Can a Small Crack in a Tooth Heal?

figure working on tooth with tools

Nobody wants to deal with the pain and discomfort of a cracked tooth. But it’s important to recognize when you might have a cracked tooth, so you can take the necessary next steps.

Here’s how to determine if you have a cracked tooth:

  • Do you see a visible fracture line?
  • Do you experience pain when chewing or biting?
  • Does your tooth hurt when it’s very hot or very cold?
  • Does the pain come and go?


If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have a cracked tooth.

Normally cracks are caused by stress on teeth. If it’s an enamel line fracture, meaning it’s only on the outer level of the tooth, then it’s possible for it to heal naturally through a process called remineralization. This is when minerals found in saliva, as well as fluoride and water, help to build up the enamel and repair the crack.

You can help this process along by limiting the amount of sugar you consume, taking excellent care of your teeth, and adding fluoride toothpaste to your daily regimen.

However, if the tooth has a deep crack that runs down the tooth to the root, then it will probably need a dental crown to protect it from further damage.

If you think you have a cracked tooth, or are at risk for a crack, remember these helpful tips:

  • Don’t grind or clench your teeth, since that puts additional pressure on them.
  • Wear a nightguard while sleeping and a mouthguard when playing sports.
  • Don’t chew on ice or other hard substances.

While it is possible for a small crack in a tooth to heal on its own, it’s important to see the dentist to be sure you don’t need dental work done. Contact our office to set up an appointment!

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