Treating Fractured Root

Trauma to the teeth and mouth can result in serious oral health issues. Problems such as a root fracture or crack require immediate treatment. In order to preserve the tooth and prevent greater issues, it is critical to seek treatment in a timely manner.

Various things can cause a root fracture. A fracture can even occur from the pressure of chewing, causing problematic cracks. Fractures can also occur when a filling is damaged or from biting on hard objects.

Common causes for fractured teeth are listed below:

  • Using the teeth as a tool or to chew on hard objects
  • Large fillings which caused weakened teeth
  • An accident, injury, or trauma
  • Sudden temperature changes in the mouth

Fractured Roots

The teeth can fracture in different ways and the cracks can be horizontal or vertical. Some cracks are mild while others are quite severe. A crack is not always obvious or can be front and center. The ideal treatment may vary depending on the cause, severity, location, and how healthy the tooth is. Some of the most common types of root fractures include the following:

  • Split tooth: a fracture which occurs when there are two separate segments.
  • Below the gum fracture: This fracture starts near the crown and extends into the root.
  • Vertical root fracture: Cracks can also begin at the root and extend into the crown. This type of fracture may not cause pain right away, but often results in infection.


Not all fractures result in pain. A fracture may not actually cause symptoms, which can make them difficult to detect. It is important for patients to make regular visits to the dentist to ensure these types of issues are identified in a timely manner. The dentist can obtain x-rays and complete an examination. Below are common symptoms of a fractured root:

  1. Discomfort or pain with chewing
  2. Sensitivity to sweets, heat, and cold
  3. Sporadic pain
  4. Gums which are swollen or inflamed


The treatment will depend on how severe the fracture is. The dentist may be able to use a splint to provide additional stability for a tooth which has mild damage.

If the fracture extends into the pulp, a root canal is often required in order to preserve the tooth. Root canals include the treatment of infection and removal of damaged tissue. The final step of the procedure involves filling the canals and pulp chamber. A crown can also be placed to strengthen and restore the tooth.

Some root fractures are severe and there is unfortunately no way to preserve the tooth. In this case, the dentist will need to extract the tooth. Removal of the tooth is a last resort when no other treatment options can be used. Following an extraction, patients can require tooth-replacement treatment options such as dental implants.

How Serious is Fractured Root