If you happen to notice some tiniest cracks on your tooth enamel, you may think they are tooth fractures or cracks. But if you do not feel any sensation such as pain, swelling, or sensitivity, then you do not need to panic. They might be craze lines.
Craze lines are small, almost unnoticeable cracks on the tooth surface. They develop due to many factors ranging from bruxism to old age.
In this blog post, we discuss everything about craze lines in detail starting from the causes to treatments and preventive measures. Read on to know more.
Causes of craze lines
Craze lines can happen due to several reasons, which can range from an innocuous cause such as nail biting to an ostensibly dangerous cause such as dental trauma. Here are some common factors that cause craze lines:
- Bruxism: Teeth grinding is one of the most common causes of craze lines. Even though mild teeth grinding doesn’t cause craze lines, severe and frequent teeth grinding can result in craze lines and other fractures.
- Misaligned teeth: Uneven bite or misaligned teeth can put pressure on teeth, thereby resulting in craze lines. If misaligned teeth aren’t fixed on time, they can result in many dental complications in the future.
- Nail-biting habit: People with habits of biting nails or other hard objects such as pens or pencils put a lot of pressure on their front teeth (mainly incisors). If the habits persist for a long time, then it can cause craze lines. In worst cases, it may even cause fractures and cracks on teeth.
- Trauma or injury to teeth: This is among the most common causes of craze lines. Dental traumas or injuries, which may not look serious at first, can leave non-noticeable fractures that exacerbate over time and form craze lines.
- Missing or gaps between teeth: If one or more teeth are missing then it can put massive pressure on the adjacent teeth and cause craze lines. In case there are gaps between teeth, the pressure can cause craze lines on the tooth surface.
- Gum diseases: Gum inflammation such as gingivitis or periodontitis can cause bone loss and weaken teeth. With the gradual weakening of teeth, craze lines get easily formed.
- Fluctuations in mouth temperature: Rapid fluctuations in your mouth’s temperature resulting from extremely hot or cold food and beverages can compromise teeth strength. The weakening of teeth can make it easy to form the smallest fracture lines.
- Calcium deficiency: If the body doesn’t get an adequate amount of calcium or if the calcium absorption is inhibited, then the teeth become more brittle and can crack with little pressure.
- Old age: This is an unavoidable cause of craze lines. With age, the regular wear and tear of teeth, the years of biting and chewing, as well as bone loss make teeth more susceptible to craze lines.
Treatment for craze lines
Being purely cosmetic dental issues, craze lines don’t weaken or aggravate the tooth. They don’t need any complicated treatment and can be fixed with some simple cosmetic procedures. Here are some treatments for craze lines:
- Regular brushing: Brushing your teeth properly will keep your mouth clean and will prevent the craze lines from yellowing or getting a brown color. This will also eliminate food particles and bacteria on the craze lines and prevent infections.
- Using whitening toothpaste or strips: As craze lines are only cosmetic concerns, good quality whitening toothpaste or strips can make the teeth look spotlessly white and make the lines unnoticeable.
- Using composite resin: Filling in the craze lines with composite resin will also hide the lines and hairline fractures and make the teeth look good. Before deciding to bond craze lines with composite resin, it’s better to take the opinion of an experienced dentist or get the procedure done by a professional.
- Professional in-office whitening: Even though it’s similar to using whitening toothpaste or strips, this procedure is performed by a professional dentist who uses sophisticated tools and materials to get the desired result.
- Cosmetic contouring: This procedure entails smoothening the fracture’s edges, which makes the craze lines less visible. Like in-office whitening, this procedure is performed by a professional dentist.
- Veneers: These are wafer-thin layers of plastic or porcelain, which fit over the teeth’s surface and conceal all cosmetic imperfections. Although these are expensive options compared to all the above treatments, they are worth the investment for their longevity and looks.
Symptoms of craze lines
Unlike cracked or fractured teeth, which cause symptoms such as sensitivity, swelling, and pain, craze lines don’t show any symptoms.
Tips to prevent craze lines
Even though a sizable number of craze lines happen due to inevitable factors such as old age as well as trauma and injuries, a majority of craze lines can be avoided with timely intervention. Some of the tips to prevent craze lines are:
- Stop teeth grinding and clenching: If you have a habit of grinding and clenching your teeth unconsciously or during sleep, you can stop the habit with some lifestyle changes or by using a nightguard.
- Correct misalignment: If some of your teeth are misaligned, then you can get them fixed with some orthodontic procedures. Once the misalignment is corrected, your teeth will not buckle under experience.
- Stop biting nails: Nail biting can be stopped with persistent efforts and determination. If you have the habit, consider getting some professional help to get rid of it for good. If you bite pens, pencils, or any other hard objects, you can try some therapy or chew sugarless gum to avoid the habit.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene and care: Proper dental hygiene will prevent teeth and gum problems and will maintain teeth strength and integrity.
- Avoid excessively hot or cold food: As the temperature fluctuation from excessive hot and cold food can cause craze lines, steering clear of them will protect the teeth from hairline fractures.
- Eat calcium-rich foods: Calcium-rich foods can strengthen teeth and bones as well as fight bone loss due to old age.
If you notice any craze lines on your teeth, don’t worry. It is not a dental emergency. But they may make your teeth look bad and lower your confidence. To treat them, you can choose one of many cosmetic dentistry procedures starting from in-house teeth whitening to using veneers.
At TruCare Dentistry, we provide a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments that can help you hide your craze lines. If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced cosmetic dentist in Roswell, GA, or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, call (678) 321-7575 to book an appointment today. To know more about our services, visit our website.