What are Some Common Dental Bridge Problems?

Author: Espire Dental Posted: January 4th, 2023 Category:

Dental bridges are secure and durable. But, sometimes, problems can arise, and you should know how to recognize and address these issues.

Dental bridges solve one of the most common dental problems — missing teeth that may result from decay, gum disease, or trauma.

A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth with a prosthetic one. The prosthetic tooth, also known as the pontic, is suspended between two anchors, or abutment teeth. The bridge secures the pontic on the abutment teeth.

Usually made of porcelain, the pontic will match the color and shape of your natural teeth. Most individuals fitted with a dental bridge experience no problems and live many years with a bridge. But issues with a bridge can sometimes arise. Here’s how to spot some common dental bridge problems and the solutions.

Five common problems with dental bridges

Your dentist will ensure the bridge fits seamlessly into your gums and tooth alignment during your final fitting. In rare cases, however, problems with a dental bridge may develop, such as:

Gum irritation. Gum irritation is possible if the bridge doesn’t fit properly. Over time, the irritation could lead to an infection and gum recession. If the irritation continues, see your dentist. Your bridge may need an adjustment, or you may need a new, better-fitting bridge.

Food particles under the bridge. A dental bridge should hug closely along your gum line. But an ill-fitting device or changes in the bone mass above the gum line might cause a space between the bridge and your gums where food particles can get stuck. If those food particles aren’t cleared away, bacteria, plaque, and tartar breed in your mouth, leading to gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Check with your dentist to make sure the bridge fits securely. To clean around the bridge more effectively, use a water flosser or an interdental cleaner to wash away the particles in those hard-to-reach places. 

Decayed abutment teeth. Your abutment teeth serve as the anchors for the bridge and must be strong and healthy. If those teeth weaken because of decay, your bridge may loosen, as those teeth can no longer hold the device. When that happens, you’ll have to undergo a procedure for a new bridge, and you want to avoid that. Maintain the health of the abutment teeth with daily brushing and flossing. Twice-yearly cleanings with a dental hygienist will reduce plaque and tartar buildup and prevent decay.

Broken bridge. Bridges are made of the most durable material available. Unfortunately, they can damage or break if you forcefully chew hard candies, raw vegetables, or ice. Avoid those foods if you want to keep your bridge in good condition. See your dentist for a repair or replacement bridge if the bridge breaks.

Sensitive teeth. For a few weeks after you get the bridge, you may experience some sensitivity. That’s normal as your teeth and gums adjust to the device. If the sensitivity lasts longer, you may be dealing with an improperly fitted bridge. Talk to your dentist about whether a new device is needed. 

Avoiding problems with a dental bridge depends mainly on how you take care of your oral health. Proper oral hygiene at home and regular checkups with your dentist are the best ways to ensure your bridge causes no problems.

Time for a dental checkup at Espire Dental

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your teeth and repair any decay so you won’t have any missing teeth. But if you have a missing tooth, we can offer several solutions, including a dental bridge. Don’t live near our Oklahoma City office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120