Pain is a common problem that many people experience after they get a crowned tooth procedure to fix cracked teeth, broken teeth, or protect a damaged tooth or the tooth’s root. This may be due to the fillings giving in or because of residue from previous procedures like acrylics being left on top and below where your crown sits tight against them (also known as “crowning”).
If you are experiencing pain or sensitivity in your tooth, the cause is likely related to your dental crown. The feeling could range anywhere from a sharp pain that just started a few days ago to a constant ache that you’ve noticed for months or even sometimes years. Either way, it’s uncomfortable, and you need to find a way to make whatever is causing pain stop.
A crowned tooth should not cause any pain, but a few things can go wrong and lead to discomfort. Here, we will discuss what a dental crown is and what to do if you have pain under a crown. We will also give you tips to prevent this type of pain from happening in the first place.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Dental crowns look and feel just like your natural tooth. Crowns are most often used to rebuild teeth that have been damaged by decay, infection, or trauma and provide protection against further harm.
Crowns can be made from different materials such as gold, porcelain, and ceramic, or alloys like aluminum. Crowns can also be tooth-colored or clear to match the appearance of your natural teeth.
The crowning process usually takes two appointments. The tooth is prepared for the crown in the first appointment, and then a temporary crown is placed. Your permanent crown will be fitted and cemented into place in the second appointment.
Dental Crown Tooth Pain
Even after a dental crown is placed on your tooth, the area underneath can still lead to pain. This occurs because there’s live tissue underneath. When you chew food or drink, it starts rubbing against this sensitive area which causes discomfort in some people who have this happen post-operatively.
The bottom layer may be dead, but its attachment point with our mouths remains intact, so any fresh cavity will cause problems for those living life without fillings too.
Why is my tooth hurting under my crown?
A crown that is misaligned can cause pain and sensitivity to the area around that particular tooth, which may result in other issues like headaches or jaw soreness.
Here are some other reasons you may be experiencing dental crown pain:
- Rubbing against the tooth’s live tissue when you chew or drink
- A cavity, tooth decay, or fracture underneath the dental crowns
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
- Pressure from biting down on something hard
- An infection in the gums or socket can cause gum swelling sensitivity
- An old filling that is not sealed properly, a traumatized nerve, gum recession, or exposed tooth roots
- Teeth grinding can cause pressure on the crown and tooth, resulting in pain of the tooth underneath the crown and jaw pain.
How to Relieve Tooth Crown Pain
To provide temporary relief of pain under a crown:
- Rinse your mouth with salt water to decrease local inflammation and reduce the pain. Mix 1/2 tsp of salt with an ounce of warm water and swish for 30 seconds. Repeat this process several times a day.
- Press a warm cloth or heating pad against the area to relieve the pressure and increase circulation in tissue, which can help ease discomfort caused by tight muscles under dental work.
- Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief as directed.
- Avoid eating very hot and cold foods as this can add to the sensitivity, and don’t chew on that side of your mouth.
- Herbal remedies have also been reported to help localized pain from a dental crown (i.e., turmeric, cloves, ginger, and chamomile).
How to Prevent Dental Crown Pain
The best way to prevent pain underneath your crown is through excellent oral hygiene at home and frequent visits for necessary dental care, such as during treatment for gum disease or following an extended illness. Visible plaque buildup needs to be removed daily to protect your affected tooth. You should also use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste with fluoride.
Types of Crown Pain and What to Look For
Persistent Pain / Severe Pain:
If you are experiencing strong pain in your crowned tooth, it may be a sign of an infection present. Contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule a follow-up visit and get the necessary treatment.
Pain that persists for more than a day or two, or becomes worse over time, warrants a call to the dentist regardless of whether you’re currently experiencing other symptoms.
Intermittent Pain / Mild Pain:
If your pain is intermittent and only comes when you eat or drink something acidic, it’s likely due to tooth sensitivity. To relieve this type of pain, try using a desensitizing toothpaste or rinsing your mouth with cold water after consuming something acidic. You can also place a piece of dental wax over the sensitive area.
Contact Your Dentist
If you are experiencing pain under a crown, it is always best advised to contact your dentist as soon as possible. The cause of the pain may be from something as simple as an adjustment that needs to be made, or it could be a sign of a more severe problem like a fracture or an infection.
The doctors at McDonogh Dental are here to relieve your pain. By contacting a dentist and letting them know the symptoms you are experiencing, we can better identify the source of the pain and provide an effective treatment plan. Contact us if you are experiencing tooth pain under your dental crown.