If you’ve noticed tiny cracks in your tooth enamel, don’t panic. Fortunately, these little lines are
Small, visible fracture lines in your teeth are what dentists call craze lines. Craze lines don’t
extend past the enamel layer of your teeth. These lines can happen from normal wear and tear
of the teeth or from extra stress placed on the teeth.
What can you do if you have these visible lines in your teeth? Here are your options to prevent
further craze lines and treat the existing ones in your smile.
Keep Your Teeth Strong
Strong enamel is usually resistant to cracks, but even the strongest enamel can crack under the
Daily brushing and flossing as well as visiting your dentist regularly can help keep your smile
strong and resistant to damage. However, since craze lines can happen as the result of undue
stress on the teeth, avoiding the following can help prevent further visible cracks:
Biting your nails
Wearing a tongue ring
Grinding your teeth
Using your teeth as tools
All of the above can cause craze lines to appear in the enamel, so simply taking care of your
teeth can help you avoid future craze lines!
Professional Teeth Whitening
For some people with cracks in their enamel, debris or plaque can cause the lines to become
discolored. People who have discolored craze lines may want to seek treatment to minimize
their darker appearance.
A professional teeth whitening is the most non-invasive way to minimize the appearance of
craze lines. The whitening process can remove the stains in the cracks and help your smile
appear more cohesive and bright.
If the cracks in your teeth don’t respond to a professional whitening, you may need to consider
porcelain veneers to help.
Veneers are made of a sturdy yet thin shell that covers the teeth to help protect and fortify
them, but also to change the appearance of your smile for the better. If your craze lines are
extensive, veneers may be the best solution to cover the teeth and restore your smile.
For some people with visible fracture lines, dental bonding may be an option. Dental bonding
involves the use of a tooth-colored composite resin that can fix many chips and cracks in the
teeth. Depending on the location and severity of your craze lines, dental bonding may be an
option for you.
When to Seek Immediate Care
It’s important not to get craze lines confused with cracks that do extend through the enamel to
the soft tissue of your teeth. These lines will need professional care as soon as possible.
Bacteria can quickly make their way into these cracks and reach the center of the tooth, where
they can cause a painful infection and even warrant a root canal or extraction.
The best way to tell if the cracks in your teeth are craze lines is whether or not they cause pain.
Craze lines don’t cause pain, while actual fracture lines can be painful as they can lead to tooth
sensitivity or a tooth infection.
The best way to protect your teeth against craze lines is to take care of them. If you think you
may be grinding your teeth or placing other undue stress on your smile, make an appointment
with your dentist. He or she can discuss with you how to best treat your visible lines!