where can I find someone near or in London who is an expert in this sort of thing. I need something really good. Any suggestions or recommendations would be much appreciated. It is for the front of my mouth for my top teeth.

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question (id # 1324)

I'd like your panel of dentists' opinion on flexible dentures. My current dentist wants to use them to cover two missing right upper molars, and she tells me they don't need ugly clasps. My previous dentist disapproved of them and said they'd go brittle with time. Which of them is right?

Many thanks.

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question (id # 1205)

My dentist has told me I have some gum pocketing at the back which is level 3 and requires injections for deep cleaning and an applied antibiotic. My friend has been told by her dentist that she has level 3 pocketing but thorough cleaning flossing and regular hygenist trips will deal with it perfectly adequately! Surely both lots of advice can't be right? My dentist is new and replaced my other dentist who retired. I have always been seen regularly.

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question (id # 1075)

18 months ago a thin, flat piece of plastic food wrapper got stuck between my gum and front tooth where it has driven me mad ever since.  My gum is seriously receding and I have been told by two dentists that they can't see anything there.  I can feel it and the area is inflamed.  I  have asked if my gum can be peeled back so it can be removed but am treated as if I'm mad. what can I do?

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question (id # 1020)

I have one tooth that looks longer and some of the gum tissue is gone. I don't like smiling because of the way it looks. Is there something that can be done?

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question (id # 685)

How can you stop deterioration of the gums and loosening of teeth despite cleaning appropriately and using Corsodyl, as recommended by my dentist? Is it simply a case that this deterioration is a sympton of getting older? Are there better mouthwashes than Corsodyl? Are there better gels than Gengigel?

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question (id # 486)

I had a bridge.  I have since had discomfort. I cannot eat on that side (only really soft things).  No real pain by itself, just tender when I try to chew.  Also, when I use the super floss, the area bleeds quite a bit every time.I've been back to the dentist who checked the bite and wore it down a bit. But nothing has changed. Any ideas what may be happening?  It's been 6 months now?

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question (id # 480)

I have lost a lot of gum and I have a high smile line.  Every crown I have looks like a horse's tooth and I am embarrassed to smile.  What can I do?

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question (id # 478)

I have slight redness in my gums and they look a little swollen.  Will this just go away like a cold or should I see my dentist?

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question (id # 476)

My gums show a lot when I smile. Can this be fixed?

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The following questions were not orginally posted in this category, but may be related:

question (id # 1363)

I am 20 years old and have been suffering with gum recession for about three years if I remember correctly. The recession is very slow but recently it has really started to worry me, I fear that I might have gum disease but my dentist has not picked up on it. I have started to develop size-able pockets between my teeth and gum line on both my upper and lower front teeth, especially my lower canines. If my gums recede any further in some places I am sure that it will cause large areas of root to become exposed and maybe even cause my teeth to become loose.

My teeth are fine and I have never had any problems with them, no filings or staining etc. I can't understand why this is happening at my age but I have my theories. My siblings all suffer gum recession to varying degrees but I do not think my problem is genetic. If it is genetic, does that mean there is nothing I can do about my recession? I am sure that my dentist is to blame; he has always recommended using a firm toothbrush and vigorously brushing up and down even if the gums bleed, eight times on both sides of the mouth! He says to me don't worry about the bleeding thats just where food has become trapped underneath the gum line. My uncle who was a dentist in the RAF for over 30 years tells me that he thinks my dentist is mad, and I should always use a soft toothbrush and be careful around my gum line to avoid irritation and recession. I am not convinced that my dentist does an adequate cleaning job of my plaque on my annual visit.

Common sense told me that what my dentist is saying isn't logical so I have followed my uncle's advice ever since I noticed my gums first receding. Unfortunately whatever I do my gums seem to recede and I have started feeling an unpleasant burning sensation on the gums where they have receded, the gum line has also become red and sore. I don't know what to do, I have to brush my teeth but I am afraid that I will cause my gums to recede by brushing in the first place even though I use a soft flexible toothbrush. I also use corsodyl and carefully floss frequently. I have no confidence in my home dentist and seeing as I am at university now I don't know who to go to for advice and any possible diagnoses and treatment.

I have pondered whether I might have gum disease for some time but always thought how this can be when I have always maintained a strict oral hygiene regime. I have asked my friends about their oral hygiene regimes and I get the impression mine should really be doing a better job yet they have no gum recession, what do you think could be my problem and how should I go forward from here?



