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Why Is There A Gap Between My Crown And Gums?

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

You had a crown placed a few years ago but when you look in the mirror, you're noticing a gap between the crown and gum line. Is that normal or should you be concerned?

gap between crown and gums
gap between crown and gums

Table of Contents

What causes a gap between the crown and gum line?

A fully functional dental crown that is healthy should not have a gap by the gumline. If there is a gap, it could be due to a couple of reasons, some are bad and others are neutral.

Gap forming because of tooth decay

If there is a cavity underneath the crown, it could form a gap because the cavity would be creating a hole. You would literally be able to feel underneath the crown since the decay has eaten through it. If this is the case, you would definitely need the gap to be fixed.

Due to gum recession

Sometimes the gap could form over a long period of time because your gums could be receding. If you are brushing with a hard toothbrush or you brush very aggressively, you could cause it to recede.

Once the gum recedes, you will notice a gap by the gum line. This means that there is nothing wrong with your porcelain crown but rather you have a gum problem caused by aggressive brushing. You should correct your brushing technique.

Gap from periodontal disease

If you have active gum disease, more specifically periodontitis, a gap could form between the crown and gums because the gum disease can eat away at your bone. If it eats away enough bone by the gum line, the gums will shrink and reveal a gap.

Once this happens, the gums cannot grow back and the space between your crown and gumline will be permanent. If you want to try regrowing the gums, you will need to see a periodontitis, gum specialist.

The gap could also have been intentionally placed by your dentist

Sometimes your dentist may have chosen to have left a space between the crown and gums because it is healthier for your gums. When the crown margins are below the gums, it is more difficult for you to keep it clean but most dentist do it for cosmetic reasons.

Of course, if you are not able to keep it clean then periodontitis will form the gap over time anyway.

Just to elaborate on the last part, there are three different ways to end your crown margin.

  • Above the gum line. This is not as cosmetic.

  • Slightly at the gum line. The best for in between.

  • Below the gum line. This is the most cosmetic but could be irritating to your gums.

Our Long Island City Dentists try to place our crown line just ever so slightly above the gumline so you can't really see it unless you use a magnifying glass.

How can you fix the gap by the gumline?

Hopefully that answers what causes the gap between the crown and gums but are you wondering how to fix the gap? There are basically two ways to fix the space.

  • Make a new dental crown. Your dentist would have to remove the old crown and then take a new impression of it. He would have to extend the crown so that it covers the gap. If there was a cavity, he would have to remove the cavity first before doing this.

  • Gum grafting. If the space was due to the gums receding or periodontitis, you could see the gum specialist and have some gum grafting done. So instead of extending the crown towards the gumline, you would extend the gumline towards the crown!

How can you prevent a crown gap?

The best cure is obviously prevention so if you don't let the gap form, you won't ever need to fix it! All of the problems start happening because of insufficient oral hygiene. Remember, the three causes of the gap from up above were from cavities and gum disease.

In order to prevent that you would have to brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Remember to floss before you go to bed. If you have a small cavity forming, make sure you try to remineralize it with either fluoride or hydroxyapatite.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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