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Van Gordon Endodontics
Van Gordon Endodontics

Van Gordon Endodontics
Your Beaverton, OR Dentist


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Cracked Teeth


Broken tooth with white background. Cracked teeth demonstrate many types of symptoms, including pain when chewing, temperature sensitivities, or even the release of biting pressure. It is also common for pain to come and go, making it difficult to diagnose the cause of discomfort.

Chewing can cause movement of the cracked pieces of your tooth, and the pulp within the tooth becomes irritated. At the same time, when biting pressure is released, the crack can close quickly, resulting in sharp pain. Eventually, the pulp will become damaged and tooth will consistently hurt, even when you are not chewing. It is possible that cracks can lead to infection of the pulp tissue, which can spread to the bone and gum surrounding the problematic tooth.

Transparent tooth model with healthy gums.

Types of Cracks


Craze lines


These are tiny cracks that only affect the outer enamel of the tooth. These cracks are more common in adults. These types of cracks are superficial and are usually of no concern.

Fractured Cusp


When a cusp becomes weakened, a fracture may result. The cusp may break off or be removed by a dentist. A fractured cusp rarely damages the pulp, so a root canal may not be necessary. Your dentist will usually restore the tooth with a full crown.

Cracked tooth 3D model.

Cracked Tooth


This type of crack extends from the chewing surface of the tooth and vertically migrates towards the root. In some cases, the crack may extend below the gum line. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root. Damage to the pulp is common and root canal treatment is usually necessary. A cracked tooth that is not treated will worsen, resulting in the loss of the tooth. Therefore, early detection is essential.

3D model of split tooth.

Split Tooth


A split tooth is usually the result of an untreated cracked tooth. It can be identified by a crack with distinct segments. If possible, the cracked part of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is restored with a filling or crown. However, if the crack extends below the bone, the tooth will need to be extracted since these cracks cannot be repaired.

3D model of fractured tooth.

Root Fracture


A vertical root fracture begins in the root and extends towards the chewing surface of the tooth. Unfortunately, they often show minimal symptoms and may go unnoticed for the some time. Vertical root fractures are often discovered when the surrounding bone and gums become infected. Treatment usually involves removal of the entire tooth. Occasionally, endodontic surgery can be an appropriate option to save the tooth.
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