Cracked Tooth Syndrome (CTS). Do you have one?

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Last updated Apr 15, 2024

Cracked tooth is basically an incomplete fracture of the dentine in a tooth that involves dentine and occasionally extends into the pulp.

The term cracked tooth syndrome was first introduced by Cameron in the year 1964.

It is also termed as cracked cusp syndrome, or split tooth syndrome.

Cracked tooth syndrome could be considered a type of dental trauma and also one of the causes of dental pain.

Causative factors

  1. Previous restorative procedures
  2. Occlusal factors: patients suffering from bruxism or clenching are prone to have cracked teeth.
  3. Anatomical considerations
  4. Dental trauma


The patient may experience pain in the tooth when he releases his bite. However, it will not happen all the time. The tooth may be too painful only when you eat certain foods or bite too hard in a specific way. The patient may now feel a constant ache. But the tooth may get too sensitive to cold temperatures if you have a cavity or abscess. If the crack goes deep, there are chances of losing the tooth.


Your dentist will do a thorough examination. It would be followed by an X-ray of that particular area. Also, the transillumination test is very useful to identify the extension of the crack.

Another test is a bite test. This test can be performed using an orangewood stick, cotton wool rolls, rubber abrasive wheels, etc.


If the crack extends, a piece of the tooth may break off. There’s an increased risk of developing an infection in gums around the fractured tooth. You may notice a bump on the gum.


Generally, the treatment aims to prevent movement of the segments of the involved tooth so that they do not move or loosen. A few treatments are:

  1. Stabilization- A composite restoration placed in the tooth or a band placed around the tooth to reduce flexing.
  2. Crown restoration
  3. Root Canal Therapy
  4. Tooth extraction

Preventive measures

  1. Avoid eating hard and crunchy foods.
  2. Avoid having a soda, as the acids in the soda may weaken your teeth.
  3. If you play any kind of sports, wear a mouthguard.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly.
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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

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Author Bio: Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dental Surgeon at scanO (formerly DentalDost). A recipient of the Pierre Fauchard International Merit Award, she is a holistic dentist who believes that everyone should have access to oral healthcare, irrespective of class and geography. She strongly believes that tele-dentistry is the way to achieve that. Dr. Vidhi has also spoken at various dental colleges, addressing the dental fraternity about dental services and innovations. She is a keen researcher and has published various papers on recent advances in dentistry.

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