How To Fix A Cracked Tooth? DIY Natural Remedies

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: May 10, 2024

close up of a man with a cracked tooth
Close up of a man with a cracked tooth

A cracked tooth isn’t just a dental issue; it’s a common discomfort that many people experience. The pain and sensitivity that come with a cracked tooth can interrupt your day and affect your overall well-being. In this blog, we’ll explore natural remedies that offer temporary relief for a cracked tooth. While these methods can help soothe your pain, it’s important to remember that they are only a temporary fix. For a long-term solution and to prevent further damage, professional dental care is essential. So, let’s dive into the ways how to fix a cracked tooth at home as you prepare for your dental appointment.

1 How to identify a cracked tooth? Common Symptoms

Recognizing a cracked tooth early can make a significant difference in managing your dental health. If you’re experiencing pain when chewing or sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, you might have a cracked tooth. Other common signs include:

  • Pain that comes and goes: Unlike cavities, which generally cause constant discomfort, a cracked tooth often causes pain that appears sporadically during chewing or biting.
  • Sensitivity to sweetness: A cracked tooth might react painfully to sweet foods or drinks.
  • Visible cracks or lines: Sometimes, the crack is visible to the naked eye, appearing as a line on the surface of the tooth. In other cases, it might be felt as a rough edge with the tongue.
  • Swelling of the gum: In some cases, the gum around the cracked tooth might swell or feel irritated.

2 Natural and Homemade Remedies to Reduce Cracked Tooth Pain

Saltwater Rinse

Saltwater is a natural disinfectant. Rinsing your mouth with a solution of salt and warm water several times a day can help reduce gum inflammation and clean the area around the cracked tooth, preventing infection. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Clove Oil

Known for its analgesic properties, clove oil can be a lifesaver when dealing with dental pain. Apply a small amount of clove oil directly to the affected tooth and surrounding gums using a cotton ball. This can temporarily numb the area and relieve pain. It’s important to use it sparingly, as it is quite potent.

Ice Packs

Applying an ice pack to the outside of your face near the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb the pain. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect your skin and limit the application to 15-minute intervals.

Garlic Paste

Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries, including its ability to fight infections due to its antibacterial properties. Creating a paste from crushed garlic and applying it to the affected area can help reduce pain and prevent infection. However, be aware that garlic can be quite strong and might cause irritation if left on the skin or gums for too long.

These methods can provide temporary relief and are beneficial in managing symptoms until you can see a dentist. However, they are not permanent solutions and should not replace professional dental treatment.

3 DIY Temporary Remedies To Try at Home

While waiting for your dental appointment, there are a few do-it-yourself solutions that can provide immediate, though short-term, relief from the discomfort of a cracked tooth. These temporary fixes are useful for protecting your mouth from further irritation and can help manage the pain until you receive professional treatment.

Dental Wax or Sugar-Free Gum

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Woman with braces is holding orthodontic wax

If the cracked tooth has sharp edges that irritate your tongue or inner cheeks, covering these edges can prevent cuts and reduce discomfort. Dental wax, available at most pharmacies, can be moulded over the sharp edges of the tooth to shield the soft tissues in your mouth. Alternatively, if dental wax isn’t immediately available, you can use sugar-free gum. Chew it until it’s malleable, then carefully press it onto the jagged edge of your tooth. This acts as a cushion, protecting your mouth but remember to replace it frequently to maintain hygiene.

Temporary Filling Kits

tooth filling with temporary cement for cracked tooth
Tooth filling with temporary cement for cracked tooth

Over-the-counter temporary filling kits are another option for managing a cracked tooth. These kits come with a material that can be used to cover the crack temporarily. This material acts as a barrier, protecting the tooth from exposure to hot, cold, or sweet food and drinks, which can trigger pain. It’s relatively easy to apply following the instructions provided with the kit. However, these are only a temporary solution and should not delay seeking professional dental care.

4 The Risks of DIY Treatments While Fixing Cracked Tooth

While DIY treatments and home remedies can provide temporary relief from the pain of a cracked tooth, they come with significant limitations and potential risks. It’s crucial to understand that these remedies are not substitutes for professional dental treatment, which is necessary to properly address dental issues. Here are some important considerations and risks associated with DIY dental treatments:

  • Ineffectiveness in treating the underlying issue: Home remedies and temporary fixes are unable to address the root cause of a cracked tooth. They provide symptomatic relief but do not fix the crack itself, which can continue to worsen without proper treatment.
  • Risk of improper application: DIY solutions such as temporary filling kits or applying dental wax require careful application. Improper use can lead to further damage or even accidental ingestion of materials not meant to be swallowed.
  • Potential for delayed treatment: Relying on temporary fixes can lead to delays in seeking professional dental care. This delay can exacerbate the problem, making the eventual treatment more complicated and costly.
  • Complications from untreated cracks: A cracked tooth that is not adequately treated can lead to serious complications. Bacteria can enter the crack and cause an infection in the tooth’s pulp, potentially leading to an abscess. This infection can spread to the jaw and other areas of the head and neck, leading to significant health issues.
  • Increased risk of tooth loss: Continued use of a cracked tooth without proper treatment can lead to further breakdown of the tooth structure. This can increase the risk of the tooth becoming irreparably damaged, possibly resulting in tooth loss, which would require more invasive procedures like implants or bridges.

