Have you ever seen a porcelain doll that has tiny cracks all over it? A similar thing can occur with your tooth enamel. These small vertical fractures are called craze lines. Though the depth of the cracks are usually shallow enough that your teeth aren’t in danger of severe damage from craze lines, they can become stained over time. When craze lines are visible, many people find that their confidence in their smile is quite diminished. Dr. Gilly Calcagno, your Rochester dentist, will explain how craze lines occur, and what you can do if they make you unhappy with the way your teeth look.
The Cause of Craze Lines
Our teeth are surprisingly strong. In fact, tooth enamel is the second hardest substance on earth, right behind diamonds. Tooth enamel covers all of your teeth, but it’s not impenetrable. If you are a nail biter, a pencil nibbler, or you use your teeth as a tool (such as opening a soda bottle, or cracking nuts with your teeth) you are putting yourself at high risk for craze lines. Vertical tooth fractures can also occur from wearing oral jewelry (tongue and lip rings) traumatic tooth injuries, teeth grinding, and sometimes just simple daily use of your teeth. Once the vertical fractures appear, food particles and dark consumables like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, will cause stains that make the lines visible to the human eye.
How to Deal with Craze Lines
The good news is that craze lines are very shallow, so tooth decay or deeper cracks aren’t much of a concern. As long as you keep up with your daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentist twice-a-year for checkups, your teeth should stay healthy in spite of craze lines. Unfortunately, the stains can’t simply be brushed away. Many people turn to teeth whitening to cover up visibly stained fractures. In cases where amount of craze lines is overwhelming, or stains don’t respond to bleaching, porcelain veneers can be considered to give you a line-free grin.
Contact Your Rochester Cosmetic Dentist
We provide professional teeth whitening and porcelain veneers at Calcagno Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry. To schedule a consultation, contact our Rochester dentist office at (507)281-3659. We are proud to provide service to patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, the 55902 zip code, and surrounding communities.