In laymen’s term, this is called a “tooth with a
crack”. Cracked Tooth Syndrome is a dental problem that
usually eludes appropriate treatment by professional dentists
since this inconspicuous condition is not easily determined.
This condition is characterized by an incomplete fracture in
a vital posterior tooth, which includes the dentine and the pulp
CTS or Cracked Tooth Syndrome was primarily introduced by Cameron
in 1964. Cameron assumed that cracked tooth syndrome occurrences
are linked with its restoration size.
Importance correct diagnosis of cracked tooth syndrome
Success of this treatment relies on the dental practitioner
ability to accurately diagnose cracked tooth syndrome according
to his understanding of its symptoms, causes and diagnostic tests
involved in this condition.
Symptom involved is a vague nagging pain that is aggravated
by biting upon pressure and lessens if pressure is lifted. This
is the primary clue of this condition. In would help dental practitioners
if clients can further discuss their ailment to determine underlying
problems since clients frequently are not aware of the exact
location or tooth which causes the pain. Determining client health
history also aids in the diagnosis.
X-rays are not that reliable in detecting tooth cracks since
X-ray beams may be parallel to the crack to penetrate it. In
other cases, radiographic shows signs of crack found besides
from actual determination of a crack. In vertical root fracture
cases, crack present for a long period of time will lead to vertical
bone loss parallel to the root.
Thorough clinical assessment with specialized test such as ‘non-axial
application of pressure to cusps’ and ‘bite tests’ in
which a client bites on a piece of wood are helpful in pointing
towards the problem.
Causes of cracked tooth syndrome
Before, cracked tooth syndrome was believed to be caused by
filling up cavities with ‘soft gold inlays’ using
These days, a wider prospect of its causes points to common
every incidence of chewing or biting too hard like cracking a
nut or from a harsh blow to a tooth. Dental practitioners preparing
cavity fillings might have accidentally removed excess tooth
structure. Bruxism is a habit of unconsciously teeth grinding
when asleep or when under stressful situations that can lead
to wear and tear of the teeth or cracked tooth syndrome.
By craze lines, fractured cusps cracked or split tooth and vertical
root fracture causes a cracks on the teeth. Craze lines involves
the enamel while fractured cusps, split tooth and cracked teeth
will start from outside of a tooth extending towards the enamel,
dentil and can involved the nerve (pulp).
Generally, longevity has increased -- so are people in keeping
their teeth. And because of this, cracked tooth syndrome occurs
more frequently. And with this, people are more likely to get
dental procedures done like fillings and root canal therapy leaving
the tooth vulnerable. Furthermore, cracked tooth syndrome occurs
in people aged 30 and up.
Manifestation of cracked tooth syndrome you have to look out
for are inconspicuous and confusing; it is painful upon chewing
and aggravated when pressure is released, and extreme hot or
cold things and sweets tingle your teeth.
Treatment of cracked tooth syndrome
Examination of the severity of a cracked tooth is the main criteria
for cracked tooth syndrome treatment. If the crack is only superficial
then it can be restored using a composite material after removal
of the affected part. A large central crack on the tooth that
does not reach the pulp or a crack tooth with a large pulp requires
In treating a cracked tooth, the affected cusp is removed and
a crown (cap) is placed on the tooth securing the tooth together
and prevents progression of the crack. However, in cases where
the nerve chamber is involved or there’s irreversible nerve
inflammation, root canal procedure is needed before crown replacement.
Usually, cracked teeth can be preserved in a long term basis.
Remember that a crack tooth is a compromised tooth despite proper
treatment. Early determination and intervention can hinder progression
of the crack. However, if this is left untreated, this can progress
to the pulp causing tooth decay which needs to be extracted.
Dental practitioners should be adamant in early detection of
cracked tooth syndrome and awareness of this disease in order
for appropriate diagnosis and treatment to gather effective results.