Tooth fracture is a major concern in the field of restorative dentistry. However, knowledge of the causes for tooth fracture has developed from contributions that are largely based within the field of mechanics. The present manuscript presents a technical review of advances in understanding the fracture of teeth and the fatigue and fracture behavior of their hard tissues (i.e., dentin and enamel). The importance of evaluating the fracture resistance of these materials, and the role of applied mechanics in developing this knowledge will be reviewed. In addition, the complex microstructures of tooth tissues, their roles in resisting tooth fracture, and the importance of hydration and aging on the fracture resistance of tooth tissues will be discussed. Studies in this area are essential for increasing the success of current treatments in dentistry, as well as in facilitating the development of novel bio-inspired restorative materials for the future.