NOTICE: If you have cracked a tooth as the result of very recent trauma, contact your dentist immediately!
Click here to go to our Accident & Emergency page to learn how to help your dentist save your tooth.
There are many different factors that lead to cracked teeth. If your teeth are already weakened by decay, they are far more susceptible to cracking. Chewing on hard candy or ice, or subjecting your teeth to extremes of temperature can also lead to cracking. Mercury amalgam fillings weaken teeth by 50% and can often lead to cracks and pain.
It can be very difficult to determine if you have a cracked tooth. But if you are experiencing a toothache that appears when you bite down, it can often be the sign of a cracked tooth. This pain can disappear very quickly, so the tendency is to ignore it. If you have been experiencing repeated pain while chewing, be sure call for an appointment.
If a cracked tooth is treated early, it can often be a saved by a conservative placement of a bonded filling. A chronically sensitive tooth can lead to nerve damage or, if the crack worsens, the tooth may need to be crowned. In the worst-case scenario, it may need to be extracted.
The methods used to repair a cracked tooth vary depending on the size and position of the crack(s). Fillings or bonding may be utilized to fill minor cracks, but sometimes a crown will have to be placed to hold the tooth together. In very rare circumstances, the tooth will have to be extracted.