The question “Can a cracked tooth be saved?” can be a source of discomfort and concern, but with prompt attention and professional care, it is often possible to restore your beautiful teeth. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the symptoms, causes, stages, and solutions for cracked teeth, shedding light on eliminating pain and saving your natural tooth.

Can A Cracked Tooth Be Saved?

Many individuals face a cracked tooth as a dental concern, and the question that looms over them is, “Can a cracked tooth be saved?” The answer depends on various factors, including the crack’s extent, the fracture’s location, and the promptness of seeking professional dental care.

Stages Of A Cracked Tooth

can a cracked tooth be treated st leonardsUnderstanding the progression of a cracked tooth is crucial for timely intervention. The stages typically include:

Craze Lines

Superficial cracks, known as craze lines, may develop on the outer tooth enamel but usually do not cause pain. Regular dental check-ups can help detect these early signs.

Fractured Cusp

A more significant crack may lead to a fractured cusp, which can cause pain while chewing. At this stage, dental bonding or a dental crown may be recommended.

Cracked Tooth

As the tooth crack extends deeper beyond the gum line, it becomes a cracked tooth. A root canal procedure could be required to cure pulp tissue damage and ease discomfort.

Split Tooth

If left untreated, a cracked tooth may progress to a split tooth, where the tooth is divided into two distinct segments. Saving the tooth at this stage may require tooth extraction.

Vertical Root Fractures

The most severe stage involves a vertical root fracture, affecting the tooth’s root. Extraction is often inevitable, and a dental implant may be recommended for tooth restoration.

Symptoms Of A Cracked Tooth

Cracked teeth can manifest in various ways, making it crucial to recognise the symptoms for early intervention. Common indicators include:

Sharp Pain While Chewing

One of the primary symptoms is experiencing sharp pain while biting or chewing, especially when consuming hard foods. This can signify a compromised tooth structure.

Sensitivity To Hot And Cold

Increased sensitivity to temperature changes, particularly to hot and cold substances, may indicate a cracked tooth. This sensitivity is often localised to the affected area.

Intermittent Pain

Cracked teeth can cause intermittent pain, making it challenging to pinpoint the source. A cracked tooth could be the culprit if you notice recurring discomfort without an apparent cause.

Causes Of A Cracked Tooth

saving cracked tooth st leonardsUnderstanding the factors that contribute to tooth cracks is essential for prevention. Several causes can lead to the development of cracked teeth:

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Persistent teeth grinding, often during sleep, can result in tiny cracks or fractures over time. Using a protective mouthguard can help mitigate this risk.

Biting Hard Objects

Chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or unpopped popcorn kernels can exert excessive pressure on teeth, leading to cracks. Avoiding such habits can prevent tooth damage.

Trauma Or Injury

Trauma or accidents, such as falls or blows to the face, can damage the tooth’s structure and cause cracks to appear instantly.

Immediate Steps For Cracked Or Broken Tooth Pain Relief

Experiencing pain due to a cracked tooth can be distressing, but there are immediate steps you can take to alleviate discomfort until you can seek professional dental care.

  • Rinse Your Mouth Gently: Begin by rinsing your mouth with warm water. This helps to remove debris and keep the area clean. Avoid using hot or cold water, as extreme temperatures may exacerbate sensitivity.
  • Apply A Cold Compress: You could reduce swelling and numbness in the vicinity of the afflicted tooth by applying a cool compress to the outside of your face. To avoid getting your skin in direct touch with the ice pack, cover it with a small cloth or towel.
  • Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers: Temporary relief can be achieved with over-the-counter pain medications. If you have any questions or pre-existing medical issues, speak with your dentist and adhere to the suggested dose guidelines.
  • Avoid Chewing On The Affected Side: Minimise pressure on the cracked tooth by avoiding chewing on the side where the pain is located. Choose softer and simpler meals to chew with your teeth on the other side.
  • Topical Anaesthetics: Topical use of over-the-counter oral gels or ointments might temporarily numb the afflicted region. Pay close attention to the product’s instructions.
  • Keep Hydrated: It’s important to stay hydrated for general health and pain management. Drink cool or lukewarm beverages, and avoid extremely hot or cold drinks.
  • Elevate Your Head While Sleeping: Elevating your head with an extra pillow can reduce blood flow to the head, potentially minimising pain and discomfort.

