Has this happened to you? You’re brushing your teeth, and you notice a vertical line in your tooth. You look closer, and that line looks like a small crack. You ask yourself, “Why do I have cracks on my teeth?” You may think these hairline cracks in teeth are dangerous, but they may not be as bad as you think. They’re called craze lines, and they’re more common than you might think.
At Endicott Dental, we can evaluate the cracks to determine whether they’re not a problem or whether they may deepen or may contain cavities. We also have ways to make your teeth look better. Let’s start by explaining exactly what craze lines are and how you get them.
What Are Craze Lines?
Craze lines are vertical cracks in your tooth’s enamel, the hard outer shell that protects the living interior. They are very shallow, so they don’t penetrate the living portion of the tooth — the dentin and the pulp.
The best way to think of craze lines is to think of antique porcelain. You’ve probably seen such porcelain with what looks like thousands of cracks covering the surface. Those cracks don’t mean the porcelain is unusable. It means it’s showing its age and wear.
The same can be said for craze lines. The hairline cracks in teeth show the age and wear of your tooth’s enamel. These lines are usually invisible at first, but over time they can be stained and show up better. That’s why it’s important if you see craze lines to take special care in keeping your teeth clean. Otherwise, plaque and bacteria can penetrate the cracks and cause cavities.
What does a cracked tooth look like compared to craze lines? A crack will be deeper. You may even be able to see the interior of the tooth. A crack in a tooth is usually very visible compared to the nearly invisible lines. Your teeth also likely will become sensitive because the crack exposes the dentin and pulp, where the tooth’s nerves are located. Craze lines don’t go deep enough to make your teeth more sensitive.
What Causes Craze Lines in Teeth?
Craze lines can be caused in several ways. Often, those lines are caused by biting or chewing down on something hard, such as tortilla chips or hard candy. They can also be caused by bad chewing habits, such as chewing on pencils or pens, fingernails, or other objects. Craze lines can also be caused by bruxism or teeth grinding.
Craze lines don’t necessarily mean all of your enamel is weak, but patients who know they have thin or weak enamel may be more susceptible to craze lines. However, you could have great enamel and still get a line from biting down on something wrong. Craze lines do tend to happen as you age, and normal wear and tear weakens your enamel.
If you’re concerned about your enamel, talk to us at Endicott Dental. When we examine your teeth during your semi-annual visits, we can determine whether you need to take steps to strengthen your enamel and prevent craze lines. Weak enamel can also lead to cavities and tooth decay. We have ways to help, including a fluoride sealant we can put on your teeth to help strengthen your enamel.
How to Fix Craze Lines
How do you fix craze lines? It’s not necessary to fix them unless the crack grows or gets a cavity. Most of the time, craze lines are just an aesthetic thing. They may not look great, but they won’t harm the way your tooth functions.
Over time, craze lines can become stained and more visible. If you don’t like the look of that, we have ways to make craze lines less visible or cover them completely. We offer several cosmetic dentistry services that can reduce or eliminate the appearance of craze lines.
Teeth whitening can eliminate the stains on your teeth and in the craze lines and make them far less visible. After teeth whitening, patients usually have to look very closely to be able to see even a hint of the lines. Teeth whitening is one of the easiest ways to deal with them, and it can make the rest of your smile look amazing!
Dental bonding involves brushing a special coating on your teeth that can cover stains, cracks, and chips. Our dental bonding can make your teeth look like new!
A dental crown is essentially a cap that goes over your entire tooth to cover cracks, breaks, or chips. A crown is often used to protect a broken tooth so it doesn’t have to be pulled. It can also cover craze lines and deeper cracks in your enamel and prevent them from damaging your tooth further.
Veneers are thin shells that cover the front surface of your tooth. Our veneers give your teeth a new look and are often used to cover stains, chips, cracks, and tooth wear. Veneers do require thinning the enamel so they fit properly, so it’s a multi-appointment process. But the end result is stunning!
Craze Lines Care in Broken Arrow, OK
Craze lines may not look great, but they’re usually part of the normal wear and tear your teeth endure throughout your lifetime. As long as you feel no pain from your teeth, you can live with craze lines as simply a cosmetic change. If you want your teeth to look normal, Endicott Dental has several options that can make your teeth look good as new!
Schedule an appointment with Endicott Dental in the Broken Bow, OK, area to see what we can do for you and your craze lines. You deserve to have a smile you can be proud to show off, and Endicott Dental can help you get just that!