Spotlight on Oral Health: Craze Lines vs. Severe Cracks

May 27, 2021

A cracked tooth is no small matter. If your tooth is cracked, you could end up with a serious infection or other issues that will result in you losing your tooth. Left untreated, an infected cracked tooth can even create an abscess in the jawbone or gum tissue, leading to serious and potentially fatal consequences. While a cracked tooth is a dental emergency and will need to be treated immediately, there is another type of crack you may see on your teeth. These are known as craze lines, and the team at American Dental would like to share some information about them so you will know what to do if you see them.

What Causes Craze Lines?

You may have heard about craze lines about antique pottery. Just like craze lines in pottery, craze lines on your teeth are superficial cracks that are caused by stress and aging. In some cases, craze lines may be invisible, but they can also be gray, yellow, or brown, depending on your lifestyle. They usually appear as we age and can be caused by teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), an uneven bite, traumatic injuries, or by habits like nail-biting and ice chewing.

Are Craze Lines Dangerous?

Unlike a cracked tooth, craze lines generally won’t cause any serious problems for you. They are unlikely to progress beyond the stage of being superficial cracks. If you start to notice craze lines appearing on your teeth, it’s still a good idea to get them checked out by your dentist to ensure they are superficial. While craze lines are not considered a dental emergency, they are something you will want to mention at your next dental checkup.

What You Can Do about Craze Lines

While craze lines probably won’t cause any serious health issues for you, they can be rather unsightly. Poor oral hygiene or lifestyle choices like tobacco use and coffee drinking can also make them more visible. If you want to get rid of your craze lines, you have some options. First of all, refrain from consuming tobacco products and staining beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine. You can switch to a whitening toothpaste or utilize at-home whitening treatments to reduce the appearance of craze lines and they may go away on their own in time. If not, your dentist can recommend more effective whitening treatments. Your dentist may also be able to fill craze lines with composite resin to make them less prominent. In severe cases, you may even want to consider veneers.
As we have already mentioned, craze lines are not usually something you need to worry about. Just be sure to get them checked out by a dentist to confirm that they are indeed superficial cracks, and not something more serious. Then, you can discuss options to fill them or reduce their appearance. In the Chicago area, American Dental would be happy to discuss your craze lines, cracked teeth, or emergency dental services in Chicago. We have 7 locations to serve you, so click the “make an appointment” button or call (773) 692-5928 to find out which location is nearest you and make your appointment today.

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