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Cracked Tooth Syndrome

How to diagnose whether you have a crack in your tooth

The typical symptoms of a crack appear as a sharp discomfort when you bite down or when you let go of a bite usually subsiding instantaneously. It doesn’t always occur when you bite together but it is only when you bite on a certain area of the tooth or angle that the symptoms appear. This is because when you bite together on the crack it causes the crack to open and flexes the tooth walls, thus causing that sharp discomfort. Prolonged hypersensitivity to cold or sweets could also be a symptom associated with a crack.

It is only when the crack has breached the dentine layer of the tooth that symptoms will appear.  Only until the crack has been managed that it is still at risk of continuing to propagate to possibly breach the nerve of the tooth, resulting in the nerve possibly dying and so root canal treatment will be required to save the tooth.

Cracks can appear underneath restorations that are constantly under heavy chewing forces or could appear on practically healthy teeth. A diagnosis as to how the crack is formed is crucial in managing the symptoms as a simple filling to remove the crack may not always resolve the issue.
Habitual grinding and clenching of your teeth during the day or during your sleep is a causative factor along with previous trauma to the area. There are many ways to manage crack tooth syndrome depending on the depth of the crack. Such treatment options range from temporarily placing a stainless steel band around the tooth to prevent the growth of the crack and to monitor the symptoms, to preparing the tooth for an onlay or crown to brace the tooth as a long term option.
If you have noticed any symptoms as mentioned above then it would be wise to make an appointment with your local dentist to assess and diagnose whether you do have a cracked tooth, because early intervention may save you a headache and tooth ache later on down the track.

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