4 Reasons for Dental Crown Toothaches and What to Do

Some people believe that because their tooth has a dental crown, it is no longer susceptible to dental ailments. However, this is not the case at all. They are just as susceptible as any other tooth. There are many factors that can trigger tooth pain, sensitivity, or “bite” complications. Here are four common reasons we see dental crown toothaches in our patients and actions to take.

Infection

If a root canal was not performed on your tooth before your dental crown was placed, the tooth still has nerves running to it. Your crown could be putting pressure on a traumatized nerve and if an infection occurs, it can be painful. One cause of infections could come from previous fillings that may have had leakages resulting in bacteria infecting the nerve root. Signs of an infection may include swelling of the gum, pain when you bite down, temperature sensitivity, and fever. If you are experiencing any of those symptoms, contact your dentist immediately to schedule a root canal.

Cavities

Most people assume that because you have a dental crown, cavities will no longer be an issue. However, because the tooth underneath the dental crown is still alive, a new cavity can still form at the border of the tooth and the crown. A cavity is caused by dental plaque buildup leading to tooth decay. If the cavity sufficiently damages the nerve, the tooth can die and lead to infection. In this case a root canal will be required. Root canal therapy in a crowned tooth involves drilling a small hole into the crown to remove the infected nerve and surrounding tissue in the tooth roots. This may require multiple trips to the dentist before completely resolved. The best way to avoid cavities in a dental crown is proper oral hygiene and routine dental cleanings. Contact our team if you are due for a cleaning or suspect a cavity in your dental crown.

Tooth Fracture

A cracked dental crown can be uncomfortable and in some cases cause mild pain. Grinding your teeth at night, a habit called Bruxism, adds pressure to the crown that could result in a crack. Any sensitivity to heat, cold, or air may be due to the tooth’s exposure to air from the crack. If you notice that your dental crown is cracked, broken off, or dislodged entirely, contact your dentist to make an appointment. While a tooth fracture isn’t an emergency, unless the pain is intense and interfering with your day-to-day life, the crown will need to be fixed within the next couple of days.

Recessed Gum Line

If your crowned tooth begins to have sensitivity to hot, cold, and/or air, it could be because the gums around the tooth have receded with time, exposing part of the root. Forceful tooth brushing could lead to gum recession. Gums that start to recede are more susceptible to plaque buildup and can lead to gum infection. Dentin is a hard, yellow tissue under the enamel. This yellow tissue is exposed when the gum recedes. You can tell if recession has occurred if you see a yellow area next to a defined white crown. If this happens, your dentist may suggest that a replacement crown be made.

Your crown should feel comfortable and should not cause pain. Toothaches should not be ignored. Infections, cavities, broken teeth, and other issues can worsen without attention and require more intense treatment down the road. To help make your dental crowns last, keep a good dental hygiene routine, brushing and flossing your crown just as you would a normal tooth. If you think your toothache is beyond simple, contact your dentist to have them take a look and assess what is wrong.

Dental Crowns at Tower Dental Associates

If you need a dental crown replaced or think you may need one, the process is simple. To make room for a crown, the tooth needs to be reduced. The dentist then makes an impression of the tooth to create a custom-designed crown. Once your crown is ready, it is cemented to your tooth and will last 10 years or longer with a healthy oral hygiene routine. Our doctors have been practicing dentistry for over 24 years and can help you get your smile back. Request an appointment with our team and become a part of our family at Tower Dental Associates.