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Dental Glossary

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

When a tooth has a partial or complete vertical fracture (up the root), a sometimes confusing collection of symptoms may develop. Usually characterized by pain to biting pressure or to the release of biting pressure, patients are often unable to detect which is the problematic tooth, sometimes describing pain on the entire side of the face when chewing. Cold sensitivity often accompanies these symptoms. Cracked teeth are predictably identified by good diagnostic techniques, and are treated by crowning the offending teeth to protect them and stop the pain-producing flexure around the crack. Anywhere from fifteen to forty percent of cracked teeth will eventually require root canal therapy. A small percentage of profound cracks are hopeless.