Have you noticed small lines on the surface of your front teeth? These are called craze lines, and they’re relatively common, especially as we age.

Q)        What are craze lines?

A)        Craze lines are small, vertical cracks in your tooth enamel. Since they only affect the surface layer and don’t extend into the deeper dentin, they generally cause no discomfort. The only concern associated with craze lines is usually cosmetic.

Q)        What causes craze lines?

A)        Craze lines are caused by stresses on our teeth throughout our lives. Grinding your teeth, biting your fingernails, chewing ice cubes, wearing a tongue ring, or simple chewing can cause craze lines to develop. Alternating hot and cold beverages or foods in quick succession can contribute. People who use their teeth as tools, to open bottles or tear open packages, for instance, cause the type of trauma that forms lines.

Dental work can also cause craze lines. The stresses of drilling and filling a tooth cause trauma that potentially leads to line formation. When you weigh the fact that craze lines are a mere nuisance against the reality of an untreated cavity leading to oral damage and pain, it’s obvious that dental work is nevertheless worthwhile.

Q)        Can craze lines develop into true cracks?

A)        In most cases, craze lines only affect the surface enamel, and the tooth itself remains healthy. Of course, any fault can develop into a more serious crack, and only a dental checkup will provide you with information about your personal situation.

Q)        Can anything be done about the appearance of craze lines?

A)        Dentists agree that craze lines are harmless. However, if you are troubled by their appearance, these are cosmetic procedures that can improve the appearance of craze lines.

  • Teeth whitening
    • This can be done by using custom tooth bleaching trays or laser teeth whitening. After this procedure, you’ll still be able to see the craze lines. However, they’ll be far less noticeable, since the staining has been removed.
  • Cosmetic bonding
    • The dentist will prepare the surface of your teeth then apply a shade-matched resin to conceal the cracks.
  • Porcelain veneers
    • Porcelain veneers are thin, wafer-like objects fitted over your teeth, entirely masking the natural tooth and the craze lines.

To learn more about craze lines, tooth whitening, bonding and veneers, schedule a consultation with Dr. Corbet Locke by calling our Waco dental office at (254) 776-4888. We welcome patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding 76712 communities.