Are you looking for information about—or a solution for—craze lines on teeth?

Small hairline cracks in teeth may seem problematic but be assured that they’re not. They’re a common occurrence that makes your teeth look cracked. However, you can take preventative measures or seek dental solutions when you see crack lines in front teeth.

Ready to put your mind at ease about craze lines on teeth?

Keep reading to learn about craze lines, their causes, and how to fix craze lines in teeth.

What Are Craze Lines in Teeth?

“Why do my teeth look cracked?” is what you’re probably worrying to yourself when you see small crack lines in front teeth. These lines are called craze lines, and they aren’t as serious as you may think.

Craze lines are thin cracks in teeth, specifically the outer enamel layer of teeth. These hairline cracks in teeth aren’t a cause for significant concern because they don’t usually progress into deeper cracks. Craze lines are a cosmetic issue, and major dental procedures won’t be required to fix them.

If you do see craze lines appear on your teeth, it’s best to start or continue proper dental hygiene as these thin lines through teeth may lead to cavities. Otherwise, most dentists say that no further action is required. Still, if the appearance of craze lines is driving you crazy, and you want to know more about them, keep reading.  

What Causes Hairline Cracks in Teeth? 

General stress placed on teeth through years of wear and tear is the most common cause of craze lines. So, another term for craze lines is “stress lines” in teeth. Many years of chewing food and putting pressure on teeth can eventually cause craze lines—those small, visible lines in teeth.

Some other causes of craze lines include:

  • Grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Misaligned teeth or a poor bite (malocclusion)
  • Nail biting or other similar habits
  • Chewing on ice or other hard objects
  • Tooth injury or trauma

Aside from general wear and tear, most craze line causes are fully within your control. With some simple preventative measures, you can keep craze lines from appearing or forming in other teeth.

How to Prevent Craze Lines in Teeth

Maybe you have craze lines and don’t want to develop more. Perhaps you don’t have any hairline cracks in your teeth and want to keep it that way.

Below we’ve compiled a list of ways to prevent stress lines in teeth.

1. Regular Dental Care

Be proactive about your oral health. Implement healthy practices like:

Basic oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping teeth strong and healthy.

2. Stop Bad Habits

Habits like biting nails or chewing on hard objects can lead to craze lines. Breaking bad habits can be challenging, but stopping bad biting or chewing patterns can keep your teeth from getting craze lines.

3. Treat Bruxism

If you grind your teeth at night (or during the day), you’re putting extra stress and strain on your teeth. This added wear and tear can cause craze lines to form. 

For nighttime grinding or jaw clenching, think about getting a nightguard to help ease the pressure on your teeth while you sleep. Daytime grinding can be more challenging to overcome and usually requires good self-control.

4. Athletic Protection

Participating in team athletic events that involve contact can lead to tooth injury or trauma. If you regularly play a contact sport, it’s best to invest in a mouthguard. This piece of equipment will keep your mouth and teeth free from unwanted trauma.

Craze Lines Vs. Cracked Tooth

Although craze lines are technically thin cracks in teeth, they’re different from a completely cracked tooth

With a craze line, only the topmost layer of your enamel is affected. Craze lines don’t penetrate the enamel deeply enough to cause damage to the tooth’s structure. As a result, these stress lines in teeth don’t come with any pain or increased sensitivity.

A cracked tooth, on the other hand, fractures the tooth’s enamel. Cracked teeth can often be identified by the pain and sensitivity they cause, so by monitoring pain you can tell when you break a tooth. A fractured tooth usually requires dental treatment like dental bonding or crowns. Fortunately, these procedures can restore the tooth’s look and integrity.

You can fix cracked teeth, so is there a way to fix craze lines in teeth?

The Solution for Craze Lines on Teeth

Craze lines are a cosmetic issue, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to look into treatment options for them. Many people wonder how to fix craze lines in teeth, and while there are a few options, results might depend on the severity of the lines. Do you suffer from front tooth craze lines? Teeth whitening is the first recommendation. If the desired results aren’t achieved, veneers or crowns would be recommended next to fix stress lines in the teeth. 

1. Home whitening

Home whitening is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to address craze lines. While it won’t remove the lines, it will bring the surrounding tooth color closer to the craze lines. There is a multitude of whitening options through toothpaste, mouthwashes, and home whitening kits available. If you want to start one of these treatments but don’t know which to choose, you can always talk to your dentist. They can help you understand each product and prescribe a long-term plan that’s safe and effective.

If you are someone who suffers from sensitive teeth, professional whitening or whitening through a dental office is recommended. 

2. Dental Whitening

Receiving a dental whitening treatment is a professional alternative to home whitening. Some common dental whitening treatments include:

  • Take-home option: Your dentist will create a custom tray and provide whitening gel to use at home. 
  • In-office option: A 2-3 hour session at the dentist using a powerful light to achieve results the same day

With a dental whitening procedure, you’ll receive direct oversight and supervision from a trained dentist to ensure the treatment achieves intended results.

3. Crowns or Veneers

Lastly, you can ask your dentist about veneers or crowns to solve your craze lines. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or composite material placed over a tooth that looks, feels, and behaves like a natural tooth. A crown is a tooth-colored cap that is placed over a tooth. Crowns help strengthen teeth and restore normal tooth function.

The veneer and crown process is permanent and costly. 

Veneers and crowns are very effective at covering up stains or hairline cracks in teeth, but you’ll want to talk with your dentist and research them before deciding on them as a treatment option.

Professional Help With Stress Lines in Teeth

Hairline cracks in teeth are common and aren’t a reason for alarm, though they can cause you to wonder, “Why do my teeth have lines on them?”

Craze lines often form from general wear and tear put on teeth repeatedly. Other events like bruxism, nail-biting, chewing on hard objects, or trauma to your tooth can also lead to teeth looking cracked from craze lines. Craze lines are cosmetic issues that don’t necessarily require advanced dental treatment. 

You can prevent craze lines by practicing good oral hygiene, using a mouthguard if you have bruxism, or breaking bad habits like nail-biting. There are also long-term solutions for craze lines on teeth like whitening procedures or dental veneers to cover up craze lines.

If you have craze lines and aren’t sure what to do, you can always reach out to a dental professional.

At Northside Dental Co, we offer expert advice and professional cosmetic services for craze lines and other dental needs. Our highly trained staff can provide you with the best advice on what’s causing your craze lines and what a suitable treatment plan might entail. Whether you want to know how to prevent other craze lines or want to treat current craze lines, we’re here to help.

Schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (804) 767-3410. We’re excited to meet you and walk with you on your dental journey.