Your molars work hard every day. When you chew your food, they absorb most of the force. Unfortunately, this activity makes them particularly susceptible to cracks. Cracked molars are not uncommon, and some of the usual culprits that cause this type of dental emergency include biting into hard candies or ice, a tooth grinding habit and trauma due to an injury, like getting hit in the mouth while playing sports.

The biggest indicator that you’ve suffered a cracked molar is pain. However, some people crack their molar and don’t experience any indications. Whether or not you have noticeable symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with your dentist. They can assess your condition and come up with a treatment plan. If your cracked molar goes untreated, not only will painful symptoms intensify, but it could lead to a more serious oral health issue.

Dealing with pain is probably the most difficult aspect of having a cracked molar. In case it takes some time before you can meet with your dentist, here are some tips on how to deal with the pain associated with a cracked molar.

Signs That You Have a Cracked Molar

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if your molar is cracked or if you have another dental issue. Here are some indicators that you’re suffering from a cracked or broken molar:


  • Pain that occurs when chewing or biting down, especially as you release your bite
  • Sensitivity to food or drinks that are hot, cold or sweet
  • Intermittent pain, not continuous
  • Gum swelling around the affected molar

Dealing With Molar Pain Before Your Dental Appointment

If you have any or all of the above symptoms, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible. However, sometimes you may have to wait a short time before getting in for an appointment. If the pain is unbearable, we suggest visiting a local emergency room. If you can wait, here are some ways to manage cracked molar pain and reduce potential complications:


  • Hot water and salt: The easiest method of relieving molar pain is mixing hot water with salt and washing your mouth out with the concoction. The solution draws fluids from the gums and reduces painful sensations. Rinse or gargle the salt water, and repeat if necessary.
  • Cold compress: You can apply ice or a cold compress outside or inside the side of your mouth where the aching molar is. Doing so can also reduce swelling.
  • Over-the-counter medication: These types of pain relievers are quite effective for tooth pain. However, be sure to take only the recommended dosage.
  • Chew on the other side of your mouth: Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that has the cracked molar, as it can irritate the injury and even worsen it.
  • Eat soft foods: Limiting your diet to soft foods or liquids will help you manage molar pain by giving your teeth less work to do.


If you’re not sure which molar is cracked, pay attention to where the pain is coming from. This information will help your dentist when you come in for treatment.


Contact Dental Choice for Molar Pain Emergencies

When you’re struggling with tooth pain from a cracked molar, it’s a dental emergency that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We encourage you to contact us at one of our Dental Choice locations in Calgary or Edmonton to make an appointment. Our dentists often have openings for emergency cases such as these. If our office is closed, the answering machine will provide you with instructions on how to set up an urgent care appointment. Many of our offices offer evening and weekend appointments too, so we can be there to assist in emergency situations.

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