There are certain crazes in terms of fashion and style. You might look back at old photos of yourself and wonder why on earth you thought that was a good look! There is one craze that can be permanent, and it is a type of craze that can affect how you look. When was the last time you had a good, close look at your teeth in the mirror? Craze lines are small cracks that generally run vertically down your front teeth. Sometimes they are barely visible, and other times, when coupled with discolouration, they can be rather obvious. Noticing what looks like a small crack in the surface of your teeth can be a cause for alarm, but craze lines are generally not a major problem (other than the aesthetics) and can be easily fixed.
What Is a Craze Line?
A craze line is an indentation in the enamel of your teeth. It's shallow by nature, and doesn't necessarily affect the tooth itself. These craze lines can only pose a risk to your dental health when your habits cause them to deepen, or when they are coupled with periodontal disease (which again might cause them to deepen).
What Causes Craze Lines?
General wear and tear on your teeth can cause craze lines. Sometimes it's just a sign of getting older. There are some habits which are also thought to contribute to craze lines, such as biting your fingernails or using your teeth to open bags and bottles. These habits should be avoided!
When Should You See a Dentist?
If you are concerned about your craze lines, you should of course have them examined by a dentist. Your dentist can assess the severity of your craze lines in conjunction with other aspects of your dental health, such as the general state of your teeth. Many craze lines will cause no problem other than affecting the look of your teeth, but if these lines continue to develop, they might wear through to your dentine. The dentine is the hard component of your teeth, beneath the enamel. So if the craze lines expose this dentine, you can be more susceptible to tooth decay. Your dentist will want to take the appropriate action if this is the case.
What's the Best Treatment for Craze Lines?
Dental bonding is perhaps the most common approach when it comes to treating craze lines. Dental composite (a type of tooth-coloured putty) is applied to the surface of the teeth that require treatment. It's allowed to dry, and then the dentist will shape and polish the resurfaced teeth to make the composite match your other teeth. It's essentially applying a protective surface to your teeth in order to replace the enamel that has been weakened by the craze lines.
Craze lines don't always result in a dental drama, but if you are at all concerned, please speak with your dentist.