A dental crown is supposed to fix a painful, broken tooth. But if the tooth still feels sensitive, here’s what you can do.
A dental crown tops the list as the most common dental procedure done today. A crown or cap preserves most of your natural tooth, allowing you to speak and chew normally. But the best reason to get a crown is to stop a nagging toothache caused by excessive decay or damage. Yet you may still experience sensitivity under a dental crown. Why is that?
You can expect some sensitivity for a week or so after the procedure. This is normal. But if the pain persists, visit your dentist to determine what makes your teeth sensitive, even with a crown.
Why your tooth under the crown hurts
Dental crowns restore badly decayed or fractured teeth. They are also used to cap a root canal or a dental implant. As dental procedures go, dental crowns have a high success rate, with one study finding more than 90 percent were still intact after five years. So, the risk of failure is relatively low. Yet sensitivity after a crown placement could be due to various actors, such as:
A cavity. The tooth under the crown can become decayed, causing pain and sensitivity. Your dentist can fix the tooth with a root canal.
Root death. Although a crown covers the tooth root, the root can die due to a bacterial infection. In that instance, root canal therapy is needed. You may need a new crown, as well.
Root fracture. Sometimes, the root can fracture, making chewing extremely painful. Unfortunately, the entire tooth may need to be extracted if this happens.
Gum recession/infection. If the gums around the crown recede, the exposed tooth root becomes sensitive to hot and cold. You won’t need a new crown, but you can rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to fight the infection.
Cement leakage. Your dentist bonds the crown to your tooth with cement. However, if the cement doesn’t dry completely, the crown becomes unstable and may cause pain. A new crown strongly attached to the tooth is the solution.
Tooth grinding. Tooth grinding, or bruxism, can weaken the tooth and lead to pain.
How to deal with a sensitive tooth under a crown
Have your dentist check your tooth if you’re experiencing persistent pain and sensitivity. In the meantime, you can also ease the discomfort with these at-home remedies.
OTC pain relievers. Try over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for pain. Both are good for mild to moderate pain caused by a toothache.
Cold therapy. A cold compress applied to your cheek can reduce swelling and pain. Wrap the ice in a towel, and don’t place ice directly on the tooth, as that will cause more pain.
Soft foods. Eat a soft diet of yogurt and smoothies for a week after the crown placement. Avoid hard, sticky foods such as nuts, ice, and popcorn. Such foods will not only increase the pain but also can dislodge the crown.
Mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can fit you with a mouthguard.
Relaxation techniques. Listening to soothing music or meditation can relax and distract you from the toothache.
Exercise. Although it may sound counterintuitive to exercise while your tooth is aching, working out can release feel-good endorphins that relieve pain for a brief time.
A dental crown can last up to 15 years, provided you take good care of it and the rest of your teeth. A crown can attract bacteria and plaque just like your natural teeth, so brush and floss daily to prevent decay. And schedule those twice-yearly dental checkups for a thorough exam and cleaning. You’ll want to keep your teeth healthy so that you won’t need another crown.
Time for your dental checkup
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Cheyenne, WY, location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your teeth and fit you with a crown if needed. Don’t live near our Cheyenne, WY, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
7112 Commons Circle
Cheyenne, WY 82009