What is Hairline Crack in Tooth? Causes and Treatment

A hairline crack in a tooth, superficial crack or tooth fracture is a dental condition that appears as a minor problem at first sight. People with a hairline crack in a tooth may feel a sharp toothache that quickly subsides or not experience any symptoms. 

However, leaving the crack untreated could gradually result in tooth decay and chipping. 

Hairline crack in a tooth is one of the most common dental ailments in developed countries but is highly treatable with the proper care. To avoid dental complications, you should seek professional consultation and treatment at the earliest sign of a hairline crack. 

What is Hairline Crack in a Tooth?

A hairline crack in a tooth refers to a tiny crack in teeth that are not immediately noticeable. Hairline crack categories include vertical cracks, craze lines, cracked cusps, and splits. Cracks that run deep into your tooth may irritate nerve endings, resulting in pain and sensitivity when chewing or during temperature changes in the mouth. 

Causes of Hairline Crack in Tooth 

Hairline cracks in the tooth may occur from various impacts that damage the surface of your teeth when you least expect it. An accredited dentist can help you determine the type of hairline crack in a tooth to prescribe the most suitable treatment. 

Some of the causes of a hairline crack may include:

Chewing on Hard Foods or Objects

Hard foods or edible items like ice, beef jerky, nuts, hard sweets, and popcorn (specifically running the risks of munching into unpopped kernels), can cause teeth to crack upon impact. 

Pressure on the Jaw From Tooth Grinding or Clenching

Bruxism is a form of tooth grinding or clenching that usually arises as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. 

Gradually, the exertion could cause hairline cracks by damaging the enamel and dentin of teeth. Similarly, the friction caused by bruxism could result in bite misalignments where imbalanced pressure might lead to a hairline crack in a tooth. 

Injury to the Jaw From Sports or an Accident 

The force caused by high-impact sports or accidents can result in direct trauma to the teeth that leads to hairline cracks and other serious dental problems. Seat belts, helmets, and mouth guards can help reduce the impact of blunt force injuries during risky situations.  

Temperature Changes in the Mouth 

The sudden temperature changes in your mouth caused by hot or cold food could result in expansions and contractions in the teeth, resulting in hairline cracks. The tiny hairline crack formations, known as craze lines, may progressively worsen to cause sensitivities and tooth loss in severe cases. 


Decades of chewing and biting degrade the tooth enamel and significantly increases the risk of damage. The natural ageing process leads to biological changes in the body, such as weakened teeth that make them more susceptible to hairline crack formation. 

Treatment Options For Hairline Crack in Tooth 

A mild hairline crack in a tooth may not require detailed dental procedures. Home treatments such as brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste can help deter the dental wear and tear of ageing. However, you might require professional procedures such as cosmetic dentistry for fractures that threaten the structure of your teeth. 

A visit to the dentist can help you determine the most suitable solution to alleviate symptoms and avoid further dental complications. 

Some of the dental treatments for a hairline crack in the tooth include:


Dental bonding uses tooth-coloured composite resin for sealing the cracks and impurities of teeth. Dentists refer to a teeth guide to match the resin’s colour to the natural shade of your teeth for a natural appearance. Once dental experts have found the right hue, they mould the resin into shape and solidify the material with ultraviolet light.  


Dentists may prescribe crown treatments for hairline cracks associated with large cavities. A crown covers damaged teeth with materials such as porcelain and metal. The reinforced material strengthens the shape and structure of damaged teeth to prevent further damage caused by hairline cracks. 

Root Canal

Your dentist might propose a root canal treatment for a hairline crack involved in severe tooth decay and infection. The delicate procedure can help prevent tooth extractions by removing the infected nerve or pulp that causes pain and discomfort. 

Root canal treatments typically involve a pain-free process by applying anaesthesia and a disinfectant. Dentists often recommend combining root canal and crown treatments for optimal prognosis. 

Tooth Extraction 

Dentists may recommend tooth extractions as a last resort for the most severe hairline cracks. The location of a hairline crack, risks of abscess, and other complications can help experts determine the need for an extraction. 

Regular checkups with a trusted dental specialist can help diagnose and treat a hairline crack in teeth during the early stages to prevent invasive tooth extractions.    

Bellevue Hill Dental: Fixing a Hairline Crack in a Tooth

The team of dental specialists at Bellevue Hill Dental can help determine the exact cause of your hairline crack issues to provide the ideal solution. We offer advanced X-ray imaging through a cone beam volumetric tomography (CBVT) machine for a thorough dental diagnosis. 

Our accredited experts combine decades of experience and leading technology to identify the source and severity of your hairline crack to provide a customised treatment plan. You can rest assured that we will recommend the best treatment for you, no matter the depth and size of your hairline crack problem.   

Book an appointment with the Bevenue Hill Dental team to resolve a hairline crack in a tooth with the most trusted approach.

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