Can a cracked tooth cause sore throat?

This blog post will answer the question, “Can a cracked tooth cause sore throat?” and comprehensively cover topics like sore throat, signs and symptoms of sore throat, causes of sore throat, diagnosis, home remedies and medicines for sore throat and everything about a cracked tooth from causes, types, diagnosis to treatment options available.

Can A Cracked Tooth Cause Sore Throat?

Yes, a cracked tooth if not treated may complicate and lead to dental infection resulting in a sore throat, fever, swollen gums and swollen and tender glands in the neck.

Everything You Need To Know About A Sore Throat

What is a sore throat?

Dry, painful, or itching and scratchy feeling in the throat is a sore throat with pain being the most common symptom. 

Depending on the part of the throat they affect, sore throat can be divided into following types: 

  • Pharyngitis – area right behind the mouth is mostly affected
  • Tonsillitis – swelling and redness of the tonsils mostly in the back of the mouth
  • Laryngitis – swelling and redness of the voice box, also called larynx

Sore throat symptoms

Sore throat symptoms may vary depending on the cause. A sore throat can feel:

  • Scratchy and itchy
  • Burning and dry
  • Tender and irritated

Symptoms of a sore throat aggravate on swallowing and the tonsils appear red. Area of pus may also form on the tonsils.

Secondary symptoms associated with sore throat are:

  • nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Sneezing and cough
  • Fever or chills
  • swollen glands in the neck and hoarse voice
  • body aches and headache
  • Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) and appetite loss

Causes Of Sore Throats

Causes of sore throats range from Colds, flu, viral and bacterial infections to allergies and injuries. Some of the most common causes of sore throat are: 

1. Viral infections

Viruses cause about 90 percent of sore throats. Viruses that cause sore throats are:

2. Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can also result in sore throats. Group A Streptococcus bacteria causes the most common infection of the throat and tonsils, called Strep Throat. 

Strep throat causes nearly 40 percent of sore throat cases in children [2]. 

Tonsillitis, and sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can also cause a sore throat.

3. Allergies

Allergens like pollen, grass, and pet dander triggers the immune system to release chemicals that cause symptoms similar to that of a sore throat. 

4. Dry air

Dry air, mostly during winters, can vapor off moisture from the mouth and throat. This leads to a dry and scratchy feeling in the throat that resembles sore throat symptoms.

5. Smoke and chemicals

The following may irritate the throat leading to symptoms similar to that of a sore throat: 

  • cigarette and other tobacco smoke
  • air pollution
  • cleaning products and other chemicals and irritants

6. Injury

Any injury, continuous talking or yelling or singing, strains the vocal cords and muscles in the throat, leading to symptoms of a sore throat.  

7. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid returns back into the oesophagus, burning the oesophagus and throat, causing symptoms like heartburn.

8. Tumour

A tumour of the throat, voice box, or tongue is a rare cause of a sore throat. The signs and symptoms of sore throat in such cases are persistent and do not go away in a few days. 

How is a sore throat diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose sore throat based on symptoms, a throat exam, and a strep test to rule out the possibility of strep throat. For a sore throat, you might need to visit an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist.

Home remedies for a sore throat

Most sore throats are treatable at home with plenty of rest and following home remedies to lessen the pain of a sore throat:

  • Warm water and 1 teaspoon salt mixture gargle
  • Drink warm, throat soothing liquids like hot honey tea, herbal tea, soup broth, or warm water with lemon
  • Suck on a piece of hard candy or a lozenge
  • Turn on a cool mist humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • Rest your voice until your throat feels better.

When to call your doctor

Sore throats due to a viral infection usually get better on their own in two to seven days. If it persists even after seven days and symptoms worsen, it is time to call your doctor. 

Medicines for a sore throat

Pain is the most common symptom of a sore throat and can be relieved by taking over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc.

A sore throat spray, menthol or eucalyptus based cooling syrups or throat lozenges may also help reduce the discomfort from sore throat. 

Everything About A Cracked Tooth

What Is A Cracked Tooth And How Does It Occur?

