If you’ve noticed small vertical lines running up the sides of your teeth, you may have what dentists call craze lines. Not to be confused with cracked tooth syndrome, craze lines are merely hairline cracks in tooth enamel, and are cosmetically displeasing, but not dangerous.
What Causes Craze Lines?
Craze lines can be caused by a number of things, from the everyday wear and tear of biting and chomping, to unwise attempts to use teeth as bottle openers. Even some dental procedures can cause weak enamel to form these hairline cracks. It should be noted that is not a good reason to forego dental treatments with your Lake Forest dentist, however, since untreated cavities are farm more dangerous to teeth than craze lines, which are essentially harmless. Craze lines often occur naturally, but can also develop after dental trauma.
Are Craze Lines Dangerous?
Crazing is the same term used to describe the fine cracks often designed onto glazed ceramics. Similar to the craze lines on these ceramics, craze lines on teeth do not harm the structural integrity of teeth, and merely affect the outermost layer of the tooth, or the enamel. Some lines appear dark in color, because they are wide enough to accommodate debris, which stains the crack, but not wide enough to facilitate toothbrush bristles. In rare instances craze lines can expand enough to increase the chances of cavity formation, but with regular visits to your Lake Forest Dentist for checkups and dental cleanings, you won’t have to worry about a cavity developing without your knowledge.
Can Craze Lines be Removed?
Craze lines cannot strictly be removed, in the same way that cavities cannot exactly be ‘removed’. They can, however, be filled in, or covered up, or whitened. Tooth whitening is the easiest option. By simply bleaching away the stain in the craze line, the crack will be virtually invisible. If this is not effective for your stain, you might also consider having a tooth colored material placed over the crack to fill it in, or porcelain veneers, which place a thin piece of porcelain over the tooth, giving the tooth a whole new appearance.
Contact your Lake Forest Dentist Today
While craze lines are nothing to fear, if you are concerned that yours may form into deeper cracks, or cavities, schedule regular appointments with your Lake Forest dentist to monitor the health of your teeth. For cosmetic concerns over craze lines in your teeth, feel free to contact us today by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847)234-0517. We happily serve patients from Lake Forest and surrounding Chicago neighborhoods.