What to Do If You Are Experiencing Crown Sensitivity
Experiencing tooth sensitivity after crown placement is actually quite a common occurrence. In fact, the vast majority of patients experience crown sensitivity in the first few days after the procedure as the gums and teeth adjust.
However, if the discomfort or pain continues for more than a week after tooth crown placement, you are dealing with something more serious. In that case, visiting your dentist as soon as possible is vital.
Below, we will dive into the main causes of crown sensitivity, as well as the treatment options you should consider.
Tooth Crowns: A Crash Course
Put simply, dental crowns are tiny caps put on top of damaged teeth. Their role is to protect your tooth and to restore its original shape and color. Crowns are a great solution if the damage to a tooth is so severe that ordinary fillings cannot help.
Depending on the damage to your tooth, you may have a ¾ crown placed. These crowns do not cover the entirety of your tooth, but only a small portion, i. e. the worn part. Traditional crowns, on the other hand, cover your entire tooth and are an option if there is a lot of damage.
Tooth crowns can be made of ceramic, metal, porcelain, resin, etc. Your dentist will advise you on the material your crown ought to have, depending on your condition and budget. Metal ones are usually the most expensive, but they are also the strongest, and they don’t chip, while crowns made of resin are cheaper but more likely to break.
A good portion of your tooth needs to be removed to make space for the crown. If there is too little tooth structure to hold up the crown, your dentist will use fillings to create it.
What Causes Crown Sensitivity?
As we have already mentioned, some initial crown sensitivity is pretty normal. Your dentist will remove a good chunk of your enamel before placing the crown. Since enamel protects the insides of your tooth from the outside world, being without it might cause some discomfort.
Here are the leading causes of crown sensitivity:
Hot/Cold Foods or Drinks
In the first few days after the procedure, hot beverages or ice cream will most likely cause some sensitivity. It happens because of the lack of natural enamel in your tooth. Your tooth will also still be adjusting to the crown, so the crown won’t be as well-fitted as it should be.
If the problem persists, it could be possible that your crown does not fit you well. In that case, you should call your dentist and schedule a refitting, which is quick and pain-free.
Pressure can also cause crown sensitivity. Eating foods like peanuts or any crunchy snacks will definitely add pressure to the crown in the first couple of days after its placement. To avoid this, you should simply avoid these foods for a bit so that your crown and tooth can adjust.
The Size of the Crown
If you feel sensitivity upon biting down on food with your new crown, it might be because of the crown’s shape. If it does not fit in well with your tooth or is larger/smaller than the rest of your teeth, it will cause friction, resulting in sensitivity.
You can check if this is the case relatively simply. Close your mouth and interlock your teeth. If you cannot do it fully, you should visit your dentist so that they can reduce your crown or enlarge it. This procedure should not take a lot of time, and it should solve the problem of crown sensitivity quickly.
Bacterial Infection or Decay
When your dentist puts the crown into place, they should ensure that it is fully sterile and that any infection or decay you had on your tooth is gone. However, sometimes that does not happen, resulting in your crown carrying some bacteria that can wreak havoc in your mouth.
The bacteria will multiply, causing light sensitivity at first, and then pain and bleeding will follow. If left untreated, the infection could cause serious root canal issues that might require surgery.
Thus, reacting quickly is vital. If you feel the discomfort getting worse as days pass, do not wait too long. Five to seven days should be enough for you to realize that something is amiss and contact your dentist.
They will be able to remove the crown quickly. That will allow them to treat the infection and then place a new, sterile crown. In this case, your problem will be fixed rather quickly, and you will be able to get back to your normal life soon.
It goes without saying that choosing a crown material you are not allergic to is vital. However, you aren’t always aware of being allergic to a particular metal, and a material might cause discomfort even if you are not allergic to it.
If your crown is sensitive, but you also have other symptoms of an allergic reaction (fever, dizziness), call your dentist immediately. They will have to remove the crown and figure out a different material for your next one. In the meantime, you will have time to recover and let your mouth and tooth go back to normal.
An Uneven Bond
If your crown has an uneven bond with your tooth, biting might cause sensitivity. Luckily, your dentist can fix this in just a few minutes by adjusting the crown once more.
A Few Parting Words
As you have read, crown sensitivity is a common occurrence after tooth crown placement. It can be caused by a loose-fitting crown, bacterial infections, allergies, and hard, hot, or cold foods and drinks. However, in most cases, the discomfort disappears after a couple of days.
If the crown sensitivity persists even after the recovery period of the procedure, you should call your dentist. They will do an examination and find the cause of the problem. That way, they will also figure out the best course of treatment for you.