A tooth may experience a variety of symptoms, ranging from pain when chewing food, sensitivity when your tooth is exposed to hot and/or cold temperatures, and the release of biting pressure. Pain may be intermittent, making it difficult for your dentist to locate the tooth causing you discomfort.


The most common causes of a cracked tooth include:

  • Tooth grinding
  • Chewing hard foods, such as almonds or candy
  • Trauma to the tooth

Chewing may cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth to become irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and the tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.


Craze Lines: Small vertical lines, or cracks, in the front of your teeth. Craze lines do not crack all the way through your teeth, only the enamel or outer shell of your teeth. Pain does not normally accompany craze lines and are most common in adults.

Fractured Cusp: When a piece of a tooth’s surface breaks off, normally around a filling. A fractured cusp rarely causes pain or damages the pulp inside the tooth, so root canal treatment is not necessary. Your dentist can restore the tooth with a filling or crown.

Cracked Tooth: Vertical crack that can extend from the chewing surface of the tooth towards the root. In some cases, the crack can extend below the gum line or further into the root. Root canal treatment is necessary when infection inside the tooth is detected as a result of the crack. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen over time and could result in the loss of your natural tooth. Early detection is vital.

Split Tooth: The result of a cracked tooth that is left untreated. The tooth will split into two segments making most cases difficult to restore the full function of the tooth. The extent of the problem will determine if a portion of the tooth can be saved by endodontic retreatment and restoration by your dentist.

Vertical Root Fracture: Fracture beginning at the root of the tooth and extends towards the apex, or chewing surface of the tooth. This type of fracture exhibits minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed. Your endodontist may recommend endodontic microsurgery if a portion of the tooth can be saved by removal of the fractured tooth. Severe cases may result in tooth extraction.

If you need treatment for a serious injury, look no further than us. We are dedicated to getting you quick and efficient relief as soon as possible. Contact us today to get started!