By taking these immediate steps, you can mitigate the discomfort of a cracked tooth until you receive professional care. Remember, these measures are temporary, and seeking prompt attention from a dentist is essential for a comprehensive and long-term solution.


How To Save A Cracked Or Chipped Tooth Professionally

While immediate relief measures are valuable, consulting with a dentist promptly is crucial for professional evaluation and intervention. The strategy for preserving a fractured tooth is contingent upon the extent and placement of the fracture. Here are the professional methods employed to salvage a cracked tooth:

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding may be recommended for minor cracks that affect the enamel. In this procedure, a tooth-coloured resin is applied to the damaged area, bonding with the natural tooth and restoring its integrity.

Dental Crown

When a cracked tooth extends beyond the enamel but doesn’t reach the pulp, a dental crown may encapsulate and protect the damaged tooth. Crowns are customised caps fitted over damaged teeth to give strength and stop more degradation.

Root Canal Treatment

If the fracture extends to the pulp, a root canal may be required to restore the injured pulp tissue and seal the inside of the tooth. This procedure helps preserve the tooth’s structural integrity while preventing infection.

Dental Implant Or Bridge

Extraction may be unavoidable in severe cases where a cracked tooth cannot be saved. To restore both functionality and aesthetics, a dental implant or bridge may be deemed a suitable substitute.

Monitoring And Follow-Up Care

After professional intervention, regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor the condition of the cracked tooth. This ensures early detection of issues and allows for timely adjustments or further treatment.

Prompt action and professional assistance increase the likelihood of saving a cracked tooth, highlighting the importance of seeking dental care when symptoms arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

treating cracked tooth st leonardsCan I save a cracked tooth at home?

Attempting to save a cracked tooth at home is not recommended. Professional dental evaluation and treatment are essential for effective and lasting solutions.

What happens if I ignore a cracked tooth?

Ignoring a cracked tooth can worsen symptoms, increase pain, and potentially cause tooth loss. Timely intervention is crucial to prevent further complications.

Is a cracked tooth always painful?

Not all cracked teeth cause immediate pain. Some may exhibit subtle symptoms or none at all, making regular dental check-ups crucial for early detection.

Can cracked teeth be prevented?

Preventing cracked teeth involves avoiding habits like teeth grinding, refraining from biting hard objects, and seeking timely dental care for any signs of tooth damage.

Saving Your Tooth Fracture

The question “Can a cracked tooth be saved?” has a positive answer when addressed promptly and professionally. Understanding cracked teeth’s symptoms, causes, and stages empowers individuals to seek early treatment, preserving their natural teeth and oral health.

Contact St Leonards Green Dental, St Leonards, NSW 2065, at (02) 9158 6211 to eliminate the pain and treat your fractured tooth quickly and effectively.

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


Bonk, Jeffrey. “How to Recognize the 5 Types of Tooth Cracks.” Spear, 22 May 2020,

“Chipped or Cracked Tooth Causes and Repair.” Crest,

Colgate. “Tooth Cracked in Half: Can It Be Fixed?” Colgate, 10 Mar. 2022,

Kakka, Angeliki, et al. “Treatment of Cracked Teeth: A Comprehensive Narrative Review.” Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, vol. 8, no. 5, July 2022, pp. 1218–48.

L, Massa, and Von Fraunhofer Ja. “Atypical Manifestation of a Tooth Crack.” Lupine Publishers, 1 Oct. 2018,

Watson, Shawn. “Cracked or Broken Tooth Pain Relief.” Verywell Health, 21 Dec. 2023,

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