This is the perfect season to enjoy delicious foods and finish off with warm, tasty beverages. However, if you find yourself wincing in pain every time you chew, sip on a delicious drink or even going outside in the cold, a hairline tooth fracture may be the cause. Although the sharp pain may dissipate quickly, it always returns. If you think you may have a hairline tooth fracture, it is important to schedule an appointment at Slipacoff Dental sooner rather than later!
Learn about everything you need to know when it comes to hairline tooth fractures and what you can do to combat them below.
Hairline Tooth Fracture: Explained
The hairline tooth fracture is a small crack located right in the tooth. When not addressed, this fracture can lead to tooth loss and other oral health issues. There are a variety of different hairline tooth fracture cracks, including:
- Craze Lines: These cracks are minuscule and appear in the tooth enamel. They do not trigger any pain or require any immediate treatment.
- Vertical Crack: A vertical fracture runs vertically up and down the tooth. If this fracture does not go below the gum line and bone level, there is a high probability that the tooth can be saved. However, if the crack has extended under the gum line and bone level, the tooth will most likely need to be removed.
- Split Tooth: A split tooth has a crack that separates the tooth into two separate components. When the fracture is extremely large, the tooth will most likely need to be extracted completely.
- Fractured Cusp: Fractured cusp cracks often occur around a dental filling. They usually do not impact the tooth’s nerve, therefore, they do not cause a lot of pain.
How Hairline Fractures Happen
There are a number of reasons hairline tooth fractures occur, including:
- Chewing on hard foods or objects
- Pressure on the jaw from tooth grinding or clenching
- Injury to the jaw from sports or an accident
- Fillings that are far too large and affecting the tooth’s integrity and strength. The larger the filling, the weaker the tooth
- Temperature changes in the mouth
Treatments For Hairline Tooth Fractures
The treatment for hairline tooth fractures is based on exactly where the crack is located, how large it is and whether it has extended to the gum line. The following dental solutions may be recommended by the dentist:
- Bonding: During the tooth bonding process, our dentist applies a plastic resin onto the tooth to fill in the fracture. This is often used for small hairline fractures.
- Crown: Dental crowns are precisely fitted over the fractured tooth to strengthen the tooth and also help prevent further fractures and potential loss of the tooth.
- Root Canal: When the fracture is close to the nerve, a root canal will remove the nerve so that the tooth does not have a chance to become infected and create a toothache. This is a relatively simple procedure with very little discomfort associated with it. Then a crown is placed over the tooth to strengthen it.
- Tooth Extraction: When the fracture is too deep and extensive and can’t be restored, the only option is to have the tooth extracted, unfortunately.