5 When to See a Dentist For a Cracked Tooth?

The necessity of seeing a dentist as soon as you suspect a cracked tooth cannot be overstated. DIY remedies and temporary fixes are just that—temporary. They can help manage pain and prevent further immediate damage, but a permanent solution from a professional is essential for long-term dental health.

  • Immediate consultation: As soon as you notice signs of a cracked tooth, it is crucial to schedule a visit with your dentist. Early detection and treatment can prevent the crack from worsening and save the tooth from potential extraction.
  • Comprehensive assessment: A dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, possibly including X-rays, to assess the severity and depth of the crack. This evaluation determines the most effective treatment plan.

Professional treatments

  • Dental Bonding: For minor cracks, dental bonding is a common treatment. The dentist uses a tooth-coloured composite resin to fill the crack, restoring the tooth’s appearance and function. This procedure is typically quick and often completed in one visit.
  • Crowns: For more significant cracks that have damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown might be necessary. A crown covers the entire tooth, providing stability and protecting it from further damage.
  • Root Canals: If the crack has extended into the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be required. This procedure involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the tooth’s interior, and sealing it to prevent further infection.
  • Tooth Extraction: In cases where the tooth is severely damaged and cannot be saved, extraction may be the only option. To restore function and aesthetics, the dentist will then discuss tooth replacement options, such as implants or bridges.

6 Tips To Prevent a Cracked Tooth

Preventing a cracked tooth involves careful attention to your dental habits and taking proactive measures to protect your teeth. Here are some practical tips that can help you avoid this common dental problem:

Diet and Habits

a man cracking walnut hard food with teeth
A man cracking walnut hard food with teeth
  • Avoid Biting Hard Objects: Biting on hard objects such as ice, hard candies, or popcorn kernels can cause significant stress on your teeth, leading to cracks. Try to avoid using your teeth as tools to open packaging or bite hard materials.
  • Be Mindful of Hard Foods: While they can be part of a healthy diet, foods that require a lot of force to chew, like certain nuts and seeds, should be eaten cautiously. Consider chopping them into smaller pieces if possible.

Protective Measures

  • Wear Mouthguards: If you engage in sports or activities that might involve facial impacts (like basketball, soccer, or skateboarding), wearing a mouthguard is crucial. Mouthguards can absorb and distribute the force of a blow, preventing cracked teeth and other dental injuries.
  • Consider a Night Guard: For those who grind their teeth at night—a condition known as bruxism—a night guard may be necessary. Teeth grinding can put excessive pressure on your teeth, leading to cracks over time. A custom-fitted night guard from your dentist can protect your teeth while you sleep.

Regular Dental Visits

  • Routine Check-Ups: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining dental health. These visits allow your dentist to detect and address potential issues before they develop into serious problems. Dentists can identify signs of teeth weakening or minor cracks that might not yet be visible or causing symptoms.
  • Professional Cleanings: Alongside check-ups, getting your teeth professionally cleaned can help maintain their strength. Cleanings remove plaque and tartar build-up, which if left untreated, can lead to decay and weaken your teeth, making them more susceptible to cracking.

7 Wrapping Up

Cracked teeth not only cause discomfort but can also lead to serious dental problems if not addressed. While natural remedies provide quick, temporary relief, they are no substitute for professional dental care. These should only be used as interim solutions until you can consult a dentist. Treatments such as bonding, crowns, or root canals, administered by a qualified dentist, are essential for lasting repair and to prevent further damage.

Preventing dental issues is key. Simple steps like avoiding hard foods, using mouthguards during physical activities, and keeping up with regular dental check-ups are effective in maintaining dental health.

Remember, prioritizing dental health is crucial for your overall well-being. It ensures your comfort, maintains the functionality of your teeth, and prevents more severe complications. Always seek professional advice and treatment to keep your smile healthy and vibrant.

FAQ's about how to fix a cracked tooth

Can a cracked tooth be repaired?

Yes, a cracked tooth can often be repaired. The appropriate treatment depends on the extent and location of the crack. Options include bonding, a dental crown, a root canal, or in severe cases, extraction. It’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible to determine the best treatment for preserving the tooth.

Whether a fully cracked tooth can be saved depends on how deep the crack goes. If the crack reaches below the gum line, the tooth often can’t be saved and might need to be removed. If the crack is above the gum line, the tooth might be saved with treatments like a crown or a root canal. It’s important to see a dentist quickly to find out the best way to handle it.

Yes, a cracked tooth can be painful. The pain might come and go, especially when chewing or when the tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures. The discomfort is usually due to the movement of the tooth segments irritating the nerve inside or because of an infection. If you experience pain from a cracked tooth, it’s important to see a dentist for assessment and treatment.

It’s best not to leave a broken tooth untreated for long. Delaying treatment can lead to increased pain, infection, and potentially more complicated dental issues. Ideally, you should see a dentist as soon as possible after the tooth breaks to determine the best course of action and prevent further damage or complications. It’s recommended to see a dentist within 24 hours if possible.

Yes, you should continue to brush a broken tooth, but do it gently. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid pressing too hard on the broken area to prevent further damage or pain. Keeping the area clean is important to prevent infection until you can see a dentist for proper treatment.

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Kaushik Jethva
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Updated: May 10, 2024
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