Usually seen in the back teeth it can also affect front teeth if they suffer from an accidental knock or break: Cracked tooth syndrome refers to symptoms resulting from a cracked crown or tooth root.
- Result of trauma to the area—getting hit in the teeth by something solid is a common cause
- Grinding or clenching—usually occurs during sleep or from not wearing a mouth guard during high contact sports.
- Habits like chewing ice or pens etc.
- Most common cause—Heavily restored teeth: Where a tooth has undergone multiple restorations or was seriously damaged before the restoration.
Why does it need to be assessed and treated ASAP?
As the crack in the tooth develops, it will expose the layer of tooth below the enamel called the dentine. This layer protects the small nerves known as the pulp. As more pressure is exerted against the tooth, the crack opens and causes the fluid to move. As the biting pressure is released, the crack pushes closed and the nerve is stimulated to cause pain.
In some cases where the crack has made the pulp inside the root of the tooth become infected, root canal treatment may be required. As the cracks gets bigger, you may notice the tooth becoming more sensitive to hot & cold food/liquids.
Also if the crack extends into the root area; it may be assessed non-restorable and may need to be extracted/removed.
Ways to prevent cracks / cracked tooth syndrome
Make sure to wear Mouth Guard during contact sports
If you find you grind/clench your teeth at night, it would be wise to consider an OCCLUSAL SPLINT (night guard) to be worn at night.
Stop habits like biting on hard objects like pens, chewing Ice etc. which can severely damage the outer layer of tooth and end up in more expensive treatment.