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Old 01-28-2011, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
Teeth showing through gums below gum line? Need answer fast!

Last week my 7yo went to the dentist and they found she hasn't been brushing well enough along her lower front gum line and has gingivitis. They weren't freaking out or anything, just said it was significant and I need to brush/supervise and get in there, and they showed me how.

So we've been doing that, and I haven't been brushing hard. So tonight she showed me on the two front bottom teeth, her teeth show through two holes in her gums! They could have been there when they showed me at the dentist - they didn't turn her lip down that far when they were talking to me. But one would think they would have noticed and mentioned it. It looks really scary and I'm a little freaked out. At the same time, the teeth seem well anchored, she's not in pain, and there's no inflammation or bleeding, so I think we can wait till Monday to call the dentist.

In the meantime, does anyone have experience with this phenomenon? I'm trying not to go into major anxiety/guilt mode over here. Thanks.
Old 01-28-2011, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Under my desk
Posts: 949
I have never seen or heard of such a thing but if I had it would certainly freak me out. I had gingivitis pretty bad as a kid but nothing quite like what you're describing.

I would call the dentist right away, just to be sure. It may be nothing or it may be a big something. At least you would be more informed. It's still relatively early so I doubt you would be bothering them much. Calls like this are just part of the job.

Of course YMMV.

Good luck!
Old 01-28-2011, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 5,051
Thanks, DoperChic, for that suggestion. I called, and the nice doctor induced further panic by being totally unfamiliar with the phenomenon, and asking for pictures, but then talked me down once he had seen them.

He said it doesn't look like an emergency situation, and it might not be holes per se, but thin skin which is blanching under the pressure of the bulbous roots of those teeth. Also he noted her frenulum is tight and that might contribute. So his suggestion was to make an appointment next week - not freak out, but do pursue it with her normal dentist.

And this guy was a total sweetheart. Even though he's got a separate practice and evidently just does after-hours on-call for ours, he said definitely call him back if it starts to look bad over the weekend, and he'll see her at his office right away.

Of course in the midst of my panic my husband got home, and after I yelled at him to find the flashlight and hold Chloe's mouth open right so I could take the damned picture, etc., and the pics got sent to the dentist, he told me that he had the exact same thing as a kid.

So the diagnosis is probably, "You married a mutant, what do you want?"

Last edited by Unauthorized Cinnamon; 01-28-2011 at 08:31 PM.
Old 01-29-2011, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,864
As far as superpowers go, having invisible gums is way down on my list of desirable mutant superpowers. It's right there between #96: retractable penis, and #98: incredibly fast-growing nose hair.
Old 01-30-2011, 07:54 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,192
Not quite the same thing, but I had a gum retract earlier this year. It was several millimeters lower than the two teeth around it.

Dentist said it could be caused by a number of things - the way the tooth naturally grew, or maybe I was brushing too hard (though he said it didn't look like that) or maybe there'd been some trauma.

Regardless, the fix was a gum graft, which, despite the hundreds of horror stories about gum grafts on the Internet, really wasn't all that bad. I wouldn't do it for fun, and will avoid getting another one, but overall it was more inconvenient than painful. Not having dental insurance and having to pay for it out of pocket to the tune of nearly $1K was the worst part.

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