A dental crown is a type of cap or cover that can be placed on your tooth to restore it to its normal function, size, and shape. A crown is created to strengthen your tooth and/or improve the way it looks. These restorations may be used to cover dental implants, top a cracked tooth, or even after a root canal to protect a restored tooth.
Regardless of why you had a crown placed, it is possible to experience a bit of discomfort after placement. However, if you’re dealing with severe pain, it’s important to figure out what’s causing it, and if the pain will require a visit to your dentist.
Common Reasons a Crown Hurts
Dental crowns are supposed to feel comfortable. They shouldn’t be causing you pain after your teeth adjust to the new fixture, so crown pain may be a sign that there’s a problem. Here’s a look at some of the most common reasons a dental crown can cause discomfort.
- Sore Gum Tissue After a New Crown – Sometimes after a crown is placed, gum tissue may be a little sore and leave you with some pain. It takes a bit of time for a new crown to settle in your mouth, which can result in sensitive, tender gums. An over-the-counter pain reliever is usually enough to ease this mild discomfort.
- Teeth Grinding – Teeth grinding generally occurs subconsciously or while you’re asleep, and if you do grind your teeth, it could irritate your new crown. Your dentist may need to fit you for a mouth guard to prevent grinding.
- Tooth Fracture – The tooth under your crown can still become fractured. If you’re experiencing severe pain, there could be a fracture, small crack, or cavity in the tooth beneath the crown.
- Improper Fit and Alignment – When a new crown is placed, the biting surface of the tooth changes. A crown that’s just a little too high or off just a bit in fit can result in tooth pain. If you have pain when you bite down, you may simply need to have the biting surface of your crown adjusted.
- Receding Gums – Over time, your gums may recede around the dental crown. This can expose sensitive areas of your gums and a bit of the tooth root, which can result in discomfort and increase your chance of infection
- Infection – If your crown was placed on an existing tooth without doing a root canal, nerves and connective tissue inside your tooth are still there. The connective tissue and nerves in the center of your tooth are known as the tooth’s pulp. If infection occurs in the pulp, it may cause severe tooth pain.
When Should You See Your Dentist?
If you’re only dealing with mild discomfort after the placement of a crown, it will probably subside on its own. However, if you’re dealing with more bothersome tooth crown pain, you should visit to your dentist.
Knowing if your crown pain constitutes a dental emergency will require consulting with your dentist. If there’s a problem with your bite or the fit and alignment of your crown, it’s something that can be easily corrected by a dentist to eliminate your pain. If receding gums around your crown are causing pain, extending the crown may be an option that solves the problem. If you’re dealing with an underlying infection of the tooth pulp, then the crown may need to be removed and a root canal performed. For a cracked or fractured tooth, your dentist may be able to repair it, or you may need an alternative like an implant or bridge if the tooth can’t be saved.
When it comes to crowns, experiencing moderate to severe pain is not normal. Make sure that you schedule an appointment with your dentist to assess the situation as quickly as possible. Your dentist will be able to determine the right solution to relieving your pain and restoring your smile.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and implant dental practice located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.