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Craze Lines: Another Thing to Fear this Halloween?
We Explain These Common Hairline Cracks in Teeth

Have you ever noticed very fine, hairline cracks that run vertically on the surfaces of your teeth? Don't worry – these lines are very common, especially in adults. What we're referring to is called craze lines – and while they thankfully aren't a health concern, they can be a cosmetic concern for many.

Craze lines are harmless cracks that occur in the enamel layer of the tooth. Causes of craze lines include:

  • Habits such as biting the nails, grinding the teeth, or using the teeth as tools (excessive biting force)
  • Severe trauma through injury
  • Previous dental work with a drill
  • Natural wear over time
  • May develop due to extreme temperature changes

If you have craze lines on your teeth, you'll be happy to know that they probably won't ever cause any problems! Tooth enamel is highly resistant to cracking due to its material makeup and formation. Because of this, these tiny lines rarely ever progress or result in a full-blown crack that reaches the dentin or the nerve of the tooth. There really is no reason to treat harmless craze lines unless it's the cosmetic aspect that's bothering you.

How Can I Get Rid of Craze Lines?

While it's impossible to technically “get rid” of craze lines, there are many ways to improve or mask their appearance. For instance, if your craze lines have become stained (this occurs through trapping tiny particles of debris), a teeth whitening treatment, such as Philips Zoom Whitening offered at our Toronto clinic can bleach the stain and make it nearly undetectable.

Alternatively, dentists may use tooth-coloured composite filling material to conceal craze lines, or, porcelain veneers can be used to mask the lines and provide the patient with an overall stunning smile. However, patients who habitually use excessive force biting down, or who have a teeth grinding (bruxism) problem should make sure they resolve the problem before investing in porcelain veneers, as these habits could damage the veneers.

How Will I Know the Difference?

If you're unsure about a crack being a craze line or something more serious, see your dentist – especially if you've been experiencing sensitivity to temperature or force, or if you've been experiencing spontaneous pain.

Don't Like Your Craze Lines?

If you think whitening, composite filling or veneers are a suitable option for you, don't hesitate to book a consultation with one of our Ryerson dentists today! We'd love to help you achieve your perfect smile in any way we can.