Why do I have dental crown pain?

dental crown pain

Does dental crown pain have you wondering if something could be wrong? Are you experiencing sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks?

Don’t let dental crown pain bring you down!

Regardless of why you received a dental crown, it is common to experience some discomfort and sensitivity when it is first placed. However, as the crown settles in, this should subside within a week or so. If it lasts longer than that, or if the pain is severe, you should see a dentist right away.  

Once your remaining teeth and gums get used to your new crown, it should be comfortable. If it’s not, it is important to find out what is causing your symptoms.

Here, Dr. Rod Gleave, your trusted Salt Lake City dentist, will discuss the 6 most common reasons for dental crown pain:

  • Improper fit and alignment
  • Teeth grinding and clenching
  • Infection
  • Tooth fracture
  • Receding gums
  • Dental decay

Reason #1 for Dental Crown Pain: Improper Alignment or Fit

When you receive a new crown, it changes the biting surface of your tooth. If the shape or size is off even a tiny bit, especially if it is too tall, it can result in dental crown pain.

If your pain occurs with biting down, it could be a problem with fit or alignment. Fortunately, this is a simple fix. Your dentist should be able to adjust the surface of your crown to give you an even bite.

Reason #2 for Dental Crown Pain: Teeth Grinding or Clenching

If you grind or clench your teeth (a condition called bruxism), this can irritate and damage your crown, resulting in pain.

Many patients do this subconsciously, especially while sleeping, and so they aren’t even aware of it. Your dentist should be able to tell if you have bruxism.

The most conservative treatment option for bruxism involves wearing a simple nightguard, which is much like the mouthguards athletes wear, but it is custom-made for your mouth. Most patients experience tremendous relief with this easy fix.

Reason #3 for Dental Crown Pain: Infection

If you did not have root canal therapy on the tooth with a dental crown, the connective tissue and nerves are still in your tooth roots, and they are susceptible to infection.

A loose, broken, or cracked crown allows bacteria to get in under the crown, increasing your risk of infection.

An infected tooth root typically causes throbbing, severe pain. If you experience this kind of pain or have swollen, tender gums, you want to see your dentist right away.

Also, if you didn’t have a root canal, the placement of a dental crown can traumatize your tooth nerves. The dental crown pain related to this can range from excruciating to mild.

If your symptoms are severe, you may need a root canal and placement of a new dental crown.

Reason #4 for Dental Crown Pain: Tooth Fracture

While a dental crown offers protection to a damaged or weak tooth, it is not failproof. The tooth under a crown can still crack or break, which typically causes quite a bit of pain.

Reason #5 for Dental Crown Pain: Receding Gums

Your gums can recede around a dental crown over time. This exposes sensitive areas of your tooth root and gums, which results in dental crown pain.

Receding gums also increases your risk of infection.

The most common cause of receding gums is periodontal disease, or gum disease, and the most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. And the more your gums recede, the easier it is for food particles to become stuck, which worsens the gum disease.

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene, including twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and cleanings and checkups at your dentist every six months.   

Reason #6 for Dental Crown Pain: Dental Decay

While a dental crown does not decay, the tooth under it can. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene to remove the plaque that accumulates where your tooth and crown meet.

If you have a small area of decay in an accessible area, your dentist can remove the decay and place a filling. However, if the decay is under the crown, it will need to be removed so the dentist can remove the decay. He will then need to place a new dental crown.

When should you see a dentist?

Since many things can cause dental crown pain, and some of them can be serious, it is important to see your dentist right away. Ignoring symptoms can make the problem worse.

If you are in the Salt Lake City, UT area, give Comprehensive Dental Wellness a call today at (801) 262-0744. One of our friendly, helpful team members would love to help you! 

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