Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS)


A very small crack in your tooth can be painful. It can be above or below the gum line. The crack can be so small you don't see it. Sometimes your dentist has trouble seeing it, even with X-rays. This can be frustrating. We call this problem "cracked tooth syndrome."


Cracks can form in teeth for several reasons. You may unconsciously grind your teeth in your sleep. Your teeth may not align properly, and this can focus too much pressure on a single tooth. A large filling or a root canal can weaken the structure of a tooth.


Cracked tooth syndrome usually affects one of your molars. Those are your back teeth, which are used for grinding. If you have this syndrome, your affected tooth doesn't hurt all the time, but certain things trigger pain. It may hurt when you chew food. It may hurt when you eat or drink something that's hot or cold. It may be hard for you to figure out exactly which tooth is hurting.


Treatment depends on the size and location of the crack, and on the health of your tooth. Your dentist will create a care plan that's right for you.