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What Are Craze Lines?

Posted by Taylor Schachter on Feb 11 2020, 06:50 PM

What Are Craze Lines?

Our teeth go through a lot of stress in their lifetime. That stress ranges from typical activities, like chewing and chattering, to the not-so-typical grinding and opening of packaging (we see you!) and, yes, even less-than-ideal dental hygiene (it happens!). Teeth have to be pretty tough to withstand all that wear and tear. But sometimes even the strongest of teeth show signs of damage.

You may have seen little lines that run up and down the front of some of your teeth. But what are they, how did they get there, and are they cause for alarm? Here’s the lowdown on "craze lines."

Craze lines. Sounds like something you should be concerned about, right? Well, yes and no. Craze lines are those vertical lines you can see in the enamel when the sunlight catches your smile at just the right angle. Not sure what we mean? Illuminate your teeth with a flashlight and you might spot a few. But what are they, you ask? Well, simply put they are micro fractures in your enamel. But don’t panic! Most are too superficial to worry about and will not pose any harm to your teeth.

So, what causes craze lines, you wonder? Several things. One cause is simply your genetics. Some teeth are more prone to them than others. Other causes include damage from biting into hard foods like ice or chips or hard candies, or, yes, from biting into things you shouldn’t be using your teeth for, like packaging or your fingernails.

Another surprising cause of craze lines is temperature change. As weird as it sounds, something as simple as drinking hot coffee or eating ice cream can cause a craze line to appear!

The good news is that craze lines are really common, and mostly harmless, so if you have some they don’t need treatment. Better yet, they are usually so superficial they won’t go any deeper or get any worse. If they do, they can be addressed, but it's usually fine to just leave them alone and let them add character to your beautiful smile.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call 858-523-1400.

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