Injure a tooth parallel to the gum line?
April 4, 2021 12:29 PM   Subscribe

My child says they have cracked their pre-molar, but looking at it I can't make heads or tails of what's happened. They say they feel no pain, it's Sunday, I've been solo parenting for over a week due to the death of my wife's father... so would any feel up to helping me problem solve?

My child just showed me that there is a thin (1mm) brownish-reddish line parallel and touching the gum along one of their premolars. They say it doesn't hurt. I asked them to brush their teeth very gently thinking maybe it was a stuck piece of food (I had just served them pinto beans) and it was still there. They brushed their teeth gently and it stayed the same. They claim that they had small cracked pieces of tooth before I saw them and that they flicked it away before telling me about the injury. They aren't asking to go to the dentist, but they are worrying at it. Again it's a thin brownish-reddish line, probably about 1mm in thickness that runs exactly between the tooth and the gum. The tooth otherwise looks fine, so I can't think of how they could have injured it (also, without it hurting then or now?!). I can't even make out if it is an injury... if I had to guess, I'd say they've pinched their gum line.
posted by Tchozz to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Is this a baby tooth or an adult tooth?
posted by fancyoats at 12:32 PM on April 4

Response by poster: We believe it's an adult tooth, but we can't remember if all of the pre-molars have come out. The child in question is 10.5 years of age.
posted by Tchozz at 12:33 PM on April 4

If they're not in pain, I'd leave a non-urgent message at their dentist's office and talk to them Monday.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:41 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]

Injured teeth are such a WOW THAT'S PAINFUL!!! thing that I have to think this will definitely be okay to wait on dealing with. Talk to your dentist or leave a non-urgent message today.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:42 PM on April 4

Response by poster: Yeah, I just quintupled checked and they still say that they are not feeling pain. They say they are not feeling anything in the spot, but that they can "slide the tip of a straw in." Of course, you can do that because gums are pliable, so that may be all that is. I will leave a message with the dentist. Thank you all; it's just been a very long week.
posted by Tchozz at 12:49 PM on April 4 [2 favorites]

Your kid could have chipped a tooth - that can definitely be noticeable to the person whose tooth is chipped even when it's not painful, dangerous, or obviously visible to an outside observer. That would also be a "non-emergency dentist visit" kind of thing, though, so others' advice stands. (Or of course it could just be kids being weird!)
posted by mskyle at 3:22 PM on April 4

IAAD, IANYD. It's most likely a baby tooth trying to fall out.
posted by choochoo at 8:15 PM on April 4

Response by poster: So, I looked at the tooth this morning (after quite a bit of argument) and there is a small sliver missing, probably less then 1mm tall and about 3mm long. It's right at the base along the gum line. What I saw yesterday was irritated gum, which is now less inflamed and has pulled back away from the place where the tooth is (maybe?) damaged. The child still says it all feels fine. I've left a message with our family dentist, but they are closed on Mondays. We are going to try to hang in there and get an appointment for Tuesday or Wednesday since there is no pain and the gum actually looks less irritated. I would go for an emergency dentist, or just somebody open on a Monday, since I do love in a fairly large city, but Tchozz the Younger has some anxiety issues, so we felt it best to go to a dentist they know. I appreciate hearing from a MeFi dentist; we are hoping that it is a baby tooth.
posted by Tchozz at 6:47 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

Hopefully you already have an answer, but I have several teeth with small chips in the enamel along the gum line. Mine come from grinding my teeth and have never been painful. I've had two filled, one without any anesthetic, and only as a precautionary measure. Maybe something like that?
posted by that's candlepin at 10:56 AM on April 6

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