Cracked Teeth: When to Seek Professional Dental Help

A crack in your tooth may or may not be painful depending on the pulpal involvement. There could be several possible reasons for a cracked tooth. The pain differs in severity depending on the extent of the crack. It is important to manage this issue since it can impair your masticatory function and cause distress. 

There are several methods to manage a cracked tooth. Dental specialists at Jackson Heights dental office strive to provide instant pain relief to ease your discomfort and prevent pulp exposure. 

What is a cracked tooth?

A cracked or fractured tooth, often called a cracked tooth syndrome, usually occurs when there is a visible discontinuity on the tooth surface. This can either involve the enamel, dentin, or the pulp. The cracks appear as lines or crazes that may eventually break or split the tooth. These are often considered dental emergencies that require immediate attention. 

Potential causes of a cracked tooth?

The most common causes of tooth fracture are:

  • Aging when enamel begins to thin out 
  • Biting hard foods such as nuts or candy
  • Habits such as chewing gum
  • Large dental fillings that weaken the tooth
  • Improper root canal treatment
  • Bruxism ( tooth grinding)
  • Trauma which includes falls, automobile accidents, or sports injuries

Clinical manifestation of a cracked tooth

A cracked tooth may not always cause symptoms. But, if they do, the symptoms would include:

  • Recurrent pain (that which comes and goes)
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Gingival swelling and tenderness around the tooth
  • Toothache when biting or chewing 

Managing a cracked tooth 

It is essential to manage your cracked or broken tooth until you get dental help through the following suggestions:

  • Rinse the broken tooth fragment with warm water
  • Apply gauze or cotton to the affected area if there is bleeding
  • Place a cold, damp towel on the cheek to minimize swelling and pain
  • Take a painkiller if the pain is severe 

How do dentists treat a cracked tooth?

Treatment for a cracked or broken tooth depends on the part of the tooth affected and the extent of the damage. 

Common treatments recommended by dentists include:

  • Dental bonding
  • Root canal therapy 
  • Cosmetic contouring
  • Crowns
  • Extraction
  • Veneers 


A cracked or broken tooth is considered a dental emergency that requires quick treatment since it cannot heal on its own. Comprehensive evaluation and treatment are deemed necessary to save the tooth and safeguard your oral health.  Getting your broken tooth repaired quickly can lessen your risk of more damage and infection, resulting in an improved quality of life. 

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