Cracked teeth are a common dental issue that can lead to various complications, one of which is increased sensitivity. The relationship between cracked teeth and sensitivity is a crucial aspect of dental health that deserves attention and understanding. In this article, we will explore how cracked teeth can trigger heightened sensitivity and its impact on oral well-being.

Cracked Teeth: An Overview

Cracked teeth can occur for various reasons, including trauma, teeth grinding (bruxism), biting on hard objects, or even natural wear and tear over time. These cracks can vary in size and severity, ranging from minor surface cracks to more significant fractures that extend deep into the tooth structure. Regardless of the type, cracked teeth can lead to discomfort and dental issues.

Heightened Sensitivity: The Warning Sign

One of the primary ways cracked teeth manifest is through heightened sensitivity. When a tooth becomes cracked, it can expose the inner layers of the tooth, including the dentin and pulp. Dentin contains tiny channels called tubules that connect to the nerve of the tooth. When dentin is exposed, external stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures, sweet or acidic foods, and even air, can stimulate the nerves, resulting in heightened sensitivity.

Types of Sensitivity

Sensitivity in cracked teeth can manifest in various ways:

1. Temperature Sensitivity: Many people with cracked teeth experience discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.

2. Sweet Sensitivity: Sugary foods and drinks can trigger sharp, momentary pain in cracked teeth.

3. Acidic Sensitivity: Foods and drinks with high acidity levels, like citrus fruits or vinegar-based items, can worsen sensitivity.

4. Air Sensitivity: Exposure to air during breathing or drinking can cause discomfort in cracked teeth.

Pain Management

Sensitivity in cracked teeth can range from mild to severe, with some individuals experiencing intense, shooting pain. Managing this pain often involves avoiding trigger foods and drinks and using toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. However, these are temporary measures and do not address the underlying issue of the cracked tooth.

Risk of Infection

Cracked teeth that are left untreated can pose a significant risk of infection. Bacteria can enter the tooth through the crack, leading to inflammation and infection of the pulp, a condition known as pulpitis. Pulpitis can progress to a dental abscess or cellulitis if not addressed promptly, potentially affecting surrounding tissues.


The connection between cracked teeth and sensitivity is a critical aspect of dental health. Heightened sensitivity is often an early warning sign of a cracked tooth, indicating the need for dental evaluation and treatment. Ignoring sensitivity in cracked teeth can lead to more severe complications, such as infection and pain. If you experience sensitivity in your teeth, especially when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic items, during your stay in Seattle it is essential to consult with a dentist at Sue Vetter DDS. Dental professionals can assess the extent of the damage, recommend appropriate cracked teeth treatment in Seattle WA. It will provide relief from sensitivity, ultimately preserving your oral well-being and preventing further dental complications.