Some of the most popular and necessary dental procedures that Canadians undergo year-after-year include dental fillings, teeth whitening, and dental crowns or veneers. All of which come with their own procedure, healing time, and level of discomfort.
Whether you’ve had a root canal and need a dental crown, or just want to perfect your smile, it’s important to know what to expect from each procedure and associated recovery. When it comes to dental crown replacement, is it normal to experience pain, swelling, or discomfort? How long will this pain last? And how painful should it really be?
To learn more about tooth sensitivity after a dental crown procedure, this blog outlines what you need to know.
The Dental Crown Procedure
What exactly is a dental crown procedure and when is a replacement necessary? Some people may need to have a crown placed on a specific tooth in order to preserve or protect the tooth due to decay or damage.
For example, if you’ve had a root canal treatment and a good amount of the tooth has been removed, a crown is a good way to reinforce and keep the tooth in place.
On the other hand, a person may choose a dental crown procedure to correct their smile due to damaged, stained, or broken teeth. Whatever the reason, the overall premise of a dental crown is to restore a tooth’s size and shape, while protecting and stabilizing it, too.
However, a dental crown is not a permanent answer to protecting your tooth/teeth. They generally last anywhere from 5-15 years, depending on how well you maintain your oral health and other lifestyle factors.
This is where dental crown replacement comes in. When the crown has worn down and the existing tooth is exposed, replacement may be necessary.
Crown Replacement Pain: The Top Causes
When you originally received your tooth crown you may have experienced some mild pain or sensitivity directly after the procedure. This is completely normal. You might not expect to feel lingering pain after a crown replacement though — so what could be the cause?
Keep in mind that mild pain and swelling is not unusual after most dental procedures. But if the pain you experience is throbbing or almost unbearable, some possible causes include:
1. Tooth Infection or Nerve Trauma
There is a risk of this happening after a root canal and crown procedure. During a root canal, the tooth pulp is removed due to decay. This is also where your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels sit.
If a crown is placed incorrectly over the tooth, this could put pressure on a nerve, and cause pain. There is also a chance that the inside of the tooth could be infected, causing pain.
While these issues are not very common, they can happen. If this is the case, your dentist will remove your crown and fix up the problem. Or they might drill an access hole through the crown and perform another root canal, without having to replace the crown.
Bruxism is the fancy term for tooth grinding and is common in people who may have a jaw misalignment. It’s also caused by a number of other factors, including stress and anxiety.
One of the hallmark symptoms of bruxism is a throbbing type of tooth pain, as well as jaw pain or sensitivity. The constant pressure and grinding on a newly placed crown that is already sensitive could cause double the amount of pain.
Bruxism can also cause swelling in the lower part of your face and jaw tightness. If suspect tooth grinding is to blame, visit your dentist for a checkup to ensure your crown is still in good condition. Your dentist should be able to recommend remedies to reduce and control your bruxism.
3. Gum or Tooth Infection
After a crown procedure you might have a measure of inflammation and tenderness in the gum area near the tooth your dentist worked on. This is completely normal and the swelling should reduce in 1-2 weeks.
However, if you are experiencing gum redness, swelling, tenderness, or pain for 2-weeks or more, you could have an infection in the gum or the tooth itself. You will need to re-visit your dentist if you notice that gum inflammation is not healing or you are dealing with unbearable pain.
4. A Fractured or Damaged Tooth
If a tooth is damaged or fractured and a crown is put over the top of it, this could lead to major tooth sensitivity and pain. This is because the crown may be putting extra pressure on top of a tooth that is already sore.
If you have a cracked crown, you may also notice that your tooth is highly affected by heat, cold, and even air because it is infiltrating through the crack, down to a damaged tooth.
5. An Ill-Fitting Crown
It goes without saying that anything placed over your original tooth that doesn’t fit properly will cause pain and discomfort. An ill-fitting tooth crown may also impact your smile and your bite because the crown is a little too high on your tooth.
Your dentist should accurately measure a crown’s shape and size for a perfect fit, and it should adjust to your bite, just like your other teeth. A crown that doesn’t fit properly can lead to tooth and jaw pain and referred headaches.
Simple Pain Relief Remedies
Living with persistent tooth pain can be a nightmare. It can feel all-consuming and affect your quality of life, so the sooner you can see your dentist about throbbing tooth pain, the better. Keep in mind that tooth pain rarely goes away on its own — so don’t ignore it and hope for the best!
Until your next dental checkup, here are a few simple pain relief remedies that could help:
- Over-the-counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Stick to foods of a moderate temperature — not too hot or too cold
- Use a toothpaste and mouthwash that is specifically formulated for sensitive teeth
- Gently bite down onto a warm washcloth to help relieve inflammation inside the mouth
- Use a cold compress on the jaw to relieve pain and swelling
Do not leave tooth pain unattended for longer than 2-weeks. If you’ve recently received a dental crown and experience pain and inflammation for longer than the prescribed period, it’s best to assume that something is not quite right. Schedule in a dental checkup as soon as you can before your symptoms become intolerable!
Keep Your Oral Health in Top Condition with Limelight Dental
Whether you’re in need of a root canal, teeth whitening, a simple dental filling, or crown replacement, Limelight Dental, located in Mississauga is your local dentist to turn to.
We also specialize in orthodontics and restorative dentistry, including dental implants and dentures. If you’re looking to become a new patient, learn more about the process, here.