Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Do you have a cracked tooth?

Cracked tooth syndrome occurs when a tooth has a crack that’s too small to show up on X-rays, or is under the gum and challenging to identify. It appears most often on molars. Teeth with large fillings (and/or root fillings) are weak, and can break when you bite. They sometimes can have hidden cracks which make them tender to bite on or sensitive to hot or cold. The molar and premolar teeth are most commonly the teeth affected.

Most people experience cracked tooth syndrome as pain or discomfort when biting into food, or when teeth are exposed to hot or cold temperatures. The pain or discomfort won’t be constant, as with a cavity. The reason it hurts to bite when you have a cracked tooth is that your tooth is flexing which stimulates the nerve in the tooth. Bacteria and toxins can enter the pulp (nerve) through the crack. This causes the pulp to become inflamed and sensitive.

What can cause a cracked tooth?

  • Grinding or clenching of teeth.
  • The way a person's teeth come together it can put too much pressure on one tooth, causing the tooth to crack.
  • Teeth with large fillings.
  • Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.

Early detection and treatment is important as developing cracks can be slowed down or stopped, increasing the chances that the tooth can be saved. If the crack gets bigger, a piece of the tooth may break off. There’s an increased risk of developing an infection in the gum around the fractured tooth. You may notice a pimple-like bump on the gum near the tooth, an abscess. The treatment required depends on the extent and position of the crack.

If you notice this, it is very important to contact your dentist and schedule your consultation with our practice today.

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