What’s the Harm in Cracked Teeth?

Many patients may have to deal with a tooth that has been fractured in some way. Cracks can occur when a tooth sustains trauma from biting on something that’s too hard, or from being punched. Teeth can also crack under the pressure of bruxism or from the degradation tooth decay. There are different types of cracked teeth, depending on where the fracture is and how far into the tooth it extends, which can cause problems for your teeth if not treated.

The Truth About Cracks in Your Teeth

True or False:

1.) Cracks are always harmful to your teeth.

2.) Fractures can begin in the roots of your teeth.

3.) Cracked teeth never hurt.

4.) Extensive cracks can lead to your jaw bone becoming infected.

5.) Severely cracked teeth may need to be extracted.


1.) False. Craze lines, or slight cracks in your tooth’s enamel, are typically cosmetic issues that don’t necessarily pose a threat to your dental health. Cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening or porcelain veneers can usually keep craze lines from becoming noticeable.

2.) True. Vertical root fractures begin in the roots of your tooth. Though painful, they’re often difficult to recognize on your own because the damage isn’t visible. In most cases, vertical root fractures mean the tooth has to be extracted (unless the tooth has more than one root, and the damaged one can be surgically resected).

3.) False. Discomfort may be a sign that you have a cracked tooth. Pain can be caused by biting down, which can cause the pieces to shift, or extreme temperatures that irritate exposed tooth nerves in the pulp (center of the tooth).

4.) True. Cracks that reach your pulp, the inner chamber of your tooth, leave the tooth’s pulp and roots susceptible to infection, which may then spread to your gums and the jawbone that support the roots.

5.) True. Even if the fracture isn’t too severe initially, waiting to seek treatment will allow it to grow worse, and if compounded by infection, the tooth may become too damaged to save.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.