Sometimes teeth have little cracks, and they are not visible with x-rays. This condition is known as “cracked tooth syndrome”. It is more common on molars and this happens because they support most of the forces when chewing. The person who grinds or clenches his teeth has a bigger probability to have cracked tooth syndrome. Tooth with large fillings or received root canal therapy are weaker to support great forces so they crack more frequently. Also exposure of the tooth enamel to temperature extremes hot or cold can cause cracks on teeth. A person that has one cracked tooth, most likely will have others on the same time or in the future.Symptoms – The pain happens only when chewing, it may be mild or intense. The pain is not constant as happens with the decay cavity or abscesses, and the person can’t tell which tooth hurts, if it is in the lower or upper jaw. If the crack gets bigger in time it may lead to the fracture of the tooth, which can be an irreparable damage. The crack can also develop an infection because of the necrosis of the pulp caused by the continuous stress.
It is hard to diagnose “cracked tooth syndrome” because the pain is not predictable and symptoms may persist even for months. Sometimes even when the cracked tooth is diagnosed and it receives proper treatment the symptoms may persist. X-rays often don’t show the crack, your dentist may stain it with a special dye and then shine a very bright light to see the crack.
Prevention – If you clench or grind your teeth you have a higher risk for the cracked tooth syndrome so you have to talk to e dentist about treatment. He can make you plastic bite to prevent from grinding your teeth.
Treatment – As we said earlier diagnosing and treating a cracked tooth doesn’t always relief from its symptoms. It depends on where the crack is found, its depth and how large is it. Sometimes teeth with cracks are sensitive to hot and cold, and in these cases they will need a root canal therapy, but it will still be sensitive to pressure maybe not as intense as before. These teeth most of the times need caps to protect them from fractures. If the crack continues over the root in this case there is nothing your dentist can do to save the tooth and the only solution is to remove it.
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