The best treatment for a suspected cracked tooth is to have it checked by your dentist as early as possible.

Signs of a cracked tooth

  • Sharp pain on biting, (especially on release or opening) that quickly disappears.
  • Usually on a molar or premolar (back teeth)
  • Spontaneous pain
  • Pain while eating or drinking
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot and cold food or drinks
  • Some cracks may be asymptomatic
  • A cracked tooth may not be visible to the eye or on an x-ray.

Causes of a Cracked Tooth

  • You can cause a tooth to crack by chewing on foods such as ice, nuts, or hard candy.
  • For e.g. as a blow to the mouth may cause a tooth to crack.
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth often causes teeth to crack.
  • Brittle teeth that have had a root canal may crack easily.
  • Loss of tooth structure through wear, large fillings, or other restorations may cause a tooth to crack. This is especially true for older amalgam (silver) fillings, as they have a tendency to expand and shrink over time, resulting in flexure of the remaining tooth structure which cracks.
  • Uneven chewing pressure from missing teeth or imperfections in the way teeth bite together. For e.g. High fillings or mal-aligned teeth

Treatment for a Cracked Tooth

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the size and location of the crack and your symptoms. These include:

  • Sometimes no treatment is recommended if the crack is small and not causing the patient any pain.
  • Reducing the height of the tooth or filling slightly or placing a metal band around the tooth if diagnosis is uncertain.
  • Repairing the tooth with a filling material and reducing the height of the remaining tooth to protect it.
  • Placing a crown, or onlay on the tooth to protect the tooth from further damage
  • Root canal treatment if the nerves and pulp are involved
  • Extraction of the tooth if the crack is severe and the tooth cannot be saved.

The best treatment is to have a suspected cracked tooth checked by your dentist as early as possible.