Hairline Cracks in Teeth: Understanding their Causes and Symptoms

Teeth, probe and mouth mirror.

Have you ever heard the phrase — one smile can light up a room? Unrealistic as it seems, the point is, our smiles — or our teeth rather, instantly show the people around us who we are. However, though they seem pretty sturdy, teeth problems are the kind of problems you don’t ever want to have.

Bad haircut? No problem, it will grow back in a month or so. Got a bit too tan? Wait for your skin to lighten! But teeth problems? There’s almost no going back. Our teeth are permanent fixtures and one small break will stay with us throughout our lives. This is why oral health is important.

Now, one of the most common problems aside from cavities are the small cracks you see on your teeth. It may look just like simple lines from afar but it actually tells of a much bigger tale and a much bigger problem.

Let’s begin by knowing what those cracks are. 

What are Hairline Cracks in your Teeth? 

Hairline cracks, also known as craze lines or enamel fractures, are small, shallow cracks that appear on the surface of teeth. Unlike larger cracks or fractures that are more visible and may cause immediate pain or discomfort, hairline cracks are subtle and may not be immediately noticeable without close inspection.

They typically occur in the enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, and can vary in size and depth — which is why it is quite common to mistake it as just a simple line and no cause of concern. 

Causes of Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks can be caused by a variety of factors, including:


Big bumps or even minor accidents where you hit your mouth can make tiny cracks, especially in the front teeth as they are more exposed. 


Persistent teeth grinding or clenching, often during sleep, can exert excessive pressure on the teeth, leading to the development of hairline cracks over time.

Temperature Changes

A sudden change in temperature for your teeth can cause this as well.

A quick turn from hot to cold like eating hot food then drinking something cold, can make your tooth cover (enamel) expand and contract fast. This might cause tiny cracks to appear.


As we get older, our teeth can wear down naturally, which makes them more likely to get hairline cracks.

Chewing Hard Objects

Habitually chewing on hard objects like pens, ice, or hard candies can weaken the enamel and contribute to the formation of hairline cracks.

Also Related Post: What is Hairline Crack in Tooth? Causes and Treatment?

Recognising the Symptoms

Finding and seeing that you have hairline cracks on your teeth can be hard because they’re so small and often don’t feel like anything is wrong. But, there are a few things to watch out for that might give it away!


Ever feel a numbing sensation when you eat something hot, cold or sweet? If you ever feel it, especially in a specific tooth, it may be a sign of a hairline crack.


Even though hairline cracks might not hurt all the time, if you feel pain when you chew or bite sometimes, it could mean the crack has gone deep into your tooth.

Visible Lines

Sometimes, all it takes is a good look. A quick examination of your teeth may show you tiny cracks up close, especially if they’re on the front of the tooth.

Changes in Tooth Color

If you’ve had a hairline crack for a while, it might make the tooth change colour or look darker because food bits or bacteria have become stuck inside the small space. 

Seeing small cracks in your teeth may not seem like a big deal at first, but, if you ignore them, it can cause serious problems down the road. In the end, our teeth are one of the most permanent things in our body so prevention is always better than the cure.

Make sure that you are practising proper oral health and avoiding things that can cause hairline cracks as these cracks may turn into painful big problems that may also cost you quite an amount.

By preventing cracks and any bacteria from getting into your teeth, your teeth will be able to let you smile all the time — for all the world to see!

Take Care of Your Teeth the Right Way!

In this industry, we understand that your smile is the best asset you could have and we are here to make sure that your assets are always in tip-top shape and taken care of!

If you want to make sure that your oral health is taken care of, Bellevue Hill Dental can provide a smooth journey to ensure you get a healthier and brighter smile! Talk to our professionals for expert advice about braces and other dental services you might need. Book a consultation now or call our line at (02) 9389 4748.

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