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  • Writer's pictureDr. Nahid Afshari

A Cracked Tooth

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Cracked Tooth

You have just noticed you have a cracked tooth. At first, you may not be particularly alarmed about it, especially if it is small and you initially feel no pain. However, a cracked tooth is prone to infection. Additionally, if you leave the crack untreated, it can grow and cause more damage to the tooth.

Your natural teeth are priceless. They work better, feel better, and can last a lifetime. While crowns, implants, and false teeth can replace your natural teeth, they will never be the same as your natural teeth. For this reason, it is a priority here at Fair Oaks Quality Dental to save your natural teeth whenever possible.

As you can see from the picture above, the enamel is the protective outer layer. The dentin consists of living tissue and microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). The tubules communicate with the nerves of your teeth. When you have a cracked tooth, the dentin becomes exposed. You will feel sensitivity to heat and cold or acidic and sticky foods. When the enamel and dentin are compromised from a cracked tooth, the pulp inside the tooth can become irritated and infected. As you continue chewing with a cracked tooth, the crack can grow, causing the pulp to become injured.

How Do Teeth Crack?

There are many reasons teeth can crack.

  • Pressure from teeth grinding

  • Fillings so large they weaken the integrity of the tooth

  • Chewing or biting hard foods, such as ice, nuts, or hard candy

  • Blows to the mouth, such as might happen with a car accident, sporting injury, fall, or even a fistfight

  • Abrupt changes in temperature in the mouth — for instance, from eating something extremely hot and then trying to cool your mouth with ice water

  • Age, with most teeth cracks occurring in people over 50

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

Here are some symptoms that could mean you have a cracked tooth:

  • Pain when chewing or biting, especially when you release the bite.

  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, or sweetness.

  • Pain that comes and goes but is rarely continuous.

  • Swelling of the gum around the affected tooth.

Treatment depends on your symptoms as well as the size and location of the crack.


When you crack a tooth, you may or may not feel pain. In any case, it is essential to take care of a cracked tooth as soon as possible. Putting off treatment could cause you more pain, and you may lose your tooth. If you have any of the above symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Nahid Afshari

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