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Dentistry/Fine cracks in teeth

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Question
When I run my fingernail across a few of my molars I feel little inconsistencies, such as a hairline crack. Though when I look at my teeth in the light I cannot see any sort of hairline. I have been stressed lately and I think I may grind my teeth a little at night, being thatbim stressed. I also did have braces and have had two cavities on either side of my mouth filled. I am very, very paranoid about my teeth and am nervous about the little cracks. Is this something to worry about? I visit the dentist every 4 months, my last time being in September. I brush my teeth  2 times a day, with that being said, how ling does it take for the erosion of enamel to begin? Thank you!

Answer
Hello! After reading your question, I understand your concerns. The fact that you notice changes in your teeth is not paranoid, I wish more people paid attention to their dental health! There are 3 possibilities for the inconsistencies -1 deep natural groove lines run down the cheek side of molars. -2 the edge of a filling may be slightly raised, and need further polishing. -3 actual fractures, if you can feel the crack with your fingernail it may be deep enough to require a bonded filling to prevent further fracture, or possibly a crown if very deep.

Most people have enamel fractures. They happen from grinding, eating very hard foods, (such as corn nuts, chewing ice), trauma, and quick temperature extremes,(eating very hot followed by immediate cold or vice versa, extreme outdoor temperatures). Generally, the small fractures do not spread or cause issues, but sometimes they do deepen and cause problems. You mentioned that you see your dentist regularly. The best thing for you to do is point these areas out to your dentist at your next appointment so that they may be assessed and monitored. Sometimes photos are taken, a bright light can be used to check the depth, or the dentist may just visually measure and monitor the area.

The second part of your question asks about enamel erosion. The truth is, it is different in everyone, but generally it takes approximately 6 months for enamel to erode enough for a cavity to develop. I hope that I answered your questions!

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Marielaina Perrone DDS

Expertise

I am a Family, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentist. I am well versed in virtually all of dentistry including dental surgery, dental implants, endodontics, periodontal disease, cosmetic dentistry procedures, dental phobia treatment, etc. Essentially if it is dental related I can help. Cosmetic Dentist Henderson Nevada Las Vegas Cosmetic Dentist Las Vegas Dental Implants

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I graduated from Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine in 1997 with my D.D.S. degree and have been in private practice ever since. I currently maintain a private practice in Henderson, Nevada.

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Dental School: Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine 1993-1997 Post Grad: Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine Advanced Education in General Dentistry 1997-1998

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