Cracked teeth can be an origin of significant discomfort and dental health issues. This article will explore what a cracked tooth feels like, its symptoms, and the various treatment options available. Understanding these aspects is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health and promptly addressing dental issues.

Understanding Cracked Teeth

A cracked tooth can present in various ways, depending on the severity and location of the crack. Common symptoms include sharp pain, especially when chewing or biting, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Common Causes of Cracked Teeth

Cracked teeth can result from biting hard foods, such as nuts or hard candy, trauma from accidents or contact sports, or even the natural ageing process.

Biting Hard Foods

What Does A Cracked Tooth Feel Like symptomsOne of the most common causes of cracked teeth is biting into hard foods. Foods such as nuts, hard candy, and ice can pressure your teeth excessively. This can lead to tiny cracks that may expand over time, causing significant discomfort and requiring dental intervention.

Trauma from Accidents

Accidents can happen at any time and in any place. Whether it’s a fall, a car accident, or an injury from a sports activity, trauma can cause teeth to crack. The impact of these accidents can result in immediate, noticeable cracks or smaller, less obvious fractures that may worsen if left untreated.

Contact Sports

Engaging in contact sports without proper protective gear, like mouth guards, increases the risk of dental injuries. Activities such as football, hockey, and martial arts are notorious for causing dental trauma. It is essential to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from potential cracks.

Natural Ageing Process

As we age, our teeth undergo natural wear and tear. Over time, this can weaken enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cracks. The repetitive stress from chewing and grinding, coupled with the thinning of enamel, makes older individuals more prone to cracked teeth.

Grinding and Clenching

Bruxism, or the habit of grinding and clenching teeth, is another significant cause of cracked teeth. This condition exerts tremendous pressure on the teeth, leading to fractures. Often, people are unaware they grind their teeth, especially if it occurs during sleep.

Sudden Temperature Changes

Teeth can also crack due to sudden temperature changes. For example, taking a bite of hot food and then immediately drinking something cold can cause the enamel to expand and contract rapidly, leading to cracks.

Symptoms of a Cracked Tooth

The symptoms of a cracked tooth can vary but often include pain when chewing, sensitivity to temperature changes, and discomfort around the tooth. It’s important to recognise these symptoms early for prompt treatment.

Pain When Chewing

One of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth is pain when chewing or biting. This pain can vary from mild to severe, often sharp and sudden. It usually occurs when pressure is applied to the affected tooth and may subside once the pressure is released.

Sensitivity to Temperature Changes

Cracked teeth often become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. You might feel a sharp pain when consuming hot coffee or ice-cold beverages. This sensitivity can be intermittent or constant, depending on the severity of the crack.

Discomfort Around the Tooth

A general feeling of discomfort or unease around the affected tooth is another common symptom. This discomfort may not always be painful but can present as a persistent feeling that something is not right.

Sharp Pain

Cracked teeth can cause sharp, shooting pain, especially when chewing or biting. This pain is often localised to the affected tooth and can clearly indicate a crack.

Swelling of the Gum Line

The gum line around a cracked tooth may become swollen or inflamed. This swelling is usually a sign of irritation or infection due to the crack.

Tooth Mobility

In severe cases, a cracked tooth may become loose. This mobility is often a sign that the crack has compromised the tooth’s structural integrity.

Rough Edges

You might notice rough or jagged edges on the affected tooth. Running your tongue over the tooth can often help identify these irregularities.

Intermittent Pain

The pain associated with a cracked tooth can be sporadic, occurring only when certain conditions are met, such as biting down a particular way or consuming specific foods.

Visible Cracks

Sometimes, the teeth’ cracks may be visible to the naked eye. These cracks can appear as lines running vertically or horizontally across the tooth surface.

Types of Cracked Teeth

Cracks can appear in different forms, including craze lines, fractured cusps, and vertical root fractures. Each type requires specific attention and treatment.

Craze Lines: Craze lines are tiny, superficial cracks that only affect the tooth’s outer enamel. These lines are often vertical and can be seen on the surface of the teeth.

What Does A Cracked Tooth Feel Like for youFractured Cusp: A fractured cusp happens when a fragment of the tooth’s chewing surface breaks off. This type of crack often affects teeth that have large dental fillings.

Cracked Tooth: A cracked tooth involves a crack that extends from the tooth’s chewing surface vertically toward the root. This type of crack can vary in depth and severity.

Split Tooth: A split tooth is a more severe form of a cracked tooth where the crack splits the tooth into two distinct segments. This type of crack often results from an untreated cracked tooth.

Vertical Root Fracture: Vertical root fractures start at the root and progress toward the chewing surface of the tooth. These fractures are often not immediately visible and can be challenging to diagnose.

Tooth Cracks Due to Large Dental Fillings: Teeth with large fillings are prone to cracks due to the reduced strength of the remaining tooth structure. The cracks can vary from minor to severe.

Hairline Cracks: Hairline cracks are extremely thin fractures that may not be visible without magnification. They can occur anywhere on the tooth’s surface.

Cracks from Biting Pressure: Cracks from biting pressure occur when excessive force is applied to the tooth, such as when biting down on hard foods or objects.

Cracks Extending to the Gum Line: Cracks that extend to the gum line can compromise the tooth’s stability. These cracks often result from severe trauma or extensive dental work.

Broken Tooth: A broken tooth occurs when a significant portion of the tooth’s structure is lost due to trauma or decay. This type of damage often exposes the tooth pulp.

Diagnosing a Cracked Tooth

Dentists use various methods to diagnose cracked teeth, including visual inspection, staining dye, and dental history. Early diagnosis is primal to preventing further damage.

The Role of Dental History

Your dental history provides crucial information that helps diagnose and treat cracked teeth effectively.

Common Diagnostic Tools

Tools like staining dye and dental X-rays help identify cracks that are not visible to the bare eye.

Treatment Options for Cracked Teeth

If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, swish your mouth with warm water and avoid chewing on the affected side. Seek dental care as soon as possible.

Common Cracked Tooth Treatments

Depending on the severity, treatment options range from dental fillings and crowns to root canal treatment and, in severe cases, tooth extraction.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal may be necessary if the crack has reached the tooth pulp, causing pain and potential infection.

Dental Crowns and Fillings

Dental crowns and fillings help protect the tooth’s structure and prevent further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the intricacies of cracked teeth, their symptoms, and treatment methods can help alleviate concerns and guide individuals toward seeking appropriate dental care.

How Can I Tell If I Have a Cracked Tooth?

Look for symptoms like sharp pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, and discomfort around the tooth.

Is a Cracked Tooth an Emergency?

While not all cracks require immediate attention, significant pain and discomfort warrant prompt dental care.

Can a Cracked Tooth Heal on Its Own?

Most cracks cannot heal naturally and need professional treatment to avoid further damage.

What Should I Do If I Crack a Tooth?

Swish warm water around your mouth, steer clear of chewing on the problematic side, and seek dental care without delay.


What Does A Cracked Tooth Feel Like checkCracked teeth can result in considerable discomfort and potentially escalate into more serious dental problems if left untreated. Recognising the symptoms early and seeking professional care can prevent further damage, such as tooth fractures, and ensure your dental health. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment. Prompt treatment is essential to avoid more invasive procedures and maintain your overall oral health.

Don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable—take action now to enjoy a healthy, pain-free smile.

By understanding what a cracked tooth feels like and the available treatments, you can take proactive steps to manage and prevent this common dental issue. Reach out to us today to get your cracked tooth treated!

Contact Parramatta Green Dental at (02) 9538 7875, and transform your smile with clear aligners!

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.