Dentist Questions Cracked Tooth

How to fix cracks in the teeth?

I have little cracks in my teeth, what could this be from? I have no other dental issues. The cracks bother me when I smile as its noticeable. What is the treatment?

14 Answers

Some teeth have natural craze lines in them. If this is something that bothers you then a cosmetic consult would be in order to review your options of covering the cracks.
You might be clenching or grinding your teeth. It is necessary to evaluate how much healthy tooth structure is remaining on your teeth to properly find the type of restorative material you need and also it will be best for you to have a night guard done to protect your teeth and your TMJ.
Most people have surface cracks in the enamel of their teeth. For most people, it's not a problem and not noticeable. If patients drink a lot of coffee or smoke, these surface cracks can get stained and discolored. This is usually the problem. The simplest route would be to bleach the teeth, to make this less noticeable. However, bleaching becomes an issue that has to be maintained. The other solution is the veneer the front teeth. The veneers won't restain. This is a more expensive solution, but a more permanent one.
Cracked teeth keep all of us dentists in business. You should talk to your dentist and ask about what is best for you. Usually if the crack is truly a crack and not just a "craze line," then a crown will be recommended. Sometimes a root canal is also recommend. If the crack/craze is on a front tooth, then they might recommend a veneer.
Lots of things can cause teeth to break or crack. Cavities can weaken the tooth, trauma, hard foods, etc. You may not experience immediate pain, but if the crack gets close enough to the nerve, you could start to experience discomfort or even severe pain. There are a couple of ways to treat a cracked tooth depending on location, severity, etc:

-Repair the crack with a filling
-A root canal if necessary
-Place a crown

And more. If the tooth is broken, it's best to schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible.
Depending on the location, type of cracking, wear and tear, etc, the ways to fix them are quite varied. There is no one right way to fix depends on the cause. That said, you should see your dentist who will be able to best advise you.
Craze lines on teeth are shallow, common and not significant. Cracks are deeper and can progress like a crack on a windshield. You have to rely on your dentist to guide you when it might be more serious. It can be very difficult to distinguish which will worsen (like the windshield crack).
It is not unusual to have cracks on the surface of your teeth. It is the depth of the cracks that determine what if anything needs to be done about them. If the crack is limited to only the enamel of the tooth, usually no treatment is necessary, unless for cosmetic purposes. If the crack extends past the enamel, into the secondary dentin layer of the tooth, there may be symptoms such as sensitivity to pressure or temperature. In this situation, a crown or filling may be necessary, as long as the nerve inside the tooth has not been permanently damaged. If the crack is deep and penetrates all the way into the nerve of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary prior to placing a crown. Finally, it is possible to have a crack that is so deep or long that the overall structure of the tooth has been negatively compromised, and the tooth would need to be extracted. In your case, you say that the cracks are noticeable and since they bother you, one option would be to place a filling, veneer or crown on the tooth with the crack. You should visit a dentist, who can take an X-ray and perform pulp testing and a thorough examination of your tooth, and then to explain to you all of your options.   
Small, visible cracks can be considered crazy lines and are more on the surface of the tooth. They don’t necessarily mean the entire tooth is cracked. Over time, they can become stained and could lead to a problem. If the cracks are deeper, a full coverage crown or veneer could be an option. Please consult with a dentist to evaluate your specific condition.
Cracks could be due to multiple reasons like routine wear, strong bite, grinding,clenching, trauma, chewing on ice, etc. Treatment can range from simple bonding to full coverage crowns. Seek care from your local dentist.
Great question and I completely understand because seeing cracks on teeth can be very disconcerting! A couple of things about cracks, first: it is normal to have some very small cracks on teeth that is only in the enamel or outer layer of a tooth. Those small superficial cracks usually do not mean anything major, they come from normal hot and cold cycles in our mouth plus the chewing that we normally do each day that we eat. This type of crack is not serious and usually doesn’t require any treatment unless they get deeper and into the next layer deeper of the tooth or the dentin. Which leads me to the second type of crack on teeth. This type of crack goes through the enamel layer into the deeper dentin layer and can be destructive and weaken the tooth and lead to actual fracturing or breaking of a portion of the tooth and become an emergency. This type of crack can be verified by a dentist to be either a major crack or a minor crack. This type of crack, unfortunately can not have vitamins, minerals or any supplement that you would rub on, rinse or bathe the tooth in or swallow to get it to heal. There are a lot of things that you can find on Dr. Google where people have tried to fix or repair their fractured tooth and through the miracle of video it manically appears to be healed. I have seen many patients try many of these remedies all to no avail and no improvement.
My advice would be to have your dentist check the crack and see which one of the two types it actually is, and what the recommendations may be for treatment. They may include any of the following: some form of bonding with composite, something in the crown family like a partial crown, a Bio-mimetic approach to repair the fractured portion of the tooth, or a thin shell of porcelain veneer to cover and hold the crack together.
Thank you for the question!!
Dr. Platt
Cracks are usually the result of chewing excessively hard materials, such as ice. Another cause is bruxing (grinding) or clenching your teeth. If this is found to be a cause, an occlusal guard is recommended.
You may be grinding your teeth at night, which is causing your teeth to crack. If that is the case, then a night guard is suggested to help the grinding and prevent any further damage. Cosmetically speaking, teeth can be bonded or restored with crowns or veneers; depends on the amount of tooth structure that is cracked.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Stella Carollo
Typically, cracks in teeth come from excessive forces being applied to the teeth. This could be the result of an unbalanced bite or clenching and grinding teeth. Treatment would consist of checking and balancing the bite to distribute forces equally across your teeth. Most teeth with cracks will need crowns to restore, protect and cover them so they will look better cosmetically and keep cracks from propagating. If clenching and grinding are a factor, I would recommend a screening to rule out sleep apnea as clenching could be a sign of an airway issue. If sleep apnea is ruled out, then a night guard/occlusal guard would be recommended to protect the teeth from further damage.

Dr. Brandon Nicholson, D.D.S.