Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be characterized by a sharp pain or discomfort in the teeth when exposed to certain stimuli such as hot or cold drinks, sweet or acidic foods, and even brushing your teeth.
Tooth sensitivity after crown placement is a common issue that many people experience, even months after the procedure. This can be frustrating and can affect your daily life, making it difficult to enjoy simple things like a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream.
This article will discuss the possible causes of tooth sensitivity months after crown placement and provide some tips on how to manage and prevent it.
What Does It Mean if You Experience Tooth Sensitivity for a Long Time After Crown Placement?
As mentioned, it’s normal to experience some tooth sensitivity after a dental crown placement. This sensitivity is usually triggered by temperature, mechanical pressure, or certain types of foods, especially sweet or acidic ones. However, this is typically temporary. In most cases, the symptoms subside over time as your tooth and jawbone adjust to the new crown. Many people who experience sensitivity after a crown placement find that it disappears within a few days to a week.
But if you experience tooth sensitivity 3 weeks after crown placement or even months, it could indicate an issue that needs professional attention. It’s important to note that everyone’s experience can be different, so these timelines might vary depending on individual circumstances.
Causes of Tooth Sensitivity Months After a Dental Crown Procedure
Here are the most common possible reasons for having sensitive teeth after getting a crown:
1. Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
In the days after having a crown put on, you may notice the tooth is thermally sensitive right at the edge of the gum line. This can happen when the enamel is trimmed away as part of the crowning process, and the dentin underneath is exposed. If the crown doesn’t cover the tooth quite as fully as it should, even on a microscopic scale, a potentially sensitive dentin surface could become exposed.
2. Gum Tissue Pain
To avoid issues with thermal sensitivity, crowns usually end right at or just below the gum line. Therefore, it’s easy for the gums to get roughed up during the tooth-trimming, impression-taking, and crown-fitting processes. In most cases, gum pain subsides after a few days when the inflammation goes down. To speed up the healing process, take NSAIDs and rinse with warm salt water up to three times per day.
3. Nerve Damage
During the dental crown procedure, the nerves in your teeth can irritate or damage, leading to sensitivity. If the pathways to your nerves are exposed, acidic foods such as tomato sauce, lemon, grapefruit, kiwi, and pickles can cause pain.
4. Exposed Dentin
The dental crown may not fit properly and leave exposed dentin, which can cause sensitivity as it is a sensitive layer below the enamel. Dentin is usually covered with tooth enamel, which guards it against stimuli like hot and cold temperatures or mechanical pressure.
5. Improper Bite Alignment
A poorly aligned bite can pressure the crown, causing discomfort and sensitivity.
6. Bacterial Infection
If bacteria enter the area between the tooth and crown, it can lead to an infection, causing sensitivity.
7. Cracked Crown
Tooth decay, trauma, or eating sticky foods could cause your crown to become loose. A cracked or loose crown or tooth can cause sensitivity or pain, especially when exposed to extreme temperatures or biting down.
8. Ill-Fitting Crown or Loose Crown
An ill-fitting or loose crown can lead to tooth sensitivity. Here’s how:
- This condition occurs when the crown does not align properly with the other teeth, causing sensitivity due to pressure during biting and chewing.
- An improperly fitted crown may also leave parts of the tooth exposed, leading to decay and sensitivity as the dentin layer becomes exposed.
- An ill-fitted crown can contribute to gum recession, further exposing the tooth’s root and increasing sensitivity.
- If a crown is loose or does not fit well, it can allow bacteria to infiltrate, leading to decay and sensitivity.
Professional Treatments for Tooth Sensitivity
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity months after getting dental crowns, it might indicate something is not quite right. Ongoing sensitivity is not a standard part of the healing process and should be assessed by a professional.
Here are some of the potential treatments that your dentist might suggest:
Adjustment of the Crown
If the crown is causing discomfort due to improper fit or a “high spot,” your dentist can adjust the crown to make it fit better with your bite.
Your dentist may apply a desensitizing solution to the crowned tooth. This solution can help protect the tiny tubes in the dentin layer of the tooth, reducing sensitivity.
Root Canal Therapy
If the tooth’s pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth) is damaged or infected, a root canal procedure may be necessary. This procedure involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the inside of the tooth, and then filling and sealing it.
Fluoride treatments can strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain. Your dentist might apply fluoride gel or varnish to the sensitive areas of your teeth.
Surgical Gum Graft
If your tooth root has lost gum tissue, a small amount of gum tissue can be taken from elsewhere in your mouth and attached to the affected site. This can protect exposed roots and reduce sensitivity.
Depending on the cause of your sensitivity, your dentist might apply bonding resin to the sensitive root surfaces to reduce sensitivity.
Home Care Tips for Tooth Sensitivity
In addition to professional treatments, some home care tips can help alleviate tooth sensitivity after getting a crown:
Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
There are many desensitizing toothpastes available in the market that can relieve sensitivity. These toothpastes contain ingredients that block the sensation of pain in the nerves.
Avoid Hard and Cold Foods
Avoid consuming foods that are too hard or cold, as they can aggravate sensitivity. Stick to softer foods at room temperature until your sensitivity improves.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing regularly can help maintain good oral hygiene, which can reduce the risk of sensitivity.
Avoid Teeth Grinding
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, it can pressure the crown and cause sensitivity. Be mindful of this habit and try to avoid it.
Avoid Abrasive Toothbrush and Mouthwash
Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or an alcohol-based mouthwash can irritate the gums and cause sensitivity. Switch to a soft-bristled brush and an alcohol-free mouthwash to alleviate sensitivity.
Rinse with Saltwater
Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help reduce inflammation and promote healing of the gums, which can in turn reduce sensitivity.
Try Clove Oil
Clove oil has natural numbing properties and can provide temporary relief from sensitivity. Apply a small amount of clove oil to the affected area with a cotton swab for relief.
Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks
Acids in foods and drinks can wear down the enamel on your crown, exposing the sensitive dentin layer. Limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks to prevent sensitivity.
Proactive Steps to Address Tooth Sensitivity After Crown Placement
Tooth sensitivity after getting a crown can be a recurring issue if not addressed proactively. Here are some steps you can take to prevent sensitivity in the future:
- Get Regular Dental Check-Ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can detect any issues early on and provide timely treatment.
- Choose a Skilled Dentist: Choose a skilled and experienced dentist for your crown procedure. A poorly done procedure can lead to complications and sensitivity in the long run.
- Consider a Mouth Guard: If you habitually grind your teeth, wearing a mouth guard at night can help reduce pressure on the crown.
- Practice Good Dental Hygiene: Maintaining good oral health is especially important after a crown placement. Regular brushing and flossing can help to keep your gums and teeth healthy and minimize sensitivity.
Don’t Let Tooth Sensitivity Distract You – Contact Kari Mann Dental Studio Today for Professional Treatments
Don’t let tooth sensitivity after getting a crown disrupt your life. At Kari Mann Dental Studio in Cape Coral, FL, we have professional solutions to help soothe your discomfort.
Know that your dental health is our primary concern. With proactive treatments and strategies, we’re ready to bring back your confident smile. So, if you’re experiencing prolonged tooth sensitivity, don’t hesitate to contact our dental office.
Call us today to schedule an appointment!