Treatment of a Cracked Tooth
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Treatment of a Cracked Tooth

If you’re reading this then you are likely having tooth pain and are wondering if you cracked a tooth. It can be difficult to tell if your tooth is cracked.


Often it is difficult to even pin point the source of your pain. For example, you may not be sure whether it is an upper or lower tooth because you just have a general sensitivity or non-descript pain.


You may also feel like there is something stuck between your teeth and no matter how hard you floss, you can’t get out. Remember, cracks can be invisible to the eye so you may not see the crack by looking in the mirror.

What Causes a Tooth to Crack?

A tooth can crack for many reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons a tooth may crack:

Chewing on hard objects (pencil chewing), ice, nuts, hard candy, etc…

Trauma to the tooth from an accident

Continuous grinding or clenching of teeth

Loss of tooth structure from large fillings or other restorations

Extreme hot or cold temperatures

Why Does a Cracked Tooth Hurt?

Do you feel the pain is worse when you bite down on something? You are not alone.  This is a common complaint and makes complete sense when you consider that even a small crack widens when you bite down.


So what makes the pain worse when biting?


Inside the center of your tooth is pulp. The pulp inside the tooth is made up of soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels. If a crack in your enamel were to travel all the way to the pulp you would likely become extremely sensitive to heat and cold. If the actual pulp is affected by the crack you may need a root canal.

How to Treat a Cracked Tooth

The answer is it depends. What I mean is that treatment will depend on the size, location, and direction of the crack. If I were to find a small crack during a routine dental exam and you are not having any pain, I would recommend that we simply watch the tooth.  On the other hand, if the crack is causing you pain and needs to be repaired there are several options.

Repair the tooth with a filling material

Place a crown on the tooth to protect it from any additional damage

If the pulp is involved a root canal may be needed

If the tooth is severely cracked and cannot be saved, then I would have to extract the tooth

Remember, a tooth that is cracked can lead to disease of the tooth. It is important to see your dentist if you are having sharp pain when you bite down on something, intermittent pain, pain when eating or drinking, or if you feel like there is something stuck between your teeth.


If you would like to get additional information, please call (301) 530-2212 and schedule an appointment with me.

***This post is for information purposes only. This posting does not offer medical advice, so nothing in it should be construed as medical advice. The information on this blog/post is only offered for informational purposes. You shouldn’t act or rely on anything in this blog or posting or use it as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional. The content of this posting may quickly become outdated, especially due to the nature of the topics covered, which are constantly evolving. The materials and information on this posting/blog are not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or timely. Nothing in this posting/blog and nothing you or I do creates a doctor-patient relationship between you and the blog; between you and me; or between you and Robert Mazziotta, DDS., or BethesdaFamilyDental.com. Even if you try to contact me through the blog or post a comment on the blog you are still not creating a doctor-patient relationship. Although, I am a doctor, I’m not YOUR doctor until and unless there is a written agreement specifically providing for a doctor-patient relationship.***