Having a cracked tooth can be a painful and stressful experience. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it can also be difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of symptoms that may present.

From sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods to pain when chewing or biting down, there are many signs that could indicate you have a cracked tooth. It’s important to know the different symptoms associated with this condition so you can identify them in yourself and seek treatment as soon as possible.

In this article, we will discuss some of the common signs and symptoms of having a cracked tooth so you can get on your way towards relief!


What is a fractured tooth?

A cracked tooth, also known as a fractured tooth, is a type of dental trauma that can lead to chronic dental problems if not treated in a timely manner.

It occurs when the outer layers of the teeth become cracked, either from external forces or deterioration over time. The crack can cause pain when biting down and even impact communication due to changes in pronunciation.


Which parts of a tooth can be cracked?

There are four key parts to a tooth: the enamel, dentin, cementum, and pulp. The enamel is the hardest part of the tooth and can be cracked when exposed to forceful biting or chewing, such as when eating particularly tough foods.

causes teeth cracks croydonDentin, located just under the enamel, is softer and can become fractured when exposed to extreme cold or due to infection. Cementum is not easily damaged but can also fracture if it comes into contact with a sudden force or intense pressure.

Finally, located in the centre of the tooth is the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels and can become infected or compressed.

If treated quickly enough by a qualified dentist, cracked teeth can often be restored with minimal impact on oral health; however, untreated damage may ultimately require the removal of the tooth itself.


Causes of cracked teeth

Cracked teeth can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from a minor dental issue to a major accident.

Tooth decay, particularly when it reaches the tooth’s inner layers, can weaken its structure and lead to the development of cracks over time.

Additionally, clenching or grinding teeth during sleep can cause significant enough pressure on them to cause a break. Depending on the severity, an accident such as falling face-first onto a hard surface may also result in cracked teeth.

In any case, whether it’s minor or severe, addressing the issue swiftly is important for preserving your long-term oral health.

Large dental fillings or root canals can weaken the tooth structure and lead to cracking. In such cases, the weakened structure of the affected tooth makes it more prone to fracturing once exposed to pressure.

Teeth grinding and trauma, whether from slips and falls, sports-related trauma, cycling collisions, motor vehicle accidents or physical violence, are all potential sources of injury.


Which teeth are most likely to crack?

In general, the teeth most likely to crack are molars. This is because molars endure more pressure from chewing than any other type of tooth.

Furthermore, molars typically have several cusps, which, along with the biting surface of the tooth, increases its potential for cracking under pressure.

While other types of teeth can crack due to bruxism or grinding, cracked molars generally arise from excessive stress from normal activities like eating and speaking.

To help protect against a cracked molar, it is important to practise proper dental hygiene and consult a dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings.


Cracked tooth syndrome

Cracked tooth syndrome, also known as split tooth syndrome or fractured cusp syndrome, is an often painful condition affecting the enamel of the tooth.

Cracked tooth symptoms occur when a tooth becomes cracked and splintered, causing discomfort when biting down, sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures, discolouration of the affected tooth, and even swelling in some cases.

It is important to get an immediate diagnosis and treatment for cracked tooth syndrome as it can lead to bigger issues with time which could involve more costly treatment options.


Types of a tooth fracture

Your dentist can determine the severity of your fracture by placing it in one of five distinct categories.


Cracked tooth

This is the most common type of crack, affecting only the enamel and dentin layers.


Fractured cusp

This fracture impacts only one of the tooth’s cusps or rounded edges.


Split tooth

A split tooth occurs when a crack runs from one edge to another, creating two distinct pieces. 


Craze lines (hairline cracks)

Small, fragile fractures may form on the protective enamel of your tooth. Craze lines usually do not cause any discomfort or pain.


Vertical root fractures

This type of tooth crack runs from the chewing surface of the tooth down to the root beneath the gum line.


Home treatment for a fractured tooth

Home remedies are a great way of relieving pain and reducing swelling associated with fractured teeth.

Saltwater rinses are a good home remedy to reduce pain, as salt water acts as an antiseptic and reduces infection after the broken tooth has been exposed to air, saliva, or blood.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used. However, be sure to read the directions for the medications carefully.

