- Craze lines: Most of the time, craze lines are a result of normal wearing of your enamel over years of chewing. Some children however form them early on as a result of bad habits like grinding, nail biting, or opening containers with your teeth.
Craze lines are small cracks in the enamel that run vertically from the bottom of the teeth, and can be especially unsightly if located on the two front teeth. While they have no symptoms and occur naturally in adults, developing them early as a child can lead to problems for proper oral development over time. Craze lines are also vulnerable to staining from certain beverages and foods.
The best way to prevent Craze lines is to abstain from the harmful oral habits mentioned above and keep your enamel strong by brushing regularly.
- Fractured Cusp: When the top section of a tooth is fractured or broken completely on the chewing surface it is referred to as a fractured cusp. These usually occur near a filling, and can be replaced by another filling or a crown placed over it.
Fractured cusps usually do not damage the pulp within the tooth, and are not usually too painful. If you notice a fractured cusp, come see our team immediately for an exam.
Signs you may have a fractured cusp include extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids, which can be temporarily counteracted by biting down on sterile gauze. Avoid using topical pain medications for pain associated with a fractured cusp.
- Cracked Tooth: Having a cracked tooth means there is a crack moving vertically from the chewing surface of the tooth down to the root. While the tooth is not split, the crack can spread over time and become worse, eventually breaking the tooth. If the crack extends beyond the gum line, then the tooth is no longer salvageable and will need to be extracted.
An early diagnosis is important in saving enough time so that the tooth can be saved. If the tooth can be saved, then your dentist will perform a root canal to control the spread of infection. Cracked teeth are a common result of rough play, sports injuries, or excessive pressure from grinding teeth.
- Split Tooth: A split tooth occurs when a cracked tooth has been allowed to progress without any medical attention, resulting in a crack below the gum line that splits the tooth in two. This can be very dangerous due to the possibility of infection to spread causing many other issues for other teeth and the gums.
The best way to prevent a split tooth is to get medical attention as soon as you notice a cracked tooth, so that the crack can be repaired and the natural tooth saved. If the split occurs in a shallow position, a root canal may be performed to save part of the tooth that is not affected.
Taking note of any changes in your child’s teeth is important, as time may be sensitive for some procedures.
- Vertical Root Fracture: A vertical Root Fracture is similar to a cracked tooth but starts from the root at the bottom instead of at the chewing surface. These can be extremely problematic as they can cause infections in the pulp or surrounding gums, and can lead to further decay if not attended to.
Because they often do not expose any symptoms, they can go unnoticed, allowing the crack to become deeper over time. While these teeth need to be extracted most of the time, a root canal can sometimes be performed to save the tooth if the infection has not spread to the pulp.
Many children do not feel these cracks in the root of the teeth, and so checking them regularly for any local infection is important to spotting them early.
- Cold Sores: One of the most common issues faced by children and young adults are cold sores. Cold sores are sometimes referred to as fever blisters, as they are small liquid filled blisters in or around the mouth and are usually not painful but irritating or unsightly.
Cold sores result from close personal contact and are a minor viral infection of the skin tissue in and around the mouth. There is no permanent cure for fever blisters, but they will go away on their own, healing after one or two weeks.
It should be noted however, that cold sores are contagious, and can be spread even if the sores are on not visible or present. Cold sores rarely become serious, but should be treated if they cause problems.
- Broken Braces: In many cases the problems that come from broken braces are not with the broken materials but with the damage the materials can cause to the mouth when they break. Because traditional braces are often made using steel wires and small parts, these parts can cut the inside of the mouth when broken.
Broken braces most often occur because of a sports or play accident, and can usually be repaired with not too much effort. If lacerations inside the mouth are very deep, it may be best to visit an emergency room. A dentist can fix broken wires or posts, but we recommend your children use a mouth guard when playing with braces to protect them.
- Bitten Tongue: Perhaps the most common accident people and children in particular face on a regular basis is biting the tongue. While we have a natural reflex to keep ourselves from biting it, many children do by accident, which can cause other problems.
Depending on the severity of the bite, healing may take from a few days to a few weeks. If lacerations are deep and serious, the tongue may need to be seen by a general doctor. Usually most bites are not serious and will subside after a few days.
If you are not sure if a bite is serious enough for an emergency room, give our office a call and we will be happy to take a look at the issue and make a recommendation.
We will do our best to see your little ones as soon as possible if you have a dental emergency during our work hours. Call today if you have any questions about preventative measures or first aid procedures for a lost baby or permanent tooth. We offer emergency services for our little patients because we want them to have a lifetime of beautiful smiles.