Cracked Tooth Syndrome is something we see dailing in the dental office. The teeth in our mouth are brittle and have a tendancy with age to break. Another factor in the
breaking of teeth is if they have big old fillings. The minute a tooth has a filling it has lost some integrity and begins to loose strength. Cracked Tooth Syndrome happens when we have such a fracture. Often times that crack is not visible. The crack can either be microscopic in nature or in an area that is not visible to the eye. Cracked Tooth Syndrome is usually diagnosed more by symptoms and less by actual visual inspection of the tooth.
Patients often come in needing a filling. When we remove an old filling, and look at the floor of the preparation, we can sometimes literally see a crack or craze line run-
ing along the floor of the tooth, like in the picture . Should that crack propagate further down the tooth, it will reach the actual nerve and blood vessels in the tooth and Cracked Tooth Syndrome will end up causing the tooth to need a root canal. There are times that the tooth actually breaks along the line and sometimes that fracture is so deep under the gum line that there is no way to save the tooth.
The minute you begin to feel these symptoms of pain on biting or pain on releasing, you should see your dentist. Often times, If we can diagnose the tooth requiring treatment, a crown can solve the issue. A crown acts like a band that holds that tooth together and prevents the crack from getting worse. A treatment like this can actually save the tooth and prevent Cracked Tooth Syndrome from requiring you to have your tooth extracted.