Reviewed by Dr. Alan Baughman, DMD, MBA
Cracked teeth syndrome, a commonly overlooked dental issue, can significantly impact oral health. This condition, characterized by a cracked or fractured tooth, can cause persistent discomfort if not treated.
This blog post will explore cracked tooth syndrome, its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options. Understanding this common dental issue will help you identify it early and seek professional help promptly.
Table of Contents
- What Is Cracked Tooth Syndrome?
- Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
- Symptoms of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
- Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth Syndrome
- Prevention Tips
- Additional Resources
- Achieve a Pain-Free Smile With Clearwater Dentistry
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Cracked Tooth Syndrome?
Cracked tooth syndrome refers to a condition with small, often invisible cracks on the surface of the teeth. Various types of cracks can occur in cracked tooth syndrome, each with unique characteristics and implications.
- Craze lines: These tiny cracks affect only the tooth’s outer enamel. While they might cause concern due to their appearance, craze lines are generally harmless and don’t cause pain or require treatment.
- Fractured cusp: This type of crack often occurs around a dental filling. It typically doesn’t affect the tooth’s pulp and is less likely to cause pain.
- Cracked tooth: This crack extends from the chewing surface towards the root. It may sometimes extend below the gum line and can lead to serious complications. Early diagnosis is essential to save the tooth.
- Split tooth: This is often the result of an untreated cracked tooth. The split typically goes from the surface down to the root, resulting in distinct segments that cause significant pain and often require extraction.
- Vertical root fracture: Small cracks begin in the root and extend towards the chewing surface. They often go unnoticed until the surrounding bone and gum become infected. The tooth may require extraction depending on the severity.
- Horizontal tooth fracture: This type of crack results in a horizontal split along the tooth’s roots and can cause significant pain. It may require extraction or root canal treatment, depending on the severity.
Cracked tooth syndrome often affects posterior teeth, where the most pressure is exerted during chewing. Unlike a chipped or broken tooth, cracked tooth syndrome is not always visible and may require a dental x-ray for proper diagnosis.
Good oral hygiene is your first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Causes of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
There are several causes of cracks in teeth. Some of the common causes include:
- Teeth grinding: Chronic teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can significantly weaken tooth structure. Over time, this habit can lead to deep cracks and fractures in the tooth enamel.
- Trauma to the mouth: Accidents, sports injuries, being hit in the face, or even biting into hard foods can cause considerable damage to the teeth, leading to cracks or fractures.
- Cavities: Untreated cavities can weaken the tooth structure, making it susceptible to cracks and fractures.
Symptoms of Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Here are some symptoms and signs that should not be ignored:
- Sharp pain when biting down on hard or cold foods
- Painful sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
- Discomfort when releasing biting pressure
- Swelling in the surrounding gum tissue
- Pain that comes and goes, making it hard to pinpoint the affected tooth
Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth Syndrome
A qualified dentist or dental professional can help diagnose and treat cracked tooth syndrome effectively. Some common treatment options include:
- Supportive therapy: Using a night guard can help alleviate symptoms by reducing pressure on the affected tooth, especially for individuals who grind their teeth at night.
- Dental filling or crown: For minor cracks, a dental filling or crown can help restore tooth structure and prevent further damage. A crown helps to uniformly distribute chewing forces across the tooth.
- Root canal therapy: In cases where the crack extends to the tooth’s pulp or root, a root canal treatment followed by a dental crown can save the tooth from extraction. Restored tooth function and pain relief can be expected after root canal treatment.
- Tooth extraction and dental implants: Tooth extraction may be necessary if the crack is too severe or extends below the gum line. Dental implants can replace the missing tooth or teeth and restore normal function.
- Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help temporarily alleviate cracked tooth pain and discomfort. However, it’s important to consult with a dental professional for appropriate treatment recommendations.
Although cracked tooth syndrome can happen to anyone, taking good care of your teeth can help prevent it. Here are some prevention tips you can follow:
- Avoid chewing on hard objects like pens or ice cubes.
- Wear a mouthguard during sports activities or night guard at night if you grind your teeth.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups and address any underlying oral health issues promptly.
- Practice good oral hygiene and maintain a healthy diet.
Cracked tooth syndrome can cause discomfort and affect your daily life, so we’ve compiled some helpful resources that can help with prevention. Check out these articles from our blog:
- How To Stop Bruxism Naturally
- Your Mouth Matters: How Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Wellness
- The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings
Achieve a Pain-Free Smile With Clearwater Dentistry
Cracked tooth syndrome can be painful and make everyday activities like eating and drinking uncomfortable.
However, with timely diagnosis and proper treatment, you can alleviate your symptoms and prevent further damage to your teeth.
Whether you are searching for dental crowns in Greeley, CO, or root canal treatment in Greeley, CO, Clearwater Dentistry can help. Call (970) 515-3550 or complete the online booking form to see why we are the best dentist in Greeley, CO!
Say goodbye to the pain and hello to a beautiful, healthy smile with Clearwater Dentistry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cracked tooth syndrome does not go away on its own and requires prompt, professional treatment. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to further damage, tooth infection, or even tooth loss.
Cracked tooth syndrome can occur at any age, but it is more common in adults. Our teeth become more susceptible to cracks and fractures due to wear and tear as we age.
Yes, cracked tooth syndrome can be very painful. The pain level may vary depending on the severity of the crack and its location. It is essential to seek professional treatment for relief from pain and discomfort. However, people may not initially experience symptoms in some cases, making regular dental check-ups crucial for early detection.