What Are Craze Lines?

crazelinesDo your teeth look like they have tiny cracks in them, sort of like an old porcelain tea cup or doll? If they do, there is no reason to worry. Your teeth won’t crack, or chip, or crumble into a hundred pieces. What you have are craze lines. Any number of things can cause craze lines. Today’s blog explains what craze lines are and what you can do about them.

The What and the Why?

Craze lines are tiny cracks in your tooth enamel that can look as if your tooth is cracked all the way through, or going to crack all the way through, but rarely does further break down occur. Your tooth enamel is the hardest mineral substance in your body. Craze lines are vertical cracks that develop in the enamel of your front teeth due to any of a number of reasons. They can occur naturally from years of wear, they can be caused by some sort of trauma, or stress on the tooth such as:

  • Clenching and grinding your teeth, or bruxism
  • Tongue rings
  • Using your teeth as a can or bottle opener, or to tear into packages
  • Cold and hot temperature changes from food and beverages
  • Nail biting

The What to do About Them

Because craze lines are painless (they do not extend into the dentin or pulp of the tooth) and don’t cause any further damage, there is actually no need to treat them. However, they can be embarrassing if they become discolored, and some dentists feel that they provide opportunity for decay.  To avoid decay you can have them filled with a dental bonding material. To improve the esthetics of your smile you can choose dental veneers, or whiten your teeth. 

About your Des Moines Dentist

The Gateway Dental Group provides comprehensive dental treatments including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. As a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Burds also has extensive experience helping his patients suffering from sleep disorders obtain restful sleep via oral appliance therapy. You can contact Dr. Stephen J. Burds office at 515-442-5659. We welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.