How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mariana Your Own Question

Dr. Mariana
Dr. Mariana, Orthodontist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 706
Experience:  Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist since 1990.
Type Your Dental Question Here...
Dr. Mariana is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a white line inside my mouth, between my lower teeth

Customer Question

I have a white line inside my mouth, between my lower teeth and my upper teeth. (inside cheek area) I don't know if I had this before, since I did not notice it. However, since two days ago, the line has become thicker and raised. I looked under the light and the white line has become more visible, raised, and bigger. I am worried as to why this is happening and would like to know if there is anything I can do to reduce the size. I looked online and I know that this might be linea alba, but I just want to know why it is becoming more raised. I can feel the line with my tongue very easily.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer, and thank you for putting your trust in me!

The white line to which you refer is technically referred to as the "linea alba", which (not surprisingly) translated from the latin literally means "white line". It is an area of "hyperkeratosis", or thickening of the surface tissue layers in the cheek lining, in response to the frictional contact with the teeth. The linea alba is typically located exactly at the level where the upper and lower teeth meet.

This phenomenon is completely normal. However, it may thicken in response to an increase in the amount of friction sustained by the cheeks, as might result from an unconscious cheek chewing habit. This is no different from the growth of calluses on the hands of someone who does heavy manual labor, and no more significant.

If your linea alba is thickening, you should take note of any unconscious habitual cheek chewing or any other activity which might increase frictional exposure to the cheek linings. There is not much more that you can do to reduce the thickness of these lines other than to eliminate the only factor that leads to thickening-- direct frictional contact.

Hope this helps...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your detailed answer. I have additional questions about this issue. I hope this is ok.
Few days ago, one day before the white line began to get thicker, I swallowed an overdose of acetaminophen by accident. I did try to throw up some of it, but only a little came out. So I am wondering if this has anything to do with the thickening of this white line. The white line on my left cheek has gotten thicker and the white line on my right cheek is not noticeable because I cannot feel it with my tongue.
Do you think the acetaminophen contributed or is relates to the white line?

Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
No-- an acetaminophen overdose would not account for the white line, which would be totally unrelated. That is not to say that an acetaminophen overdose is trivial-- this is a medication that has a narrow therapeutic dosage range, and dosages just slightly above the recommended dosage can cause liver injury, especially if consumed with alcohol or other products known to be toxic to the liver. (No more than 4 grams, or 8 Extra-Strength Tylenol tablets should be taken in a 24-hour period.) If there are any other symptoms, including jaundice or malaise, you may want to consult with your medical doctor to measure your blood liver enzymes to assure no damage was done. Again, this would not be relevant to your linea alba.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there anything I can do do decrease the raised level of the white line?
Or more importantly, will the line ever decrease in size again? Or will the line be raised like this forever?
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
If your linea alba is thickening, you should take note of any unconscious habitual cheek chewing or any other activity which might increase frictional exposure to the cheek linings. There is not much more that you can do to reduce the thickness of these lines other than to eliminate the only factor that leads to their thickening-- direct frictional contact. As for the line remaining raised-- it will continue to be raised to some extent, because it is normal for it to be so.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it possible that the line will be raised forever or permanently?

I don't have any cheek chewing habit so this is quite confusing...
Expert:  Mark Bornfeld, DDS replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it is likely, because it is normal for them to be raised. Whether or not they vary in thickness will depend on the amount of frictional contact they sustain during normal functional and para-functional activity.

Hope this helps. If my answer has been helpful, please remember to click "accept".
Good luck!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But is it possible for the raised line to subside if I be more careful?
Expert:  Dr. Mariana replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I am here to help you,

If you are concern about it, even though, as Dr Borfeld said, it is a normal occurrence, you could ask your dentist to build you a night guard. That will protect your soft tissues if you have bruxism at night (clench your teeth)

I hope this helps!

Dr Mariana Levy

Dr. Mariana, Orthodontist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 706
Experience: Orthodontist and Pediatric Dentist since 1990.
Dr. Mariana and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GE/gemini132/2012-6-7_14143_MarkPic.64x64.jpg Mark Bornfeld, DDS's Avatar

    Mark Bornfeld, DDS

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5437
    Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drbehere/2010-04-11_192833_IMG_055575.jpg Dr. Behere's Avatar

    Dr. Behere

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1850
    Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/knecht522/2008-12-17_154020_alex22.jpg Dr. Alex's Avatar

    Dr. Alex

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1607
    I am a General Dentist and founder of the American School of Dental Assisting
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doclagoa/2008-10-01_163313_geosmall.jpg Dr. George McKee's Avatar

    Dr. George McKee

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1392
    Licensed dentist with 30 years clinical experience in general practice and cosmetic reconstruction.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/slodentistry/2009-05-25_004702_h.jpg Dr. Girish's Avatar

    Dr. Girish

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    788
    19 years of clinical experience in all phases of Dentistry.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jwcdds/2009-05-09_190942_portrait.gif Julian Chen's Avatar

    Julian Chen

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    558
    Practicing General Dentist since 2002
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drwilldds/2009-10-29_201512_justanswer.jpg Dr. Winterholler's Avatar

    Dr. Winterholler

    Dentist

    Satisfied Customers:

    266
    4 years Private Practice, Heavy emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry and Implants, Top 10% of Dental Class
 
 
 

Related Dental Questions