Cracked tooth syndrome is when there are cracks in your teeth that are hidden by the gums or that are so tiny they do not appear on X-Ray. People who tend to clench or grind their teeth are more likely to come down with this condition as are those with weak teeth due to genetics or an excess of dental work.
Molars are the most susceptible to cracked tooth syndrome because the lower back teeth are the ones that are tasked with chewing–taking the lion’s share of the pressure.
It is difficult to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome because the pain is not predictable and you may not display any symptoms for months. It is similar to having sensitive teeth where the enamel has worn thin. Your teeth may hurt when exposed to cold, hot or sweet food and drink, or when you bite down in a certain way. The pain may come and go with varying intensity, but there will not be a consistent ache as you would feel with a cavity. You may or may not develop an infection.
Treatment for cracked tooth syndrome depends upon the size of the crack and where it is located in the mouth. In some cases it can be fixed with only a crown, others (around 20%) may require a root canal. Worst case scenario, the affected tooth may need to be removed and replaced with a bridge or implant.
If you feel pain when you bite or chew, or suspect that you might have cracked tooth syndrome, Dr. Rakhi Jani would be happy to see you for an evaluation. Call us with any questions at: 925.344.5757, or come in anytime at Smiles Unlimited in Livermore, California.