General Dental Informtion

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

cracked tooth syndrome

There is no doubt that teeth are amongst the most important organs of each person. Our teeth are vulnerable to wide range of threats. The cracked tooth syndrome is one of the most important risks threatening out teeth. It would bring about many problems for patient and it must be emphasized that it is along with severe pain.

What is interesting about the cracked tooth syndrome is that despite it is a common disorder among oral and dental diseases, but most people have no idea and information about it. Sadly, people who have this syndrome usually suffer from a great deal of pain; so, it is recommended that to visit a dentist as soon as you noticed the initial symptoms of this syndrome. Exacerbation and extension of the crack in question would lead to much more intense pain for patients.

In this article, we decide to provide our all dear readers with all necessary information about cracked tooth syndrome. Therefore, if you have any certain question about this subject or you are generally interested in gaining information about dental and oral problems including the cracked tooth syndrome, you are invited to read this article to the end.

a cracked tooth

A cracked tooth

What is the cracked tooth syndrome?

A cracked tooth syndrome cracked tooth syndrome occurs when an incomplete or complete dental fracture appears. In most cases, the crack is very tiny; however, there are cases in which we see very large and threatening cracks which influence on the entire patient’s tooth.

Often such cracks would appear somewhere in patient’s teeth which can be seen and examined only using dental radiography imagery. Very tiny cracks usually take place in posterior teeth or the damaged ones. Cracked tooth syndrome would occur in any age or any condition; hence it cannot be confined to a certain age group; however, in general, with increasing age, Cracked tooth syndrome occurrence tends to increase in people.

The most important symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome

Knowing about their symptoms is necessary to diagnose any dental disorder. Cracked tooth syndrome is not an exception to this general rule. Actually, this syndrome has its own symptoms which their examination would verify cracked tooth syndrome in patients. Some but not all of symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome will be pointed here. Before anything else, pain and sensitivity must be stressed in this syndrome.

Usually the cracked teeth tolerate a great deal of pressure and stress while patients start to eat. This intense pressure would result in some intolerable pain. The pain is so intense that people would lose their control. It is necessary to remind that people with cracked tooth syndrome are even unable to chew soft stuff, as they feel an excruciating pain in their teeth while chewing the softest stuff.

In some cases, this sharp pain is felt not only during chewing and eating, but it also is felt when patient is resting. Sudden temperature shifts are among the factors which intensify this condition. Sudden warming or cooling of the air would result in pain in people who suffer from this dental disorder.

What differentiates a cracked tooth syndrome from tooth decay?

Sometimes symptoms one may find in someone who suffers from cracked tooth syndrome would be seen in cases with tooth decay too, so differentiating the pain caused by tooth decay and the pain due to cracked tooth syndrome is very difficult.

What would be helpful in this regard is that the pain caused by cracked tooth syndrome is not a constant pain. Actually, the pain caused by cracked tooth syndrome usually lasts for a few minutes and then subsides again. In contrast, tooth decay pain is constant and rarely subsides. The reason for this difference rooted in the general nature of these two types of pain. As you may guess, decay causes much more damage to teeth, so naturally it brings about more and more intense pain.

a teeth with a big crack

A teeth with a big crack

The most important causes of cracked tooth syndrome

Now that we have necessary information about cracked tooth syndrome, we need to know what causes and factors would develop this syndrome in patients’ teeth. Each of these factors solely is able to develop cracked tooth syndrome and other dental disorders and problems.

1- Cracked tooth syndrome due to bruxism

Bruxism is one of the most important causes of cracked tooth syndrome. People who suffer from bruxism tend to grind their teeth and to clench their jaws, so naturally it would result in dental fracture or cracked teeth. People who suffer from bruxism usually grind their teeth unconsciously when their awake (it is called awake bruxism), another type of bruxism occurs during sleeping (which is known as nocturnal/sleep bruxism).

