Cracked tooth syndrome is a term that describes recurring discomfort, sensitivity, or pain that is caused by an incomplete fracture or crack in a tooth. The fracture involved in cracked tooth syndrome is often difficult to detect and may be completely invisible to the naked eye. It may not even appear on an x-ray.
As your teeth age, they may lose some of their original strength. Clenching and grinding, for instance, can weaken teeth. Large fillings and root canal treatment can also cause your teeth to lose strength. Every day, your teeth endure a tremendous amount of pressure from biting and chewing. If you bite down on a hard object like a piece of ice or a popcorn kernel, the force can sometimes cause a tooth to crack, especially if it’s already weakened.
To diagnose cracked tooth syndrome, a Brighton Healthy Smiles dentist will first perform a thorough exam of your mouth and teeth, focusing on the area that’s painful. We’ll usually take x-rays, which may or may not reveal the fracture, and we’ll analyze your bite to isolate the problem. Once we’ve identified the fractured portion of your tooth, the treatment we’ll use depends on the location and direction of the crack, as well as the extent of the damage.
Depending on the severity and location of the crack, we will recommend the appropriate treatment. In minor cases, a simple filling may be all that is required. In many cases, a crown will stabilize the crack effectively. If there has already been significant damage to the nerve of the tooth, a root canal may be required before a crown can be placed.
In rare cases, a crack extends all the way through the tooth and into the root. In these cases, there is no way to restore the tooth, and we have no other option besides removing the tooth. Fortunately, most cracked teeth can be saved. The key is to contact the experts at Brighton Healthy Smiles to find the crack early in its development and treat it appropriately.