Sometimes also referred o as split tooth syndrome, incomplete fracture, or cracked cusp syndrome, a cracked tooth syndrome is a condition where a tooth is partially cracked, but a part of it is yet to fall off. Cracked tooth syndrome is essentially a type of dental trauma.
Dentists sometimes also define it as fracture passing through tooth structure with an unknown depth and direction.
Unlike the regular fractures, the crack is too small to show up on X-rays and is sometimes hidden beneath the gum, and that makes it challenging to identify. Most often, a cracked tooth syndrome appears on molars, since they absorb the maximum pressure.
What causes cracked tooth syndrome?
As with most of the oral disorders, there’s no single reason for a cracked tooth. A number of causes are at play. These could be:
- Dental Trauma
- Chewing on hard objects
- Excessive grinding and clenching
- Tooth with excessive fillings
- Substandard Root canal treatment
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Sharp pain in one particular area when biting
- A fleeting pain as and when the bite is released, i.e. rebound pain
- Pain while grinding teeth
- Sensation while eating/drinking sugary substance
- Sensation while drinking hot/cold beverages
- Localized pain where one can identify the exact tooth causing trouble
The reported symptoms of a cracked tooth can vary and more often than not, symptoms lay hidden underneath for months before the crack is diagnosed, simply because the minute fractures are often invisible to the naked eye, and in rare cases of hairline fractures, even an X-ray might not help detecting them.
Being one of the toughest dental problems to diagnose, it requires a complete oral examination which involves scrutinizing the patient’s dental history, radiographs (X-rays), and fiber optic hand piece. Often, a cracked tooth syndrome mimics the features if Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder, facial pain, ear pain and headache.
Preventing cracked tooth syndrome
Since teeth clenching and grinding are the only two contributing factors under our control, they should be avoided at all costs. Since grinding is habitual, and most people are not aware of the problem, they unknowingly contribute to the syndrome.
Mentioned below are some of the tips that would help you combat teeth clenching and grinding:
- Limit caffeine intake
- Sleep on your back
- Take a balanced diet
- Side effect of certain medications
- Avoid chewing on hard items
- Reduce alcohol intake
Dental treatments for cracked tooth syndrome
There are several available treatments a dentist can use to treat a cracked tooth. Some of the most widely used treatments are dental crown restoration, tooth bonding, root canal therapy and extraction.
The recommended treatment depends on the location, severity and direction of the crack.
For any further information on dental cracked tooth syndrome, feel free to contact Dr. Bhutani Dental Clinic, one of the best dental clinic in Delhi.