For best results, use cold compresses on either side of the face for 15 minutes at a time in order to reduce any discomfort and potential swelling.

In addition, avoid abrasive foods that could further cause damage to your tooth and take soft foods, such as soup or mashed potatoes, instead.

Keep in mind home treatment is only intended to temporarily alleviate symptoms; it is important to properly seek professional dental care as soon as possible when taking home remedies for broken teeth.



Cracked tooth diagnosis

Having a cracked tooth can be an uncomfortable experience, and it is important to have it correctly diagnosed and treated. Cracks can range from small fractures in the outer layer of enamel to much larger cracks that affect the dental pulp.

To properly diagnose a cracked tooth, your dentist will ask you about any dental history, typically perform a visual exam, use X-rays, or apply pressure with probes on different parts of the tooth.


Dental treatment for cracked teeth

The dental treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the severity of the damage that happens to your tooth. There are various treatment options for a fractured tooth. Some of the most commonly used cracked tooth treatments include:


Dental bonding

Dental bonding is a great cracked tooth treatment because it gives you the option to have natural-looking and resilient repairs.

With this treatment, a biocompatible resin is applied over the cracked tooth or teeth, which is then hardened with some specialised light. The result is a repair that helps restore an individual’s bite and symmetry while also helping them regain confidence in their smiles.

Moreover, the bonded material can be customised to match the patient’s existing enamel, making it an excellent solution for cracked teeth needing care.


Dental crowns

Dental crowns can be an effective cracked tooth treatment and can protect the cracked tooth from further damage.

treatment options dental cracks croydonDental crowns, which are also known as caps, fit over your existing cracked tooth and support its structure.

This makes it easier for you to eat and smile without worrying about damaging the affected tooth.

Crowns not only add strength to cracked teeth, but they also have a cosmetic advantage, often providing a natural-looking restoration.

A dental professional can help determine if a crown is the best-cracked tooth treatment for you.



Veneers offer an effective cracked tooth treatment that provides more than just cosmetic results.

Not only do veneers cover up cracked teeth and protect them from further damage, but they can also enhance the shape, size, and alignment of your smile.

Veneers are custom-made to fit your mouth specifically for optimal comfort, making them an increasingly popular choice for cracked tooth treatment and dental harmony.

Because veneers are thinner than crowns, they can be thought of as a conservative alternative, a great option for those seeking long-term results with minimal alteration to their teeth.


Dental filling

Having a small chip or crack in your tooth can often be repaired using a dental filling.

Dental fillings are performed by applying composite resin, which is made to match the colour of your natural teeth, onto the affected area to build up the shape and structure of your damaged tooth.

This quick and easy procedure helps prevent further damage from occurring and can help improve the tooth’s appearance.


Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction is often viewed as the last resort when it comes to cracked tooth treatment when the natural tooth may not be saved.

seeking immediate treatment cracked tooth croydonHowever, dental professionals do not recommend extraction until other treatments have been explored and ruled out due to their permanent nature.

If you are dealing with a cracked tooth, make sure you visit your dentist for a comprehensive evaluation of all possible options to determine the most appropriate course of action.

They can help explain the risks and benefits associated with different treatments so that you can make an informed decision about the next steps to take.


Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment, the cracked tooth treatment option that most people hear about and dread, is not as intimidating as it may seem.

In fact, root canal treatment is a viable option for saving an infected or inflamed tooth due to cracked tooth enamel or deep cavities.

The process involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and replacing it with a medicated filling. Depending on the severity of the decay, the procedure can take several visits to complete, but most patients report very little pain throughout the duration of treatment.

Most importantly, root canal treatments act as a protection tool for teeth from further damage and can help prolong your oral health!



Not every cracked tooth is a dental emergency; however, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with a cracked tooth so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible. Whether it’s dental bonding, crowns, veneers, or even root canal therapy, there are many treatments available for different types of fractures.

However, home remedies should not replace professional dental care as a treatment for a cracked tooth. If you believe your tooth may have been damaged in any way due to an accident or trauma, don’t hesitate to contact us right away! Our professionals at Maroondah Dental Care will give you a proper diagnosis, and you will receive the best outcome for preserving long-term oral health. Call us on (03) 9007 2532 today.



Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. 





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