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  • Dr. Barry Yu


Crack tooth syndrome is a dental condition that often goes unnoticed. At Penn Pacific Dental Center, we aim to provide you with valuable insights into this condition, including its causes, symptoms, and whether a cracked tooth can heal on its own.

crack tooth syndrome

Understanding Crack Tooth Syndrome

Crack tooth syndrome is a dental ailment characterized by subtle fractures or cracks within a tooth, typically occurring in the chewing or biting surface. These fissures can sometimes escape detection on X-rays, making diagnosis a bit challenging. This condition tends to affect molars and premolars, where the pressures of chewing are most pronounced.

Factors Leading to Crack Tooth Syndrome

Various factors can contribute to the development of crack tooth syndrome:

1. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): Habitual teeth grinding or clenching can gradually weaken tooth enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to cracks.

2. Chewing on Hard Objects: Biting down on hard objects like ice or pens can exert undue pressure on teeth, potentially leading to cracks.

3. Large Fillings: Teeth with extensive fillings may be more prone to cracking, as the natural tooth structure can become compromised.

4. Trauma: A physical blow to the face or mouth can result in cracked teeth.

5. Temperature Variations: Frequent exposure to extreme temperature changes, such as consuming hot and cold foods or beverages, can cause teeth to expand and contract, possibly resulting in cracks.

Recognizing the Symptoms

crack tooth syndrome

Being aware of the symptoms of crack tooth syndrome is crucial for timely intervention. These symptoms may include:

- Pain While Chewing or Biting: The pain is typically sharp and intermittent.

- Sensitivity to Temperature Changes: Affected teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold stimuli.

- Discomfort Upon Release of Biting Pressure: Pain may manifest when you release your bite.

- Occasional Gum Swelling or Inflammation: In some instances, the surrounding gum tissue may become slightly inflamed.

Can a Cracked Tooth Self-Heal?

A cracked tooth, unlike minor dental issues, is unlikely to self-heal. Cracks tend to worsen over time, especially with the continued stress of biting and chewing. Neglecting a cracked tooth can lead to more severe problems, such as infection and potential tooth loss.

Treatment Options for Crack Tooth Syndrome

At Penn Pacific Dental Center, we offer various treatment options tailored to the severity and location of the crack. These options include:

1. Dental Crown: For minor to moderate cracks, a dental crown can be placed over the tooth to protect it and prevent it from further damage.

2. Root Canal Treatment: When the crack has penetrated the pulp (the inner nerve and blood vessels), a root canal treatment may be recommended to remove damaged tissue and save the tooth.

crack tooth syndrome

3. Tooth Extraction: In severe cases where the crack cannot be properly repaired, extraction may be needed.

Preventing Crack Tooth Syndrome

Prevention is always preferable to treatment. To minimize your risk:

- Avoid chewing on hard objects.

- Consider a custom mouthguard if you grind your teeth.

- Maintain a diligent oral hygiene routine.

- Schedule check-ups and teeth cleanings biannually

In conclusion, a cracked tooth typically won't heal on its own and necessitates professional dental care. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth or experience any related symptoms, seeking prompt dental assistance is crucial. Early intervention can help preserve your tooth, alleviate discomfort, and ensure your ongoing oral health.

At Penn Pacific Dental Center, we always prioritize the well-being of our patients and are committed to providing the highest quality dental care. Your smile and oral health are of utmost importance to us, and we encourage you to reach out to a trusted dental professional for personalized guidance and treatment options.

Remember that addressing a cracked tooth promptly can prevent more serious issues down the road, ensuring your continued comfort and a healthy, confident smile.

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About Authors


Graduated with honors from the University of California, Davis (U.S.A.), major in biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Yu has further obtained his dental degree (Doctor of Dental Medicine) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (U.S.A.).  Dr. Yu is qualified to practice in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong, and has over 10 years of practicing experience in the US before starting both practices in Hong Kong and Singapore.


Dr. Chrissie Lam graduated from University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.) with a bachelor degree in Nutritional Science before earning her doctorate degree in dentistry from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (U.S.A.). In her 10 years of practice she took care of her patients, both in U.S.A. and Singapore with her warm demeanor and excellent clinical skills. 

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