Cracked Wisdom Tooth – A Comprehensive Guide

A cracked wisdom tooth can be a painful and potentially serious dental issue. It occurs when a crack or split forms in the tooth, either on the surface or deep within the tooth structure. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a cracked wisdom tooth to help you understand this condition better.

What is a Cracked Wisdom Tooth?

A wisdom tooth, also known as a third molar, is the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. A cracked wisdom tooth is one that has a crack or fracture in the enamel, dentin, or both. These cracks can range from minor to severe and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including pain, sensitivity, and infection.

Symptoms of a Cracked Wisdom Tooth

The symptoms of a cracked wisdom tooth can vary depending on the severity of the crack. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain or discomfort when biting or chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Swelling or redness in the gums near the affected tooth
  • A visible crack or chip in the tooth
  • Persistent bad taste in the mouth

Causes of a Cracked Wisdom Tooth

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of a cracked tooth. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Trauma: A blow to the mouth or jaw can cause a wisdom tooth to crack.
  • Decay: If a wisdom tooth is already decayed, it may be more susceptible to cracking.
  • Misalignment: Wisdom teeth that emerge at an angle or are impacted can put extra pressure on the surrounding teeth, which can lead to cracking.
  • Grinding or clenching: Habits like grinding or clenching your teeth can put extra stress on your wisdom teeth, increasing the risk of cracking.

Treatment Options for a Cracked Wisdom Tooth

The treatment for a cracked tooth will depend on the severity of the crack. Some common treatment options include:

  • Fillings: If the crack is small and only affects the enamel, a dental filling may be used to repair the tooth.
  • Crowns: If the crack is larger or extends into the dentin, a dental crown may be needed to protect the tooth and restore its function.
  • Extraction: In some cases, a wisdom tooth may need to be extracted if it is severely cracked or causing pain and discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions


A cracked wisdom tooth can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, sensitivity, and infection. The severity of the crack will determine the appropriate treatment, which can range from a filling to an extraction. If you suspect you have a cracked tooth, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible. For more information on dental treatment options, you can visit the American Dental Association (ADA) website.

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