No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Is A Hairline Fracture Causing Your Dental Pain?

by Jeremiah Barnett

When you are experiencing tooth pain without any obvious signs that something is wrong, the problem could be a hairline fracture in one of your teeth. These small fractures are not easy to notice at first glance, and they may even look normal when you look in a mirror. Be sure to understand the signs of and treatment for this dental complication.

The Signs of Hairline Fractures

When a tooth has a large fracture in it, the signs are quite obvious since you'll be able to see the crack that runs through the affected tooth. A large fracture will start off as a hairline fracture. Initially, the crack will be so small that it's possible for x-rays to have difficulty identifying the problem.

Since you cannot always see a hairline fracture, you can look out for symptoms. Symptoms can include having gums that swell up, a tooth becoming loose, and feeling sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures in a single tooth. You may also feel sharp pain when applying pressure to the tooth, especially when eating food.

The Consequences of Ignoring Hairline Fractures

When you suspect that you have a tooth with a hairline fracture, make a dental appointment at your earliest convenience to have the tooth looked at. Fixing the tooth early on will help prevent the problem from getting worse and turning into a large fracture.

You should know that fractures do not heal on their own. Teeth are commonly mislabeled as bones, which can repair themselves if they are fractured. However, since your teeth are not bones, they will not repair themselves. The issue will only get worse from the constant pressure the tooth is put under from everyday use.

When a fracture expands too much, it will compromise the tooth's structure. Pieces can chip off, and the tooth can split in half. Deep cracks can allow bacteria and foreign material to reach the pulp, leading to an infection.

The Treatment of Hairline Fractures

Placing a crown over the tooth or using dental bonding can repair a small fracture. Root canals are required for big fractures in which the pulp is exposed. Big fractures also require crowns to protect the tooth after the root canal procedure is finished.

It is ideal to keep the natural tooth in place, but in some situations, a fractured tooth may need to be pulled. An implant or bridge can be used to replace the tooth and prevent the surrounding teeth from slipping towards the gap.

For more information about hairline fractures, visit a site like