Have you ever taken a bite of something and felt a quick sharp pain which then went away? You could have a hairline fracture or a cracked tooth. There are a variety of types of fractures and ways they can happen. Read on to learn more and determine how you can treat them.
What Are Hairline Fractures?
A hairline fracture is a small crack that appears in your tooth. They are quite common and have varying degrees of severity. There are four common types of fracture:
- Craze Line – These are very thin cracks in your enamel. They don’t cause any pain and often don’t require any treatment.
- Vertical Crack – These cracks run up and down your tooth. If the crack doesn’t reach the gum line, the tooth is likely able to be saved. It is when the crack extends to the gum that you may need to have the tooth extracted.
- Split Tooth – This crack has completely separated your tooth into two or more segments. If the crack is substantial, it’s usually difficult to save the tooth.
- Fractured Cusp – This type of crack tends to happen around fillings. They don’t usually reach the tooth pulp, so they often don’t cause much pain, if any.
How Do You Get Hairline Tooth Fractures?
There are a variety of ways that hairline tooth fractures occur. The most common include:
- A mouth injury.
- Age. Older individuals experience cracked teeth more often than younger people.
- Chewing something hard like candy or ice.
- Rapid temperature changes in your mouth, like eating ice cream and then drinking a coffee.
- The pressure from clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth.
Not every type of tooth fracture will have symptoms. The common ones you may experience are pain when you chew, sensitivity to temperature and sweetness, and swollen gums around the sore tooth.
A hairline fracture can be hard to detect because they are very difficult to see. Because of this, there are several different methods your dentist may try to identify a fracture:
- A visual examination using a magnifying lens.
- A physical examination using dental tools.
- Probing your gums to locate the area of irritation.
- Using a dental dye on your teeth to highlight any cracks.
- An x-ray to show where the pulp is not as healthy, indicating there may be a crack.
Repairing a Fractured Tooth
How your dentist chooses to fix the fracture is dependent on factors like the size, where it’s located, and if it extends higher into your gum line. These are a few methods used to repair fractures:
- Bonding – The crack is filled in with resin.
- Crown – A ceramic or porcelain prosthetic is put over the damaged tooth and acts as a cap.
- Root Canal – If the crack is deep and extends to the pulp, a root canal will remove the pulp and eliminate the pain.
- Extraction – If the tooth is badly damaged, your dentist may suggest removing it.
At Family Dental Care Clinic, we do our best to make sure that all of our clients have healthy, bright smiles. If you’re experiencing pain from a cracked or fractured tooth, it’s best to get in to visit your dentist as soon as possible. This way, you can avoid the problem becoming worse. Along with repairing the crack, our team can provide you with great advice for ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy.