As the name implies the cracked tooth has a crack, which can be because of trauma or if the tooth becomes weak due to some reason. The crack is not visible and diagnosis is very difficult to make. All we have are the symptoms. Patient complaints of sharp pain while chewing from the specific area but cannot pinpoint the tooth. If the dentist tries to diagnose the problem he cannot find anything clinically or by taking X –Ray’s. Either the tooth is absolutely normal or if it has any filling, no problem with the filling is found but patient feels sharp pain when pressure is applied on that tooth. If the patients have these kinds of symptoms with mostly normal looking tooth then it is called as Cracked Tooth Syndrome.



What cause a tooth to crack

A tooth may crack due to various reasons:

  1. Chewing on hard objects or foods like ice,nuts or hard candy.
  2. Trauma or blow to the mouth
  3. Grinding and clenching of teeth/Bruxism
  4. Uneven chewing pressure
  5. Stress on a tooth
  6. Loss of a significant portion of the tooth structure through wear,large restorations/fillings.
  7. Exposure of tooth enamel to extreme temperatures,such as eating hot foods and then drinking ice water.
  8. Brittleness of teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.

Crack Vs Craze

There is another condition in which vertical crack like lines are seen. These lines are mostly seen in elderly patient and that too on the front tooth, but they do not have any symptoms of the cracked tooth syndrome. These are called CRAZE lines. Unlike crack these lines are very much visible to the naked eye. These craze lines are considered to be normal, though the patient is very much concerned about these. These craze lines are there because of the difference in the coefficient of thermal expansion between the enamel, which is the outer most layer of the tooth and the dentin which is inner to enamel. The enamel and dentin are joined together molecule to molecule, so they don’t separate only the lines appear and they cause no harm to the tooth.



If you grind or clench your teeth, talk to your dentist about treatment. Grinding can increase your risk of cracked tooth syndrome.


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