We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Cracked Tooth Syndrome?

By Mary Ellen Popolo
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cracked tooth syndrome is dental condition that exists when a tooth has a very tiny fracture in it. The person with the cracked tooth may experience pain in the area of the fractured tooth when chewing or biting down yet not be able to identify exactly which tooth is causing the pain. The fractures or cracks in the teeth are so minuscule they can be naked to the visible eye. They are not always visible on an x-ray.

People who clench or grind their teeth, have advanced gum disease, large fillings, or teeth that have had root canals are more prone to experience cracked tooth syndrome. People who have had at least one experience of cracked tooth syndrome are more likely to experience additional fractures. Lower rear molars are more susceptible to fractures than the other teeth since they absorb most of the force from chewing.

There are three different classifications of cracks in the tooth. The first type of crack is an oblique supragingival fracture which occurs in the portion of the tooth above the gum line. The second type of crack is an oblique subgingival fracture which affects large portions of the tooth, and often run all the way to the jawbone. The third type of crack is called a vertical furcation fracture. This type of fracture extends down to the nerves in a tooth that splits into two or more individual roots.

In an oblique supragingival fracture, a patient may not experience any pain. In both the subgingival and vertical frucations fractures patients will most likely experience some level of pain or discomfort.

There are also three types of cracks that apply to the roots of the teeth. Oblique root fractures occur underneath the gum line, and, may go into the jaw. In a vertical root fracture, the root has become dry and brittle, usually when a nerve has died, and then broken off. A vertical apical root fracture is a split in the middle of a root.

Cracked tooth syndrome is diagnosed by a dental examination. The dentist will usually perform a bite test by asking the patient to bite down on a special dental tool which is placed on the tooth with the suspected fracture. The dentist will hold the tool against one tooth cusp at a time while the patient bites down. If the pressure of biting down causes pain, the fractured area of the tooth has been located. Other methods that are sometimes used for locating a fracture are painting a special dye on the tooth, visual inspection, and x-ray.

Treatment for cracked tooth syndrome depends upon the location, type and severity of the fracture. Often, root canal is performed and then the tooth is covered with a crown. Certain circumstances, such as when the tooth is damaged beyond repair, require extraction of the damaged tooth. In a tooth with more than one crack, posts are placed inside the tooth to stabilize it.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Talentryto — On Dec 08, 2014

@ocelot60- I cracked a tooth once, and the pain was severe. It seemed to travel throughout my gums and jaw. I think that the fact that a cracked tooth can injure nerves can cause pain in different areas throughout the mouth.

Since you mentioned that your sister bit down on something hard while she was chewing, it is very possible that she cracked a tooth. Regardless of what may be causing her dental pain issues, she definitely needs to see a dentist or an oral surgeon to get to the bottom of her problem.

By Ocelot60 — On Dec 07, 2014

Could a cracked tooth be causing pain that radiates through the gum line? My sister has been dealing with this issue, but her teeth look fine. She recently bit down on something hard while she was eating, so I'm thinking that maybe she cracked a tooth.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.