Tooth Sensitivity Months After Crown: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Have you noticed persistent tooth sensitivity months after crown placement? This discomfort might leave you wondering whether it’s a typical occurrence or a sign of hidden issues. Such prolonged sensitivity following crown placement can quite rightfully cause unease.

This article will discuss the possible reasons behind such sensitivity and provide practical strategies for reducing the discomfort you may be experiencing. Understanding the reasons behind this prolonged sensitivity can equip you to manage the situation effectively, giving you the answers you seek and the relief you need.

What Are the Causes of Tooth Sensitivity After Crown?

 

1. Close Proximity to the Nerve

One possible explanation for tooth sensitivity after crown cementation involves the structure of the tooth. A dental crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line, coming in close proximity to the nerve. This nerve is highly sensitive to cold and hot sensations, thus potentially explaining the cold sensitivity many people encounter following crown treatment.

2. Exposed Dentin

Another factor contributing to tooth sensitivity is the exposure of the dentin. This middle layer of the tooth contains microscopic tubules leading to the nerve in the pulp chamber. Activities like teeth grinding and tooth decay could expose the dentin, eliciting sensitivity when the tooth comes in contact with hot food or cold drinks.

3. Adjustment Period

Post-dental crown placement, the tooth usually takes some time to adjust to the artificial crown. The surrounding gum tissue and nerves might react to the new dental restoration during this initial adjustment period, leading to temporary sensitivity.

4. The Choice of Crown Material

Also worth noting is that the choice of crown material can influence sensitivity levels. For instance, metal crowns conduct temperature changes more efficiently than porcelain or all-ceramic crowns, thus potentially increasing sensitivity.

5. Improper Crown Fit

An ill-fitting crown can cause discomfort or increased sensitivity. This could be due to poor dental cement bonding, bite misalignment, or tooth structure inconsistencies.

When Is Tooth Sensitivity Months After Crown Normal?

 

Adjustment Period Post Crown Placement

Following dental crown placement, the tooth and surrounding tissues generally require an adjustment period. During this phase, temporary sensitivity can occur as the natural teeth adapt to the dental restoration. It’s quite normal to experience some level of discomfort during this period, akin to adjusting to a new environment.

Remember that this sensitivity is a natural part of the body’s healing process and typically diminishes gradually as your tooth adjusts to the new crown.

Temporary Sensitivity to Extreme Temperatures

Experiencing tooth sensitivity 3 weeks after crown placement due to extreme temperatures, especially cold foods and hot drinks, is usually common soon after the dental crown placement procedure. This temporary discomfort arises primarily due to the proximity of the dental crown to the nerve of the affected tooth.

Remember, the affected nerve can react more acutely to temperature changes right after the procedure, so don’t be alarmed if you feel a zing while sipping on a cold drink or a hot coffee. However, this sensitivity to temperature changes tends to decrease as your teeth adjust to the dental crown.

Initial Reaction to Dental Crown Material

The type of material chosen for your dental crown can also contribute to initial sensitivity following the crown placement. For instance, metal crowns, which are good conductors of temperature changes, may cause more notable sensitivity than porcelain or ceramic crowns.

Sensitivity could also arise from a reaction to specific dental cement or bonding agents used during the crowning process. However, this is generally temporary and resolves as the surrounding tissues acclimate to the new crown material.

Minor Ailments During Healing Process

It’s common to feel some sensitivity after a dental procedure as part of the natural healing process. The crown placement often entails altering the tooth’s structure, which can result in minor discomfort or oral ailments.

For instance, after the crown placement, you might feel increased sensitivity when consuming sugary foods, hot food or cold drinks. However, this sensitivity should fade as your tooth heals and your body adjusts to the foreign dental crown.

Sensitivity in Crowns on Decayed Portions

If your dental crown was placed onto a significantly decayed or damaged tooth, you might experience tooth sensitivity for a longer time. This prolonged sensitivity happens because the dental pulp, which contains the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels, could have already undergone trauma or inflammation due to the decay and damage, thus leading to a longer healing process.

In such a case, your tooth might remain sensitive to temperature changes and pressure even months after the dental crown placement. However, while it could cause discomfort, it is usually a part of the overall healing process.

When Is Tooth Sensitivity Months After Crown Not Normal?

 

Persistent Pain

If you experience persistent pain or discomfort that lasts longer than the initial adjustment period post-dental crown placement, it’s a sign that something may be wrong. It could indicate potential health issues such as an underlying tooth infection or even a traumatized nerve.

