What is Cracked Tooth Syndrome?

Teeth are the strongest bones in your body, however, they can still become cracked and damaged through pressure. Smiles of Memorial patients asked and we are here to answer the question, What is Cracked Tooth Syndrome? Patients that have bruxism, teeth grinding, increased stress on their teeth can develop cracks under the gumline. Additionally, those who have large fillings or a root canal are more susceptible to develop cracked tooth syndrome. 

What is Cracked Tooth Syndrome? 12.2.19 smiles of memorial daniel dernik

Symptoms Of Cracked Tooth Syndrome 

Pain and sensitivity from cracked tooth syndrome differ from discomfort during tooth decay because crack tooth syndrome is pain only occurs while eating while tooth decay pain is constant. Typically patients experience cracked tooth pain when applying pressure on the affected area while eating or biting. Patients may also feel sensitivity during extreme hot or cold temperatures. 

Cracked Tooth vs. Tooth Decay

While both can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums, cracked tooth syndrome and tooth decay develop differently. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria and acids break through the tooth’s protectant layer, the enamel, and begin eroding the tooth. Early-stage cavities can be reversed, but once a hole has formed in the tooth the damage is irreversible and must be treated with a filling. Cracked tooth syndrome develops when excessive pressure is applied to the tooth which creates cracks in the tooth below the gumline. If the part of the tooth breaks away, the gum can become exposed and vulnerable to infections. 

Treatment For Cracked Tooth Syndrome

Cracked teeth are common in adults and small cracks, called craze lines, in the protective layer typically do not need treatment. Patients with fractured enamel around a filling may not be painful, however, Dr. Dernick will fill in the area to prevent further damage. 

If the crack breaks below both protectant layers, the enamel and dentin, then the soft tissue within the tooth, called the pulp, becomes damaged. This can cause irritation and damage to the core of the tooth. Early-stage of pulp damage can be treated with a root canal, but cracks that extend beyond the gum line require a tooth extraction. Sometimes the crack may begin at the bottom of the tooth root and extend upward. In this case, Dr. Dernick will probably extract the tooth, however, in special cases, endodontic surgery can be performed to save the tooth. 
Cracked tooth syndrome can be difficult to spot because the symptoms can be inconsistent and vary from patient to patient. Regular exams and x-rays can help Dr. Dernick and his team to discover cracks early and hopefully treat or save your tooth before the damage causes detrimental. For more information about cracked tooth syndrome or to book an appointment today, call Smiles of Memorial at (281) 493-0061.