Can a Cracked Tooth Heal On Its Own?

Can a Cracked Tooth Heal On Its Own?

Can a Cracked Tooth Heal on Its Own?

Making regular trips to the dentist is a healthy habit for anyone and everyone to have. But in between those visits, things can sometimes go wrong. For instance, suppose you got a sporting injury or accidentally bit into a too-hard piece of candy, and it causes your tooth to crack.

Depending on the severity of the crack, you might debate not doing anything about it. After all, teeth are similar to bones, and broken bones can heal themselves, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple when it comes to a cracked tooth. Here’s what you need to know about cracked teeth and what you should do if you have one or suspect you have one yourself.

Symptoms of Cracked Teeth

If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity, how can you be sure what the root cause is? While some symptoms are similar to other issues, here’s what you can expect most commonly with a cracked tooth.

Start with a Dental Exam

If you think you might have a cracked tooth or especially if you’re positive you do, you need to make an appointment with your dentist. This will likely involve a simple exam that includes a physical inspection of your teeth and perhaps some X-Rays. Your dentist might also use a dental explorer to feel for the crack or a dye to make it show up more prominently. After an exam, your dentist should be able to tell you the extent of the crack and can advise you on how to deal with it.

Types of Cracked Teeth

If your dentist identifies a crack in your tooth, he or she may explain the type of crack to you, which will help determine the best treatment method (if any).

Craze Lines

These are tiny cracks on the exterior of the teeth, just in the enamel. They aren’t cause for huge concern, they aren’t painful, and they don’t require any treatment.

Fractured Cusp

This type of crack typically occurs right near a filling. It doesn’t generally impact the actual health of the tooth or the root, so it doesn’t usually cause much pain and can often be fixed by re-filling the tooth.

Large Cracks

A large crack may cover just a portion of the tooth but be relatively large in size. It may or may not extend into the gum line, and whether it does or does not plays a big role in treatment options.

Split Tooth

This occurs when the entire tooth is literally split in two. Most often, the entire tooth cannot be saved, but sometimes a dentist is able to save half of it.

Treatment Options

The treatment options you have will depend entirely on your specific diagnosis. Your dentist will take into account your symptoms, as well as the location and severity of the crack to recommend the right treatment for you. If treatment is required, it typically looks like one of the following:


This is a simple option for smaller cracks that involves filling in the crack with a plastic resin. This restores the look and function of the tooth with minimally invasive measures.


A crown is a relatively common dental treatment that involves a device that goes over the entire tooth and mimics the original look of the tooth. Part of your original tooth will be shaved slightly to make room for the crown, and it will be bonded to your original tooth. While the process can be a little lengthy, with proper care and dental hygiene, a crown can perfectly replicate a real tooth and can last an entire lifetime.

Root Canal

If the crack goes into the roots and has caused damage there, a root canal may be necessary. This procedure removes the pulp that is damaged and helps the tooth maintain some of its integrity, along with reducing the likelihood of infection.


If your tooth, the root, and the surrounding gums are very damaged, the only option may be to completely remove the tooth.

No Treatment

Although this isn’t typically the case, sometimes a cracked tooth doesn’t need any treatment. If you have a very minor crack that isn’t causing pain, your dentist may recommend leaving it alone.

So… Can a Cracked Tooth Heal on Its Own?

As you can see, it is possible to let a cracked tooth go without treatment. With very small cracks that don’t go any deeper than the outermost layer of the tooth, your body may be able to heal it on its own. However, if there is any risk of infection or if you’re experiencing pain of any kind, it’s best to have the crack treated by a dental professional.