It depends on what type of crack. Some are regular occurrences, but others can put the tooth at risk of breaking or becoming infected. Sometimes our patients come to us with deep concerns when they notice crack lines in their teeth, particularly their front teeth. Although things can look rather rough in a particular light, not all crack lines are as bad as they seem. Lines commonly seen on front teeth are usually 'craze lines.' These vertical lines are easily visible when light hits the tooth's surface at a certain angle. Sometimes people may refer to them as 'superficial' or 'hairline cracks.' When we notice them, they might seem unsightly, unstable or feel like a cosmetic issue for some.
How Do I Develop Craze Lines?
Our teeth endure regular temperature changes and pressure from eating and chewing. Hot and cold drinks, teeth clenching, or grinding can also contribute to our risk of developing craze and crack lines. For this reason, people commonly notice these lines whilst approaching middle age. Craze lines can stain easily and are sometimes prone to decay. However, we don't usually recommend any treatment for craze lines. Some patients opt to have their front teeth covered with composite or ceramic veneers to improve the appearance of their front teeth. If our dentist notices clenching or grinding symptoms, they will usually recommend an occlusal splint (nightguard) to wear at night to reduce the risk of further cracks developing.
Other Lines Noticeable on Teeth
Crack lines, on the other hand, need to be taken seriously. They form due to the exact causes as craze lines, but the crack extends into deeper parts of the tooth beyond the outer enamel layer. When the cracks reach a certain depth, the tooth is at risk of breaking at any moment, even while eating more 'gentle' foods. We often have patients perplexed as to why their tooth breaks after eating a banana or something as soft as bread. These breaks can occur due to preexisting cracks. A significant problem with cracked teeth is how unpredictable the nature of when they will break and how severe it may be. Our Highgate Hill dentists can still repair the tooth, but sometimes times it can suffer a break in its roots and require an extraction.
Another potential problem that a crack can present is that it may allow the entry of bacteria to a deeper part of the inner tooth, which may lead to infection.
Dental Treatment in Highgate Hill
Due to the unpredictable nature of crack lines, our dentist here in Highgate Hill usually assesses teeth for harmful cracks during a routine exam and lets our patients know if they are present. The patient can decide to act proactively and protect the teeth with early treatment or hold off and see what happens. We think of it as a similar situation to taking out insurance. If anything negative does happen, it is possible to deal with the consequences when they arise.
We Welcome You to Contact Us
Our door is open for consultations for more information concerning any lines or cracks on your teeth that may feel bothersome, and we invite you to reach out for more information!