Cracked Tooth Syndrome
Many physical factors can cause the development of cracks or even fractures in the teeth. Since the symptoms of a cracked tooth vary, diagnosis is quite difficult. Patient complaints may persist over a long period of time.
Patients often report a long-standing history of pain of varying intensity, the source of which is difficult to determine. This pain may be accompanied by cold sensitivity. The source of this sharp pain, which is felt especially when chewing foods that create a vacuum effect when chewing, is often unidentifiable. This condition is known as “cracked tooth syndrome”. Symptoms may vary depending on the depth of the crack, the direction of progression and the tissue involved in the crack line.
What are the Causes of Tooth Cracks?
The main cause of tooth cracks are physical forces, especially the habit of clenching and grinding teeth, which we call bruxism, trauma, expansion and contraction of amalgam fillings due to temperature change, a hard food bitten suddenly, parafunctional habits, early and unbalanced contacts in the teeth, and the existing fillings or coatings are not in the correct bite relationship. However, the cause of tooth cracks may not always be detected.
Is it possible to treat tooth cracks?
Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment. In addition to radiographic and clinical examination, some bite tests, vitality tests, thermal tests, if the crack is superficial, halogen light examination is very useful. In order to make a visual diagnosis, it may sometimes be necessary to remove the restoration in the relevant tooth or to open the suspicious area surgically. If the cause is not eliminated and the crack is not treated, tooth fractures are possible.
The treatment of a cracked tooth depends on the location, depth and direction of the crack. If the crack or fracture is at the level of the enamel layer, it can be followed up or support can be obtained from composite fillings depending on the size of the complaint. Depending on the depth of the crack at the dentin layer level, filling or coating is preferred. However, if the crack has affected the vascular nerve bundle of the tooth, root canal treatment should be performed. Then, it will be appropriate to make a coating to support the remaining tooth tissues.
Unfortunately, the chance of treatment is gradually decreasing in root cracks and fractures. The risk of infection in the gum at the level of the broken root also increases. There is a high rate of tooth extraction.
After the treatment, a night plate that will balance the chewing forces should be used. Early contacts should be organised. A balanced bite should be provided. The condition of the tooth should be monitored in periodic controls.