Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
When a tooth becomes cracked in some way but no pieces have yet broken off it is referred to as cracked tooth syndrome. Another term that may be used is greenstick fracture, split tooth syndrome, or even incomplete fracture.
These cracks may be surface cracks only or they may be deeper, sometimes down to the root. The symptoms can be quite varied by individual and by each crack, making it difficult to diagnose without examining the tooth. This should be addressed by a dentist quickly to be repaired and avoid losing pieces of the tooth or completely losing the tooth.
Signs of cracked tooth syndrome
There are many ways that teeth can become cracked. Some of the most common include grinding or clenching of the teeth, misaligned bite, large fillings, and traumatic injury to the mouth or the tooth directly.
Teeth are fairly strong on their own but excess pressure applied in ways that are not directly on the strongest area of the tooth can cause it to crack. Many people will clench or grind their teeth, especially when sleeping and during periods of high stress or anxiety.
When this occurs the pressure on the teeth is increased for extended periods of time which will weaken the tooth and the enamel and can lead to cracks in the tooth, fillings coming out, and even chips in the tooth itself if the cracks are not addressed quickly.
Avoiding cracked tooth syndrome
When it is known to both the dentist and the patient that either of these behaviours is a regular occurrence, a night guard or mouth guard may be created to reduce the pressure on the teeth and avoid direct contact of the top teeth on the bottom teeth, thus avoiding cracks and chips in the teeth from grinding or clenching the teeth.
Other situations may be harder to avoid, such as large fillings which can weaken the tooth and make it more susceptible to cracking but which are hard to avoid when saving a damaged tooth. In these events a crown may be placed over the tooth to protect it and carry some of the weight to reduce further damage or cracks.
When a tooth is damaged through traumatic injury it may form a crack and require repair, but as these are often unforeseen it is hard to avoid and may happen despite all precautions. A mouth guard worn during sports may deter a sports-related injury.
Treating options for cracked tooth syndrome
A crack in the tooth may affect only the enamel, the enamel and the inner dentin, or it may go through to the root completely and be unable to be repaired. In most cases when located a crack can be addressed by a dentist quickly and steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of loss and treat any pain that may be occurring.
Treatment options include a filling, a band around the tooth to minimize movement, a crown placed over the tooth to keep it in place, a root canal covered with a filling, and then likely a crown or extraction of the tooth if other options are not viable.
Cracked tooth syndrome refers to any crack in any tooth, and covers a wide range of causes and treatments, but all require treatment to repair and retain the tooth as long as possible. As the crack may be just surface enamel or it may be all the way to the root there is no one treatment for all.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.