Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth are fast becoming one of the biggest problems in dentistry today and a large cause of why teeth are having to be extracted. Each generation is living longer than the previous one so our teeth are being asked to do a lot more for us then they have in the past.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Pain on chewing or when you release the biting pressure (this is because the crack is opening and closing).
  2. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or sweet things.
  3. Can slowly progress to a constant toothache (this usually means that the nerve of the tooth is now damaged).

The two major causes of cracked teeth are:

  1. Habits – this involves people who clench or grind their teeth (see TMD section) or chew on objects such as hard sweets. The tooth is not strong enough for this constant trauma.
  2. Large Fillings – teeth with fillings in them are mechanically weaker, as there is less tooth structure present to hold the tooth together. Add a habit to this weakened tooth and a crack is even more likely.


  • A visit to your dentist as soon as possible is important to increase the chances of saving the tooth or preventing more extensive and expensive treatment.
  • A simple crack is where the nerve of the tooth is not involved. These teeth may require just a filling or a filling and a crown.
  • A complex crack has damaged the nerve of the tooth and may require root canal treatment before a filling and crown can be placed.
  • In some cases the complex crack has split the tooth. In these cases the only treatment is an extraction.
  • We will advise you of the appropriate treatment for your tooth.