Frequently, there are patients that visit my dental chair with concerns about what appears to be lines on the surface of their teeth. The patients are concerned that the lines are cracks or that they have damaged their teeth. Typically, the patient also mentions that the lines do not cause any pain. Do we need to fix the lines and if so, how? Usually, the vertical lines are not serious cracks in the tooth. They are “craze lines” that are formed from the stress of too much biting force exerted on a tooth. They are a cosmetic imperfection and are usually contained within the hard enamel shell of the tooth. Bruxism is the clenching or grinding of teeth. The phenomenon typically occurs at night. The lateral forces exerted on the tooth can cause the hard enamel shell to crack causing the craze lines, however the more resilient dentin deeper inside the tooth stays intact. While the actual lines that can be seen may be considered cosmetic, bruxism can do a lot more damage then just the craze lines. Teeth can chip, dental work can fail, and teeth can even die off resulting in root canals.
An example of craze lines in the teeth
The source behind why an individual is clenching or grinding teeth needs to be discovered and fixed. Bruxism and the wear on the teeth that comes with it, often is from misaligned teeth. The muscles that help chew want the teeth to touch at the same time with the same force. If that isn’t occurring, then the muscles try to force it to happen by grinding away any teeth that are in the way of an even and balanced biting force. Dentists determine the location of an interference by analyzing the entire bite or occlusion of the patient. This can be done using a system called the T-Scan. This tool is a dynamic bite analysis system which allows the dentist to know exactly where the interferences are, so they can be removed minimally and painlessly. Once the interferences are removed the muscles are able to relax at night and the teeth are better protected.
If you’re concerned you might have a crack that is deeper than a craze line, indicators to look for are:
- Pain or uncomfortable sensations when biting
- Prolonged sensitivity with exposed to hot or cold temperatures
- The crack is dark or getting bigger
- Pain after releasing a bite
This device is called a T-Scan, it is a tool used to improve bruxism and TMJ.
If you have noticed these lines in your teeth and are concerned about if they are craze lines or worse don’t wait! If you suspect that you are affected by such issues that may have a history of being overlooked, CALL OUR OFFICE TODAY for an evaluation and consultation. Let Dr. Farnsworth or Dr. Campbell help you build protocols to put an end issues that may arise from lines in the teeth or Bruxism. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options we may have for you at: Pro Solutions Dental Group 928-776-1208 Also, be sure to visit our website: www.prescottdentist.com to learn more about all the amazing treatments Pro Solutions Dental group has to offer.