Have you heard of craze lines? No, we’re not talking about the latest fad; we’re talking about a condition that can affect your tooth enamel as you age. At ZDental, we think it’s important to educate people about lesser-known dental conditions and let them know what they can do to prevent or treat them. Read on to find out more about craze lines on your teeth and whether or not they are cause for concern.

What are Craze Lines?

You may have heard the term “crazing” before about pottery. It describes the fine cracks that can appear in the glaze of old pottery. Did you know that crazing can also appear on your teeth? Craze lines usually appear in older patients, and they are generally nothing more than superficial cracks. While they are often difficult to see with the naked eye, they can also appear gray, yellow, or brown depending on your lifestyle, diet, and the health of your teeth.

Craze lines are caused by normal wear and tear from eating, but they can be exacerbated by teeth grinding (also known as bruxism), injuries or trauma, misaligned teeth, or bad habits like nail-biting and chewing ice or other hard objects.

Are Craze Lines a Dental Emergency?

When you get a crack in your tooth, it is absolutely a dental emergency and should be taken care of immediately. Craze lines are a bit different. Because these lines are so superficial, they usually don’t go any deeper than the tooth enamel. In most cases, craze lines will not progress any further than the superficial stage. While they can make you more prone to cavities, following a proper oral health routine will do a good job of preventing any further damage. That means brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, using mouthwash, and getting a dental checkup every 6 months.

Can You Prevent Craze Lines?

Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent craze lines from appearing as you age. Most people will develop them at some point in their lives; however, if you suffer from bruxism, wearing a mouth guard at night can prevent damage to the teeth including craze lines. Also, if you bite your nails or have a habit of chewing ice, stopping those behaviors may prevent the condition from progressing. Consuming staining liquids like coffee, tea, and red wine can make craze lines more visible, so avoiding them is a good idea. Smoking is another habit that can exacerbate craze lines, so you can use this fact as another one of the many excellent reasons to quit smoking today.

What Can You Do about Craze Lines?

If you already have craze lines, there isn’t much you can do. Cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening or veneers can reduce their appearance, but you should always discuss your options with a dentist before making any decisions. For those of you who live in New Jersey or the Greater Philadelphia area, the team at ZDental can be an excellent resource for questions about craze lines and other oral health conditions. To schedule an appointment with our affordable dentist in Philadelphia, head over to our contact page and out which one of our 5 convenient locations works best for you, then call or schedule an appointment online today!