If you have noticed small, vertical cracks on the surface of your teeth, they may be craze lines. Craze lines are painless and not something that you should worry too much about. However, although craze lines are usually harmless, they can contribute to several oral health issues in the long term.
Here is what you need to know if you have noticed craze lines on the surface of your teeth.
Craze lines may cause staining
Because craze lines run along the surface enamel of teeth, they can contribute to staining. Staining occurs because food particles stick to the edges of craze lines. And the probability of staining increases if you drink tea or coffee. This is because tea and coffee contain tannins, which attract elements in food like sugars and proteins.
Food particles aren't always easy to remove from craze lines. As a result, staining occurs on teeth that have craze lines.
Craze lines may increase the risk of tooth decay
Craze lines may be tiny, but they still leave an open door for tooth decay to affect teeth in the future. Craze lines can lead to tooth decay because they provide bacteria with a place to gather on the surface of teeth. Oral bacteria find it easier to cling to teeth that have some form of damage, such as cracks or chips because damaged surfaces are rough rather than smooth.
While hiding in small cracks on the surface of teeth, oral bacteria gradually damage the enamel layer by releasing acids as they consume and digest proteins and sugars in the foods you eat.
Craze lines indicate bad habits
Although craze lines can form over time because of typical wear and tear, bad habits can also cause craze lines. For instance, chewing on ice or biting your nails can lead to craze lines. And if you grind your teeth at night, the pressure on your teeth can lead to the formation of craze lines.
You may need to address any bad oral habits you have soon if you have begun to notice more craze lines appearing on your teeth.
You can fix craze lines with cosmetic dentistry
Small craze lines are not usually a problem for teeth. But they can be unsightly, especially if they cover the surface of your front teeth. Fortunately, your dentist can use several cosmetic dental treatments to fix craze lines. For instance, composite bonding and porcelain veneers can both cover and hide craze lines from view.
If you are worried about the appearance of craze lines on your teeth, book an appointment with a dentist. They can help to determine the cause and provide cosmetic dental treatments if necessary.