What Are Craze Lines?

28 August 2017

A craze line is a hairline vertical crack in the enamel of your teeth. It does not affect the inside of the tooth, known as the dentin, which would make it more serious. Many adults have craze lines in their teeth. Most of the time they are benign and don’t require a dental appointment.

Let’s review why they happen and what to do about them (if they bother you).

Good News – Bad News About Craze Lines

Craze lines are superficial and shallow and normally do not weaken the tooth. Many times you can only notice them if the light hits your teeth at a certain angle. They are the result of normal wear and tear. Although quite common in adult teeth, they don’t typically lead to fractures and are not something to be overly concerned about.

The bad news is that they can become discoloured, the area can become sensitive and cavities can develop. Should any of these issues arise, it would be the time to see a professional.

What Are The Causes Of Craze Lines?

There are a number of reasons craze lines appear in adult teeth. Some are preventable and others are simply the result of normal stress on our teeth. Since the surface of our teeth (called the enamel) is the strongest and most highly mineralized substance in our bodies, it takes specific stress to do damage to it.

Some things that cause craze lines include:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth, especially at night while asleep
  • Normal stress on teeth from eating and chewing
  • Biting down on very hard surfaces, both food (like hard candies) and non-food (things like biting your nails, chewing ice or on a pencil.)
  • Improperly using your teeth to open soda cans or tear open plastic packaging
  • Wearing a tongue ring or tongue jewelry
  • Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ)


If you are unhappy with your craze lines because they are stained and discoloured, you can opt for a professional teeth whitening procedure. Once the stains are removed, the craze lines will become virtually invisible.

If the lines are more noticeable, a dental veneer might be a good choice.

Craze lines are common, normally benign and rarely lead to serious issues.

If you become concerned about your craze lines and think the lines may be leading to a crack or fracture, don’t hesitate to contact a dental professional. Trust Oakville Dental Place Office, the specialists in broken tooth repair.

For all areas of family dentistry, trust your oral health to us.
Make an appointment today. We are happy to answer all questions and concerns.

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