Cracked Teeth – The Potential Consequences

Even relatively minor damage may be storing up problems for the future.

A not uncommon tendency of some patients is to perform a degree of self diagnosis, especially when minor dental problems occur. Whilst nearly all patients will call for an emergency appointment at our dental practice in Wickford, near Rayleigh, if they have a severe toothache; less painful and potentially minor issues may well be ignored, or at least delayed until their next general appointment.

Unfortunately, delays such as this can mean that more extensive treatment might be needed than if the problem was diagnosed when it occurred. In today’s blog, we take a look at a common problem that is all too easy to ignore – the cracked tooth.

Cracked teeth

Teeth can crack in a number of ways and may even cause complete breakage. Whilst most patients are likely to contact the Cygnet Dental Practice when this happens, this is not necessarily the case for everyone. If the break is causing pain, or makes eating difficult, early treatment is usually sought. However, where a breakage has been relatively minor and ‘clean’ i.e. not causing any immediate problems, some may delay treatment.

Delaying treatment is even more likely where the crack does not cause a tooth to break, or even necessarily feel weaker. A tooth cracked in this manner may cause no immediate problems, however, you can be almost sure, that if it is not treated, problems will follow.

Problems with cracked teeth

Even presuming that a crack in the tooth is relatively minor and not causing any immediate problems, there are a number of issues that are likely to arise.

Decay – The most common problem. Any crack in a tooth is large enough for acids and bacteria to enter. This will gradually start to cause the tooth to decay and can cause anything from a minor discomfort to a raging toothache.

Root canal infection – Should the bacteria enter the root canals of the teeth, where the nerves are located, you are likely to be in quite a lot of pain. The only solution to this problem, bar extracting the tooth, is to perform root canal treatment on it, removing the infected material and replacing it with a special filler.

Broken tooth – A tooth that has been cracked will inevitably be weaker to some degree. All that it will take is a harder bite than normal, or eating something hard, and the crack may widen and cause the tooth to break away.


There are a number of treatments available to restore a cracked tooth. In many cases, this will be a relatively minor treatment such as the use of dental bonding. Fillings may also be used depending on the type of crack.

Failure to seek early treatment for what might seem to be a minor issue, may result in larger fillings, the need for a dental crown, root canal treatment or even extraction of the problem tooth.

Never believe that a dental problem will go away as this is extremely unlikely to happen. However minor your dental problem is, please call the reception team at our Wickford practice who will offer advice and arrange an appointment with one of the dentists here at the Cygnet Dental Practice. Call us today on 01268 733078.