Skip to main content

Oral Care Guide For Teens - Oral Problems - Cracked Tooth

Please note that in-text links in this page will open a new window.


Cracked tooth is the presence of a crack(s) in a tooth that goes down to the dentine or even the pulp. It is most frequently occurred at the lower molars and upper premolars

Photograph of an incisor with cracks on its tooth crown Photograph of a molar with crack on its tooth crown

A tooth may crack due to a crash or excessive stress, for example:
  • Always chewing on hard food or masticatory accidents, such as sudden bite on a piece of bone
  • Excessive force on a tooth due to poor tooth alignment or biting problems
  • Brittleness of teeth due to large filling or wear of tooth structure
  • An accident, such as fall, traffic accident or sport injury
    Photograph of a set of front teeth one  of which had been cracked at the corner
  • Brittleness of teeth due to undergone root canal treatment
  • Severe tooth decay
    Photograph of a molar with severe  tooth decay
  • Habitual grinding or clenching of teeth

Sign and symptom:

You may have sensitivity or sharp pain on eating, because when you bite down on a cracked tooth the pressure of biting causes the crack to open, the pulp inside the tooth may become irritated. However, the pain disappears quickly when you stop eating or chewing or use the other side of your mouth. At the initial stage, such problems occur occasionally, but if the crack extends into the pulp, pain may arise continuously.


  • Tooth becomes brittle
  • Partial fracture or fracture of whole tooth may arise
  • If a tooth is severely cracked e.g. vertical crack or crack extending beyond the pulp, it may need extraction

Handling methods

If you suspect of having a cracked tooth, you should go to see your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will determine which tooth is causing the problem and determine the best treatment for it.

Prevention of cracked teeth

  • Avoid chewing of hard foods e.g. nuts, hard candy, ice, bones, and shell, etc.
  • While you are eating, beware of foods mixed with bony fragments or sand. Chew your food gently, and do not hurry.
  • Chewing on both sides of your mouth, to avoid excessive stress on certain teeth.
Explanation of WCAG 2.0 Level Double-A Conformance