Gum Hanging off the Tooth – Is It a Reason for Surgery?


Teeth, fully covered by gums, are a quite common phenomenon. This situation usually occurs when the crown breaks off completely, but nothing is done, so the tissue grows over it. At first, it doesn’t seem to be a problem, but later it results in inflammation, which can damage adjoining teeth.


  1. gum hanging off one toothabsence of dental treatment of the broken tooth;
  2. a partially erupted wisdom tooth, with gum hanging off the tooth, imposes pressure on the entire dentition. In this case, the risk of malocclusion and other orthodontic problems is high;
  3. the patient’s refusal to pull the root out.

All the things, mentioned above, lead to unpleasant consequences. The destroyed part of the crown and the root remain lying under the gum, which also disturbs the patient very much. The main reason for the tooth stuck in gum is complete neglect of a poor condition of the oral cavity. An unhealthy diet, bad habits, diseases, lack of hygiene make teeth brittle. They can be easily broken at the slightest impact, leaving their roots deep inside, where they get quickly covered with gingival tissue.


  • igum covere piece toothnfection quickly spreads in the place of destruction. It is followed by inflammation of the pulp and rotting of the root from the inside. In the case of purulent pulpitis, urgent extraction of these parts is highly recommended;
  • periodontitis is a common gum disease, when the root steadily loosens, forming an empty space around it, where the infection accumulates. The root gradually recedes from the tooth. Such a problem greatly decreases the chances of preserving the root. If you do not cure periodontitis in time, the inflammation can affect other systems and organs;
  • sometimes a stopped tooth breaks off, and particles of filling remain in its place. They produce a toxic effect on mucosa and gums, triggering a pathological process. Not only is the root of the lost crown inflamed, but also the neighbouring roots and pulps are;
  • a cyst is a product of the inflammation proceeding in the gums and pulp. The destruction extends to the entire tooth, which is no longer held by the root. Decay gradually spreads there and to the nearby area.

Many patients wonder why they didn’t notice a piece of gum hanging over tooth in time. In fact, the process can take only couple of months. Very often, a person does not have time to get to the doctor, when the tooth falls apart (for example, he can be on vacation, even in another country), and he makes an appointment with the root being already covered by the tissue. In this case, the dentist suggests building up a broken crown, placing a false tooth or a dental implant.

What to Do?

If you notice the gum hanging off the tooth, don’t wait till the situation gets worse. Visit a dentist as soon as it’s gum covered toothpossible. You will have your tooth examined, X-rayed and scanned by ultrasound to define necessary treatment. Often broken teeth and their remnants are removed with the gingival tissue previously cut. If the tooth is still vital (which can be seen after slitting up the gum), the dentist installs a pin to fix the crown on it. If the tooth cannot be saved, the root is pulled out. The surgeon cuts the upper part of the tooth with an elevator (a special tool like a thin blade), the root is clenched with special dental forceps and gradually removed. Then the wound is disinfected. Gum dissection surgery is performed quickly, under local anesthesia, sometimes stitching up is necessary. After the treatment, special medications are put into the wound to speed up the process of tissue healing. A few weeks later, the surgeon examines the wound, removes the stitches and advises the patient about a certain type of prosthetics or implantation.

If nothing is done and the root remains under the gum, it will inevitably decay, passing to the adjacent teeth. Meanwhile, a person will have a bad putrefactive odour from the mouth. Harmful bacteria and food particles attach to porous pieces, which adds to the development of caries. An inflammatory process usually occurs on the tops of rotting roots, where a cyst is formed. Sooner or later this will result in periostitis.

Hence, the only way to deal with the gum grown over the tooth is to visit a certified dentist, who will help to solve the problem by saving the damaged crown and preventing the development of the inflammatory process.

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