When can a cracked tooth become serious?

The severity of a cracked tooth is determined by the extent of the crack.
  • If a crack is deep and goes down the entire length of the tooth, removal of the tooth is usually the treatment.
  • If the crack is above the gumline and does not go through nerves, the tooth is usually savable with a filling or a crown.
  • If the crack goes into the nerve (but doesn't go down below bone level), a root canal may be needed and then the tooth can be restored using a crown.
A cracked tooth can become more serious if the inside (pulp) of the tooth becomes irritated. The pulp inside your tooth is the soft tissue that contains nerves and blood vessels. If the pulp is irritated, you may experience increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Also, without treatment, you may risk serious damage or disease that would require a root canal to save the tooth. A root canal involves removing the damaged inside of the tooth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.