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Cracked-Tooth Syndrome?

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Some tooth pain can be difficult to diagnose, with no obvious signs of the problem upon initial examination.

Do you suffer from or ever experienced the following:

  • Sharp pain when biting on a certain tooth. 

  • Increased pain if the biting pressure is increased.

  • Pain when chewing

  • Rebound pain: a sharp pain after you finish biting

  • Pain if grinding your teeth

  • Acute pain when having cold food or drink

….You may have a cracked tooth and not know it!

Your tooth may have  a fracture or fractures that are actually too small to be seen on x-rays.  Sometimes this fracture is also below the gum line making it even more difficult to spot. 

They are usually found on molars (your large teeth towards the back of the mouth).  Teeth that already have large fillings or have previously had root canal treatment or more susceptible to cracked-tooth syndrome as they are already weakened.

These symptoms make actually come and go over a period of time.  Constant pain is more likely to be a cavity or an abscess.  As the symptoms are not consistent, diagnosing the problem can be difficult.

If in doubt go and visit your dentist. Your dentist will be able to do a thorough examination of the mouth and teeth, focusing on the tooth in question.  Your dentist may use a special instrument to test the tooth of shine a fibre-optic light on the tooth to check for cracks.  X-rays may be taken but there is no guarantee they will show up.  If your tooth already has a filling or crown this may need to be removed for closer inspection.

Unfortunately treatment does not always relieve the symptoms altogether.  Treatment depends on the location and extent of the crack but can include:

  • A crown

  • Root canal treatment (in about 20% of cases)

  • Tooth extraction

In some severe cases, the cracks extend into the root of the tooth and under the bone and there’s no way to fix the tooth.  In this instance your tooth will need to be removed.  If your dentist decides the tooth needs to be extracted, you can have it replaced with a bridge or a dental implant. Not every dental practice has someone who is qualified to provide dental implants.  If you wish to have a dental implant, your dentist will be able to refer you.

For more information on dental implants or any of our services please visit

For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180


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