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question (id # 1328)

I started on restorative work as lots of bridge work over the years has resulted in back teeth getting shorter and shorter. As a consequence, and with years of clenching and grinding, the bottom front 7 teeth are half their original height. I now feel them loose and a periodontist has said they are at stage II. They are literally popping out of their roots and feel very uncomfortable.

I have moved from the town where a dentist has already put a full mouth bridge on the top and some root canals on back lower teeth which have a temporary bridge on each side. I was horrified to see the periodontist comment that I have bifurcations needing cleaning out, UNDER the bridge, AND that there was a dark shadow or "halo" around the root of a front upper tooth. I was to have had full mouth bridges upper and lower, but I am going to lose at least four lower front teeth. Can I still have a lower full mouth bridge without these teeth?

The object of my wanting full mouth bridges was to correct an ever worsening bite; my back teeth don't meet at all until the front lower ones are jammed almost against the roof of my mouth. I have had a second and third opinion, but clearly these were not specialists; some do not even do their own root canals, just do consultations and make their living that way! Very anxious now. Have spent a lot of money so far.

Thanks for any word of encouragement. I would not want implants - would even prefer a plate (or plates as it now looks)! If you can recommend a dentist in either of these areas (BN8 and OX17) I would be very grateful.

Janina (Sussex and Oxon)

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question (id # 1447)

I think my dentist hit the nerve when placing an injection in the far back socket of my right lower jaw. It was excruciatingly painful and I levitated off the chair - and the actual anaesthetic did not take effect despite him then putting in a 2ND injection in a similar spot a while later which also hurt. I was not able to have the filling in the tooth as I could still feel the drill, my lips was not numb like it usually is and by then I was pretty scared. Afterwards I felt like I had been punched in the jaw and it really ached. Nearly 2 weeks later my jaw feels stiff and bruised and hard to open very wide, plus I feel like I have earache too. I have to get this filling done and I am now terrified of it happening again. What can I do? I have had injections many times and this has not happened before. Is there any way i can get it done another way? What should I say to the dentist if I go back?

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question (id # 1448)

Hello there, I have recently been told by the dentist that my teeth are slightly loose due to them 'shifting,' it wasn't really explained to me properly.

My teeth are very uncomfortable at the front and I have one particular tooth forcing its way out of line. I was just wondering if the teeth will settle down and stop moving or have I got to put up wIth this forever now?

I would be grateful for some advice on this please.




Follow up to all From Samantha Denney

 I have been told that I don't have any gum disease and I have had a couple x-rays. All that I have been told is that my gums and teeth are healthy, except they are 'shifting'. Thank u for your advice. x


On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM,

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question (id # 1461)

I had a crown fitted yesterday. It was a porcelain fused to gold crown. At the inner gumline I can see a thin dark line which looks like metal from the crown. It is only visable on the inner gum not all the way round the crown. Is this expected with a metal/porcelain crown? I am a bit disappointed as I did not expect to be able to see the metal.

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question (id # 1488)

I have really bad gum recession on my lower gum line. One tooth's gum has completely gone and the root is exposed, the other is starting to recede. Its really affecting my confidence, and I'm really conscious about it. Ive tried to change my way of speaking in order to conceal it, Ive upped my person oral hygiene by brushing my teeth gently three times a day and using mouth wash regularly, but it still continues to recede. I want to know am i entitled to get a gum graft on the NHS to help with the appearance of them. I work part time, live in wales and am 23 years of age. I would like to go back to college and study but I'm too conscious to go back due to my gums. Its not something i can just get on with, its really visible when i speak. Can you please give me an idea how much would NHS charge and how much would a private clinic charge?

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question (id # 1535)

Could someone help me,please?I just signed a contract with my dentist for a smile make over which will cost me a fortune.we started with the upper teeth and needed 8 crowns.(i had 6 before which needed replaced anyway).the treatment was done,and crowns placed.the dr said he s going to make the crowns a bit larger so i can show some teeth when i talk/smile.the crowns came,colour ok.there was some problems with the size so he sent 4 back and cemented 4.the ones he cemented have a space between the gums and the crown ,i even can stick my nail in between!initially,when he replaced the 6 crowns i already had,he commented the crowns were very bad made and a distance came up in time (7 years though)between the gum and crown.in the beginning he also said i might need gum surgery but it will be included in the price of the contract.afterwards e decides i don t need it.and now some white lines appeared on 2 crownsand i m thinking maybe bcs they are larger they don t absorb the pressure well ...i don t know what to do.they costs me a lot and i wouldn t want to end up with the same problem i went with it,i don t think there should be a space between the gum and the crown.what are my options?would the dentist agree to change them ?do i need to cancel the contract and look for another dentist?please advice

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