Dental crowns are placed on your tooth to improve its appearance or to provide support to a damaged or decayed tooth. Placement of a crown is often followed after a root canal treatment. Experiencing sensitivity after getting a new dental crown is quite common, which is associated with inflammation and irritation caused to the surrounding tissue during the procedure. The degree of sensitivity may vary from person-to-person and should resolve on its own within a few days.
Crown sensitivity may occur due to temperature changes, pressure, or even consumption of sweets. While a slight amount of pain, discomfort or sensitivity experienced after receiving a dental crown is normal, it is not something that should be ignored either; especially if it persists for a longer period of time.
Causes for Dental Crown Sensitivity
- Tooth preparation for receiving a crown involves trimming down the enamel layer of the tooth to make space for the crown. Even though the crown covers the entire surface of the tooth, some microscopic amount of tooth structure remains exposed at the gum line. The exposed dentin surface leads to sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks during the first few days after receiving a crown. Your dentist might give you a toothpaste for sensitivity or advice a gel that can be applied to the sensitive spot.
- If you have received a dental crown without undergoing a root canal treatment first, it means your tooth is vital and still contains the nerve. Vital teeth are susceptible to temperature changes and even after getting a crown, you may experience temporary sensitivity. This is especially true if you have a large filling underneath the crown that is placed very close to the pulp/nerve of the tooth.
- A dental crown is bonded to the tooth with the help of dental cement. After the procedure, some amount of dental cement continues to leech out from underneath the crown. This can also lead to temporary sensitivity immediately after a crown procedure. If a considerable amount of dental cement leakage occurs, it may lead to shifting or loosening of the crown and development of pain and sensitivity.
- If you experience pain or sensitivity upon biting down on the tooth that received the crown, this may suggest a ‘high point’ on the crown. This problem can be fixed by your dentist who will make minor adjustments to the crown in your mouth itself to reduce the high contact point.
- A dental crown protects the tooth it supports from physical trauma, such as accidentally biting down too hard on it. However, the root of the tooth is not offered any such protection and may suffer a fracture under such trauma. The only way to fix such cases is to extract the tooth.
- Sometimes, crown sensitivity may occur months or years after the procedure. While the crown protects the majority of the tooth structure from cavities, the exposed surface of the tooth at the gum line can accumulate plaque and lead to the build-up of cavities underneath the crown. This can manifest as sensitivity or pain as the cavity leads to further decay.
- Occasionally, sensitivity may arise from the teeth around the crown or the tooth that the crown bites against. It is often difficult to localize the symptoms that occur in the mouth. The best option in such cases is to have your family dentist take a look at all your teeth to ensure that the problem is not arising from any other tooth.
It is important to understand the importance of maintaining adequate oral hygiene, especially with dental crowns. Continue to brush and floss regularly after getting a dental crown procedure to prevent the development of cavities or gum disease. For more details or further queries, get in touch with our expert team at Anoka Dental.