I think I’ve cracked my tooth, what now?

Posted on 19 September 2018

I think I’ve cracked my tooth, what now? Hero Image

Cracking your tooth is quite a common condition and a major cause of tooth loss. You can crack your tooth from chewing on hard foods, grinding your teeth or a number of other reasons. What’s most important is that your tooth is treated to avoid losing the tooth completely.

What are the symptoms of a cracked tooth?

When you crack your tooth, it could be noticeable and painful in the moment or you may not realise until later on. You may not even notice you’ve cracked it at all until you visit the dentist.

If you don’t feel a crack when you bite into something or feel a very sudden pain, these are some other symptoms to look out for;

  • Your tooth or the area around your tooth feels painful when chewing, particularly when you release the bite

  • Your tooth feels sensitive to hot or cold food and drink

  • Swelling around the tooth and gum

  • You can see that the tooth has cracked or chipped

The pain you feel or the symptoms of the cracked tooth can depend on the type or crack. These are some of the types of cracked teeth:

  • Craze lines: microfractures of the enamel which typically have no symptoms other than the small lines you may notice on your tooth. Treatment is only really needed for aesthetic reasons and they won’t cause any further damage to your teeth.

  • Fractured cusp: a complete or incomplete fracture of the crown of the tooth extending subgingivally. This type of crack generally occurs around a dental filling and usually doesn’t affect the pulp of the tooth (the soft center of the tooth where nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels are).

  • Cracked Tooth: defined as an incomplete fracture initiated from the crown and extending subgingivally. The extent of damage is dependent on how large the crack is however it is always best to treat it immediately to avoid the tooth splitting completely.

  • Split tooth: defined as the complete fracture from the crown to the gum. A split tooth is the end result of a cracked tooth where the tooth segments are entirely separated. Most often, this tooth will have to be removed complete.

  • Vertical Root Fracture: this type of crack begins below the gum line and travels upwards. Generally, the symptoms are not obvious unless the tooth becomes infected. It’s most likely the tooth will have to be extracted.

So how to treat a cracked tooth?

It all depends on the type of crack and the extent of damage caused by the crack. To ensure the damage is minimised as much as possible, book into the dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms. This way, you can have the problem dealt with promptly and the crack will not worsen over time.

Do you think you might have a crack in your tooth? Make an appointment with one of our dentists for a routine check up.