Tooth pain from a dental crown

dental crown
A dental crown is a prosthetic device that covers a natural tooth to restore its shape, color, and function in the mouth, including chewing, speaking, and smiling.
The crown also helps strengthen the tooth to prevent fracture and protect the pulp against bacteria in the mouth. But sometimes, the crown is no longer well supported and causes pain in the region.

In this article, find out if it is normal to feel pain after getting a crown, the most common symptoms, the different causes, and treatments to relieve the pain.

Is it normal to feel pain after a dental crown?

After placing a dental crown, it is normal to feel pain in the area near the tooth.
During the procedure, the tooth and the gum undergo trauma due to the instruments used. During that, you did not feel anything because the tooth was numb, but, as soon as the anesthesia effect disappears (after one to two hours), pain appears in the area, which is normal.
The pain should be limited to the tooth and subside over time.

If you feel pain like a beating heart in your tooth and if your gum is swollen and red and the pain persists beyond four weeks, it is most likely infection. If this is the case, immediately make an appointment with your dentist to find out the cause of the problem and the appropriate treatment.

Symptoms of crown pain

Symptoms of dental crown pain vary from a vital tooth to a devitalized tooth.

On a vital tooth (tooth without root canal treatment

Your dentist reduced the tooth surfaces by removing some of the enamel and dentin to allow the crown to cover the tooth.
The reduction of these layers that cover the tooth (enamel and dentin) makes it more sensitive to infections and bacterial infiltration. Therefore, the tooth is sensitive to temperature and during chewing. It is not the crown that hurts, it is rather the pulp (the tooth nerve) which reacted to the aggression.
After one to four weeks, the pain will subside, and you will be fine, but sometimes, the tooth must be devitalized.

On a devitalized tooth (tooth with root canal treatment)

The devitalized tooth is not protected against infection. If the root canal treatment is incomplete or poorly performed, an infection can set in. This infection may take a long time to manifest itself (about years).

The tooth will be sensitive to temperature and pressure during chewing with a feeling that it is higher than the other teeth. Unlike vital teeth, the pain on a devitalized tooth is relieved by the cold.

These are the symptoms of crowned tooth pain due to infection:
  • You feel pain during chewing;
  • You may have an unpleasant taste in your mouth;
  • Throbbing pain under the crown;
  • It can spread to the gum or part of the jaw;
  • You may feel tired;
  • Edema may appear next to the infected tooth.

Dental crown pain causes

dental crown pain causes

If decay persists under the crown

During the reduction of the tooth that will receive the crown, the dentist will remove all the decayed tissue. Sometimes, a small cavity or a new one can form under the dental crown and lead to persistent pain in the area.
Your tooth will be sensitive to temperature and during chewing.

If an infection has occurred

Whether the tooth is alive or not, an infection can occur, especially if decay persists under the crown or if the infected tooth pulp is not completely removed during the root canal treatment.

In case of fracture

After root canal treatment, the tooth is more likely to be fractured because it is more fragile than a tooth with a root canal. You may feel pain when chewing hard foods. The pain comes from the gum because the fractured tooth irritates the gum.

In case of wear of the crown

Dental crowns do not have an unlimited lifespan. Over time, they can wear out and even break down. The dental crown will no longer be adapted to its environment and may result in infection of the natural tooth and deterioration of the bone and gum tissue.

If the crown doesn’t fit correctly

The crown adjustment with the adjacent teeth and gum is an important step for the esthetics, the crown longevity, and for your comfort. Signs that show the crown is not adjusted include:
  • Your dental crown is mobile or falls;
  • Sensitivity and discomfort;
  • Your bite is not appropriate;
  • You feel pain;
  • The spaces between the teeth are too wide or too tight.

Treatment of pain from dental crowns

Before seeing your dentist, you can try some natural remedies to relieve pain:

  • Chew on a clove, both soothing and disinfectant;
  • Make a mouthwash with baking soda: 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water
  • Put an ice pack in contact with your cheek, where it hurts, for about ten minutes.

Try pain relievers

A pain reliever such as paracetamol may help temporarily relieve the pain.

If the pain persists for more than three to four weeks or if you notice any of the infection signs already stated, visit your dentist immediately. He or she is the only one who can know the cause and the treatment right for you.

Among the possible solutions:
  • Root canal treatment if the tooth is still alive.
  • Resumption of endodontic treatment.
  • Re-adjustment of the shape and height of the crown.

Finally, remember that tooth extraction is the last option. Take two different opinions if necessary. Usually, severe bone and root destruction that make extraction necessary. But, in most cases, the tooth will be saved.