Cracked Teeth

Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

Cracked teeth are typically caused by one of three things: an injury, undue pressure from grinding or clenching over a long period of time, or the breakdown of prior fillings that may break down and leak. In some cases, a cracked tooth may eventually split into two pieces, making it impossible to save the tooth. In many cases, a cracked tooth can be saved by your endodontist with a filling or a crown. Left untreated, cracked teeth can also lead to damage to the soft inner tissue, or pulp, of your tooth. When the inner pulp becomes damaged or diseased, a root canal is typically the only way to save the tooth from extraction.

Here are some general prevention tips:

  • Avoid chewing or biting down on hard things such as ice, candy, pens and pencils, or popcorn kernels.
  • Avoid grinding your teeth of clenching your jaw. (Special mouth appliances are available to mitigate this problem if you can't stop on your own.)
  • Don't ignore mild or occasional pain in your tooth, because pain almost always is a sign that something is wrong. Keep in mind that pain from a cracked tooth is deceptive; it usually is not severe in nature and may be mistaken for something else such as chewing or exposing your tooth to something cold or hot.
  • Wear mouth guards when participating in sports, especially contact sports.

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