Cracked Teeth


Cracks in teeth can occur for several reasons including biting or chewing on hard food like nuts or ice, impact due to an accident or sport, age, large fillings, and so on. The extent of cracking can also vary from just a part of the tooth to all the way down to below the gum line. Some types of cracks don’t have any symptoms, but more extensive cracks can result in pain while chewing on food, sensitivity to heat and cold, and a pain that may come and go. Cracks in a tooth can also cause swelling in the gums.

san anselmo family dentistry


Cracks, if left untreated, can get worse and the damage caused could lead to the tooth needing extraction. The best thing to do when you first notice a cracked tooth is to visit the dentist and get it checked up. The sooner a cracked tooth is treated, the greater are the chances of the tooth being saved. At San Anselmo Family Dentistry we treat cracked teeth and use the best methods to save the tooth.

Cracked teeth are hard to diagnose because it is not only difficult to identify which tooth is causing discomfort, but cracks don’t always show up on X-rays either. At San Anselmo Family Dentistry, we have sophisticated methods to diagnose cracked teeth, and combined with a comprehensive understanding of your eating habits and lifestyle, we have a high accuracy rate. The treatment will depend on the type of crack that the tooth has.


Here are the different types of cracks that can occur and how they are treated:
Craze lines: These are superficial cracks on the enamel which don’t cause any symptoms and don’t require any treatment.
Cusp fracture: Sometimes when a filling is too large it weakens the tooth around it and causes a fracture in the cusp. A treatment called bonding can be used on a crack like this. Resin is filled into the crack and seals it so that the tooth can function as normal.
Vertical cracks: These cracks extend from the tip of the tooth toward the gum. Some cracks can extend all the way to the gum line. Cracks that don’t go all the way to the gum can be treated by having a crown fitted over the tooth. Crowns are made of ceramic or porcelain and made to look exactly like the tooth. The tooth is prepared for the crown by removing some of the enamel. When the crown is ready, it is cemented over the tooth and can last a lifetime.


In specific situations, your dental professional at San Anselmo may need to extract a tooth. If a crack in your tooth reaches the gum, there is a chance that the tooth may need to be extracted. After examining the tooth and the extent of the damage, your dentist will be able to make the right call. Teeth are only extracted when there is absolutely no way to save them. In some cases where the crack has caused damage to the pulp, a root canal is required.

If you suspect that you have a cracked tooth, please call us at the number listed below and book an appointment. A checkup and prompt treatment could save your tooth.