Dental Crowns and Tooth Sensitivity Explained: The Hidden Link

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

Many aspire to have a healthier smile, often considering various dental options to enhance their appearance and oral health. One such option is the placement of dental crowns, a common procedure performed to protect the tooth and improve aesthetics. However, tooth sensitivity can be a possible problem following the crown procedure. This oral discomfort can range from a mild twinge to severe discomfort lasting several hours.

This article sheds light on the connection between dental crowns and tooth sensitivity. We will explore why tooth sensitivity might occur after dental crown placement, recognise the signs and symptoms of this condition, and provide practical tips for preventing tooth sensitivity. Furthermore, we will discuss how to manage tooth sensitivity at home, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this common dental issue.

Read on to better understand dental crowns and tooth sensitivity and equip yourself with the knowledge to make informed oral health decisions.

Narre Warren Dental Care
  • Dental crowns are a long-term option for restoring damaged or decayed teeth, but some may experience tooth sensitivity post-treatment.
  • Sensitivity can be linked to proximity to nerve roots, tooth preparation, crown fit, gum recession, and bruxism.
  • Tooth sensitivity is characterised by sharp, sudden pain, discomfort while brushing or flossing, discomfort when eating or drinking certain hot and cold drinks and foods, and pain when breathing cold air.
  • Preventive measures include maintaining good oral hygiene, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, brushing gently, wearing a night guard, and having regular dental check-ups.
  • Home management tips include desensitising toothpaste, changing brushing techniques, avoiding acidic foods and drinks, using a fluoride mouthwash, avoiding teeth grinding, and trying a salt water rinse.

The Hidden Link Between Dental Crowns and Sensitivity

Crowns are seen as a long-term dental restoration treatment for the aesthetics and functionality of damaged teeth due to decay. However, some patients may experience tooth sensitivity following the placement of a dental crown. This sensitivity can be linked to several factors:

  1. Proximity to nerve roots:
    Dental crowns are placed over the existing natural tooth structure near the tooth’s nerve roots. Any dental procedure involving this area can potentially result in tooth sensitivity causes.
  2. Tooth preparation:
    To prepare the tooth for a crown, a layer of the native tooth material must be reduced. This crowning process can sometimes cause sensitivity, especially if the tooth’s innermost layer, the dentin, is exposed.
  3. Crown fit:
    A dental crown that doesn’t fit properly can result in discomfort and sensitivity. A poorly fitted crown can allow hot, cold, or sweet substances to seep underneath, triggering sensitivity.
  4. Gum recession:
    If the gums around the crowned tooth recede, the tooth root surfaces may become exposed, resulting in sensitivity.
  5. Bruxism:
    People who grind their teeth at night may experience increased sensitivity with their crowned teeth.

Understanding these factors can help manage expectations and prepare for potential sensitivity following dental crown placement.

Reasons for Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Crown Treatment

Tooth sensitivity following dental crown treatment can be attributed to various factors. Understanding these reasons can help patients better manage their oral health and seek professional advice when necessary. Here are some tooth sensitivity causes:

  1. Inflammation of the pulp:
    The dental pulp, which contains the tooth’s nerves and blood vessels, may become inflamed during the crown preparation. This tissue inflammation can cause sensitivity.
  2. Exposed dentin:
    If the crown doesn’t fit properly, it can expose parts of the dentin. Dentin is the protective layer beneath the tooth’s enamel that contains microscopic tubules leading to the tooth’s nerve. When exposed, these tubules can allow heat, cold, or acidic foods to reach the nerve tissue, causing temporary sensitivity.
  3. High crown:
    If the crown is higher than the surrounding teeth, it can affect your bite and put continuous pressure on the tooth, resulting in sensitivity.
  4. Receding gums:
    Gum recession can expose the roots of the teeth, which are not covered by hard enamel and are, therefore, more sensitive.
  5. Bruxism:
    Grinding your teeth can wear down the natural enamel and even damage the crown, causing increased sensitivity.
  6. Improper tooth preparation:
    If too much of the tooth is reduced and prepared before placing the crown, it can result in sensitivity.
  7. Cracked crown:
    A crack in the crown can expose the underlying tooth to external factors, causing sensitivity.

