What are craze lines?
Over time, teeth can develop tiny cracks on the enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth. These tiny cracks are seen on the teeth as small vertical lines, known as craze lines. Craze lines can become discoloured over time but typically have zero pain associated and do not require treatment, except for cosmetic purposes. Craze lines are normally consistent in appearance over time and typically don’t lead to cracks. The majority of adult teeth have craze lines.
What causes craze lines?
Craze lines are commonly caused by stress being placed on a tooth. Simply chewing is enough pressure to cause a craze line. Unnecessary stress should be avoided as much as possible; grinding teeth, nail biting, or opening packages using teeth.
The process of getting a cavity filled is also known to cause these lines as when a dentist drills the tooth, the pressure exits through the enamel. This is certainly not a reason to avoid getting a cavity filled, however, as craze lines are simply a cosmetic flaw whereas an untreated cavity may lead to significant complications.
What are cracks?
Cracks are just that, cracks in the teeth which can show a variety of symptoms. Depending on the severity of a crack, treatment may range from leaving it as is, or performing a filling or a crown.
What causes cracks?
Cracks can form in your teeth due to a variety of reasons; commonly when chewing with the release of biting pressure or when the tooth is exposed to extreme temperatures. Extensive dental work such as large fillings can cause your teeth to wear down faster which may cause a tooth to crack. Some causes of cracks are out of personal control; accidents or any sort of great impact involving your mouth or teeth.
Regular dental visits for examinations will allow a dentist to monitor any small cracks before they become a problem.
If you think a crack could be affecting your bite or causing you pain, call our Patient Coordinator on (03) 9460 7070 and have a quick chat to work out the difference.