Cracked tooth syndrome is something we see quite often in the office. A lot of my patients are like me, they have big fillings, they’ve spent a lot of time on the receiving end of the dentist. And when you have a filling in the tooth, the surrounding tooth is weaker. And over time, things we chew, harder things, chewier things, gradually you can develop a crack in the tooth around close to the filling. And typically with cracked tooth syndrome, I mean, people present with a variety of symptoms, usually it’s a combination of sensitivity and temperature, a lot of times cold, sometimes hot and cold, and sometimes biting pressure; sometimes all of them.
And what’s happening when you get those temperature changes on the tooth, or when you bite on a certain part of the tooth, it actually moves the little crack a little bit and that’s what stimulates the nerve down the tooth. Most of the time, a crown is what fixes the symptoms of a cracked tooth. If a patient comes in and they have biting pressure, hot and cold sensitivity, but it’s not lingering pain and it’s not spontaneous pain, the majority of the time a crown solves that problem, because essentially you’re encasing that tooth so the crack doesn’t move anymore. Sometimes you remove the crack completely, sometimes you can’t, but the goal is to bind it together.
Anyone who comes in with a crack in a tooth and they’re having lingering pain, boy I get something over there and it’s aching for 10, 15, 20 minutes, or it wakes me up at night, spontaneous pain, that is typically beyond a crown, we’re typically talking a root canal first because they nerve has been damaged.
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