How to Recognise Tooth Sensitivity: Signs and Symptoms

Tooth sensitivity is a common issue many experience, especially after dental crown treatment, such as dental crown placement. Recognising the signs and symptoms of tooth sensitivity can help you take appropriate actions to manage it and seek professional advice when necessary. Here are some common signs and symptoms of tooth sensitivity:

  1. Sudden sharp pain:
    One of the most common signs of tooth sensitivity is a sharp, sudden discomfort or pain. It occurs especially when your teeth come into contact with cold, hot, sweet, or acidic substances.
  2. Pain while brushing or flossing:
    If you experience discomfort around the crowned tooth during your oral hygiene routine, it could be a sign of tooth sensitivity.
  3. Discomfort when eating or drinking certain foods:
    Certain foods or drinks that cause minor discomfort, such as hot, cold, sticky foods or sweet or acidic foods and beverages, could be a sign of tooth sensitivity.
  4. Pain when breathing in cold air:
    If breathing in cold air causes discomfort in your teeth, it could be a sign of tooth sensitivity.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it’s important to consult with a dental professional. They can help identify the tooth sensitivity causes and guide you in managing it.

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity: Practical Tips and Tricks

Tooth sensitivity can be a discomforting experience, especially after undergoing dental crown treatment. However, you can take several practical steps to help prevent this issue. Here are some tips and tricks for preventing tooth sensitivity:

  1. Follow post-procedure instructions:
    Thoroughly adhering to your dentist’s instructions following a dental crown placement can prevent tooth sensitivity. These care instructions may include avoiding certain foods or habits and using prescribed pain medications as directed.
  2. Be gentle with oral hygiene:
    Regular brushing and cleaning your teeth with floss can keep your teeth and gums healthy, reducing the risk of sensitivity.
  3. Use toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth:
    These toothpastes contain ingredients that can help reduce tooth sensitivity.
  4. Avoid acidic foods and drinks:
    Certain acidic foods and drinks can damage tooth enamel over time, causing tooth sensitivity. Reduce your consumption of these foods and beverages.
  5. Wear a night guard:
    If you clench or grind your teeth at night, a mouth guard can protect them and lessen the chance of sensitivity.
  6. Avoid extreme temperatures:
    After placing the dental crown, consuming extremely hot or cold food and drink can trigger sensitivity.
  7. Follow-up appointments:
    Regular dentist appointments can help detect and address any oral health issues early, including those that may cause tooth sensitivity.

Remember, while these tips can help in preventing tooth sensitivity, they are not a substitute for professional dental advice. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it’s important to consult with a dentist.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity: A DIY Approach

Professional dental advice is crucial when dealing with dental crowns and tooth sensitivity. However, there are also steps you can take at home to manage this common dental issue. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Use desensitising toothpaste:
    Toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help reduce sensitivity over time. They contain substances that prevent the nerve from receiving sensations from the tooth surface.
  2. Change your brushing technique:
    Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid gum recession, exposing the tooth’s root and the junction where your crown meets your natural tooth.
  3. Avoid acidic foods and drinks:
    Acidic substances can contribute to tooth sensitivity. After consuming such foods or drinks, limit further intake and rinse your mouth with water.
  4. Use a fluoride mouthwash:
    Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity. Consider using a fluoride mouthwash daily.
  5. Manage teeth grinding:
    If you habitually grind your teeth, use a mouth guard at night or find ways to reduce the stress contributing to this habit.
  6. Try a saltwater rinse:
    Salt is a natural antiseptic that can help reduce gum inflammation. Rinsing your mouth with salt water twice a day can help reduce tooth sensitivity.

Remember, these tips are meant to complement, not replace, professional dental advice. If you’re experiencing persistent tooth sensitivity, consult with a dentist to identify the underlying issues and develop an effective treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

Tooth sensitivity following dental crown treatment is a common issue many people face. However, this discomfort can be managed and prevented with the right knowledge and practices. We hope the insights and practical tips shared in this article will help you confidently navigate your dental health journey.

At Narre Warren Dental Care, we understand that every patient’s dental health needs are unique. Our dental clinic is committed to providing personalised care and advice to help you maintain optimal oral health. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or have any other dental health concerns, we’re here to help.

Don’t let tooth sensitivity keep you from enjoying your favourite foods or confidently smiling. Reach out to us today to book an appointment. You can either visit our website or call our clinic directly. Let’s work together to achieve a future of better oral health and comfortable smiles.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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