Nocturnal/sleep bruxism is considered as a sleep-related movement disorder. People with sleep bruxism suffer from other sleep-related problems including snorting and apnea. Perhaps a mild bruxism does not need any treatment; however, sometimes it would lead to serious damages to jaws, intense headaches and the cracked tooth syndrome (cracked tooth syndrome). In these cases you can refer to an orthodontist.

2- Cracked tooth syndrome due to insufficient space in-between teeth

Another factor would cause cracked tooth syndrome is malocclusion of teeth. If there is no proper space between teeth and we see so-called crowding teeth in someone’s mouth or teeth had been grown in a way that one would impose pressure over other, the patent would develop cracked tooth syndrome after a short while. This condition can be avoided by referring to an orthodontist and aligning teeth in a proper space through orthodontic treatment.

3- Cracked tooth syndrome due to improper filling

Many dental and oral problems including cracked tooth syndrome would be easily avoided if the teeth are filled correctly and scientifically, but the opposite is the case, as well. In other words, teeth would be cracked, if they are not filled correctly. For this reason, it is severely recommended to meet a specialized dentist, particularly an orthodontist, if you intend to get your teeth filled. Orthodontists are fully familiar with the best techniques and materials used for filling the teeth, so they can avoid such problems for their patients.

4- Cracked tooth syndrome due to incomplete endodontic therapy

Sometimes, endodontic therapy would be left incomplete or improper. An incomplete endodontic therapy would result in negative results including cracked tooth syndrome. Like feeling teeth, endodontic therapy has to be carried out by the specialized dentists and orthodontists who are familiar with different methods and techniques. Any problem while performing root canal treatment would result in your dental fractures.

How to Prevent cracked tooth syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome can be treated easily by various medical methods used by a specialized and or orthodontist, if it is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, but if the crack exacerbates, there would be no choice but taking advantage of some more complicated techniques including endodontic therapy.

Using of night guard

The best method to prevent cracked tooth syndrome is using a device known as “night guard”. As its name indicates, it is usually prescribed for people who suffer from the cracked tooth because of nocturnal bruxism. Night guard is a kind of protective device which can be easily placed in the mouth in order to prevent much more damages.

a lady is holding a transparent night guard

Night guard to protect teeth against cracks caused by bruxism

The best treatment for the cracked tooth syndrome

Depending on your cracked tooth syndrome condition, a proper medical method would be chosen for you. Actually, a certain medical worked for a patient would be inappropriate for another patient with different condition. Therefore, it is impossible to point a single method for treating cracked tooth syndrome. Actually, you dentist is the best person who can help you in this regard and given your teeth condition in terms of various parameters and different aspects the best technique.

Placing composites is one of the most common methods orthodontists may use to solve the problems caused by the cracked teeth. In this technique, orthodontists use composites to fill the cracked section in teeth. It has many advantages, the most important of which is its fast effectiveness.

Another technique may be used to treat cracked tooth syndrome is bonding. As you may guess from its name, in bonding, orthodontists use a special device to put a very resistant protective layer in the cracked part of a patient’s teeth. It prevents exacerbation of the crack of the damaged teeth.

There is no other way but endodontic therapy and root canal therapy, if the patient’s condition is very bad and none of the mentioned medical methods work for them. In this technique, dentists would remove all pulpal tissues of your teeth and then obturate the root canal of the cracked teeth which in turn help you to do not feel pain any more.

Cracked tooth syndrome FAQ

1- How many treatment techniques are there for cracked tooth syndrome?

There are a wide range of dentistry medical methods for the cracked tooth syndrome, from using night guards, which mostly is a preventive device in people with nocturnal bruxism, to placing composites and or endodontic therapy.

2- At what age does cracked tooth syndrome occurs?

Since there is no relationship between causes of cracked tooth syndrome and age, hence no certain age can be singled out for its occurrence, so it would appear in any age.

3- What is the most important cause of cracked tooth syndrome?

Awake bruxism and or sleeping/nocturnal bruxism can be named as the most important cause of the cracked tooth syndrome.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist
About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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