Cracked tooth refers to a tooth that is damaged and has developed a thin line of crack which may or may not be visible to the naked eye.

There are various causes of having a cracked tooth:

  • Chewing something very hard that cracks the tooth
  • Injury from a minor fall resulting in a hairline crack in the tooth
  • Teeth grinding and the resultant continuous pressure that weakens the tooth and hence may cause cracks to develop
  • Large fillings that may weaken the tooth and even cause cracks to develop
  • Sudden temperature changes in the mouth from eating too hot and too cold simultaneously
  • Ageing may result in cracked tooth

Types of Cracked Tooth

Crack TypesFeatureSymptoms
Craze LinesVery small enamel cracksNo pain and no treatment required
Cusp CrackCusp of the tooth around a filling cracks due to excessive pressurePulp is generally not reached and thus not much pain.
Slight sensitivity may be felt.
Gum Line CrackVertical Crack that reaches the gum linePain and may require extraction
Split ToothCrack that splits the tooth into two halvesPain and extraction is needed as relief
Vertical Root FractureCrack develops below the gum line and travels upwardsMay produce slight pain or sensitivity or no symptoms at all.
Extraction may be required 

How To Know That You Have A Cracked Tooth?

A cracked tooth is usually not visible through your naked eye and even an X-ray may not reveal the crack. A cracked tooth may not also always present symptoms and thus it becomes extremely difficult to know if you have a cracked tooth or not.

However, your dentist may do a thorough examination of your oral cavity and dental structures, using a probe, mirror and even magnifying glass to spot the cracks on the tooth surface if any.

Your dentist may also take a complete history of your dental habits like teeth grinding or may also ask you about any recent injury to your teeth due to eating something hard or accident.

If the above doesn’t solve the issue, dental dye may be used by your dentist to reveal the cracks.

Some of the following symptoms may help you recognise a cracked tooth:

  • Pain on releasing the biting pressure
  • Sensitivity and pain on eating something hot, cold and sweet
  • Sensitivity and slight pain on breathing cold air through mouth
  • Swollen gums around the cracked tooth

Treatment Options Available For A Cracked Tooth

  1. No treatment in case of hairline, small cracks that produce no symptoms
  1. Bonding with an available plastic resin
  1. Crown made of ceramic or porcelain
  1. Root Canal Treatment if the crack has reached the pulp and damaged pulp is revealed in X-ray
  1. Extraction in most of the cases if strength of the tooth is lost


This blog post addressed the question, “Can a cracked tooth cause sore throat?” We understood about sore throat, signs and symptoms of sore throat, causes of sore throat, diagnosis, home remedies and medicines for sore throat. The article outlined everything about a cracked tooth from causes, types, diagnosis to treatment options available.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Can A Cracked Tooth Cause Sore Throat

Can a bad tooth give you a sore throat?

Yes, a bad tooth like an abscessed tooth can cause severe pain, and can also cause bacteria to spread throughout your mouth, resulting in a sore throat.

Can you get sick from a cracked tooth?

Yes, you may get sick from a cracked tooth which is left untreated. Untreated cracked teeth result in tooth infection reaching the pulp tissue and causing symptoms like pain, swelling of the gums around the infected tooth, fever and tender neck glands.

Can I live with a cracked tooth?

Yes, you can live with a cracked tooth that shows no symptoms of discomfort. Usually, many are very small hairline cracks that produce no pain, sensitivity or discomfort and hence require no treatment at all.

What drink helps a sore throat?

Gargling with a mixture of warm water and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt helps a sore throat heal faster. 

Drink warm, throat soothing liquids such as hot tea with honey, soup broth, or warm water with lemon.

Can wisdom teeth cause a sore throat?

Yes, wisdom teeth that are partially erupted or have not fully erupted in the oral cavity, may harbour a lot of infection-causing bacteria, resulting in tooth infection that spreads to other parts of the body to cause fever, tonsillitis and sore throat.


Sore Throat, (2020)

Cracked Tooth: Symptoms, Treatments, and Recovery – Healthline

Cracked Teeth

Toothache: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

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