Cracked tooth syndrome

Beenleigh Marketplace Dental can diagnose and treat cracked tooth syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome is one of the most difficult diagnoses in dentistry. It refers to tiny cracks in the tooth enamel that are usually too small to be seen in a standard x-ray. They can occur anywhere on the tooth – including under the gums, making them even more difficult to discover. These cracks occur most often in the lower back teeth which is where most of the forces of chewing are exerted. While cracks can go undetected for a while, they can also cause sharp pain when biting, just after biting, when drinking cold beverages, or when eating or drinking sugary substances. The pain may also be more generalised, mimicking sinusitis, headaches, ear pain or facial pain.

Why does cracked tooth syndrome happen?

There are several things that can cause cracked tooth syndrome. Grinding, clenching, and ice chewing over extended periods of time can cause extensive damage to the teeth, with cracks being a common result. Other things that can lead to cracked teeth include isolated incidents such as accidentally biting with force into a pit or bone within fruit or meat, or an accident that affects the teeth. Teeth with heavy restorative work are more susceptible to cracking. Some genetic factors may also make one more susceptible to cracked teeth.

Treatments for cracked tooth syndrome

Treatment for this condition will depend on a variety of factors. The location of the crack (whether it is above or below the gum line) will have an important impact on how the tooth is treated. Cracks occurring near the top of the tooth – at the cusp, may be treated with application of a crown, while cracks occurring near the root may need to be extracted. About 20 percent of cracked teeth will require a root canal. Because of the difficulties in finding these tiny cracks, initial treatment may not be fully effective in halting the pain and the tooth may require further treatment.

If you would like to know more about cracked tooth syndrome, or to book an appointment, please contact us.