Moreover, this continuous aching could also suggest an improperly fitted crown, worsening sensitivity and discomfort. Therefore, following up with your dentist promptly is recommended to secure a diagnosis for your dental pain and potentially discuss more comfortable and affordable options for easing your discomfort.

Sensitivity to Pressure or Biting

If you experience sharp or sudden pain when applying pressure or biting down, it would be best to consult your dentist. This might indicate a bite misalignment issue or an ill-fitted crown, both of which require professional treatment.

Prolonged sensitivity to pressure or biting could suggest complications such as damage to the tooth structure, making it less tolerant to mechanical pressure. If left unchecked, this could lead to additional dental damage. Hence, dental offices emphasize the importance of a professional evaluation to prevent such scenarios.

Lingering Pain After Temperature Exposure

Initial sensitivity to temperature changes is common, but persistent pain beyond the first few weeks may indicate an unhealthy tooth root. If you still feel a sharp pain when you sip hot drinks or bite into your favorite ice cream long after you’ve had your crown procedure, it could suggest some root canal infection or nerve damage.

Furthermore, the undesirable sensations could be due to exposed dentin from temperature changes or the crown’s proximity to the nerve. It’s necessary to visit your dentist when tooth sensitivity to cold after crown placement doesn’t decrease after weeks to fix the issue before it escalates.

Discolored Teeth or Swollen Gums

If you observe discolored teeth or swollen gums around the crowned tooth, it could imply gum disease or an underlying infected tooth. In such cases, your gum tissue could be reacting to the crown, causing inflammation or possibly an allergic reaction.

Situations like these need timely professional attention. Failure to do so could lead to blood vessels continuing to be irritated, leading to a tooth infection and potentially root canal issues, which in turn could elongate the duration of sensitivity.

Loosened or Falling Crown

Should your crown become loose or fall off entirely, you are advised to seek immediate dental help. A loose crown could lead to additional damage or increased sensitivity. Sometimes, an ill-fit occurs during the initial crown fitting, and if your crown has loosened, it could be because the bonding cement didn’t hold as expected.

Thus, contacting the dental office to schedule an appointment immediately to rework the crown or re-cementation to ensure proper function and fit is essential.

How to Manage Tooth Sensitivity After Crown

 

1. Limit Consumption of Hot and Cold Substances

One immediate remedy is to be mindful of consuming foods or drinks at extreme temperatures. You can steer clear of especially hot or cold foods such as ice cream or hot drinks and try lukewarm or room-temperature alternatives instead. This can be a way to diminish sensitivity due to cold or hot food, which triggers increased reactions in the teeth after crowns.

2. Use Desensitizing Toothpaste

Another practical step is the use of toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. These products often contain active ingredients like stannous fluoride that help relieve sensitivity by forming a protective layer over the exposed dentin and blocking microscopic tubules that lead to the nerve. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush with soft bristles to limit potential abrasions to your gums and teeth.

3. Maintain Great Oral Hygiene Practices

Upkeeping excellent oral hygiene practices is essential to managing sensitivity after crown placement. Regular and thorough brushing twice daily with a soft toothbrush, consistent flossing to remove plaque and debris, and routine dental checks can keep your oral health in peak condition and minimize sensitivity. An oral care product like a water flosser can reach hard-to-access areas, promoting thorough cleansing and reducing the chances of infection and tooth pain.

4. Adopt a Sensitivity-Limiting Diet

Your diet plays a crucial role in managing sensitivity after receiving dental crowns. Acidic, sugary and crunchy foods can wear down your tooth enamel, causing root exposure and heightened sensitivity. Adopt a tooth-friendly diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, which contribute positively to your oral health. Also, consider softer foods if you experience sensitivity to biting pressure.

5. Topical Desensitizing Agents

Consider topical desensitizing agents if over-the-counter medications and oral hygiene practices aren’t sufficient. Your dentist usually recommends that these be applied directly to the sensitive tooth and work by numbing the tooth’s nerve to relieve discomfort temporarily. However, when using these agents, following the dentist’s instructions carefully to achieve optimal results and avoid additional damage to your teeth is essential.

Ensuring a Comfortable Smile With Alman & Katz Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

While dental crowns are vital in restoring the function and aesthetics of damaged or decayed teeth, lingering sensitivity months after crown treatment can significantly decrease your comfort. It’s always wise to listen to your body and consult your dentist when in doubt. With their professional advice, you will be able to manage your discomfort effectively and ensure your teeth stay in top-notch shape after the crown procedure.

At Alman & Katz Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we prioritize providing you with a comfortable smile and relieving any oral discomfort you might be experiencing. As your family dentist in Boca Raton, FL, we’re committed to preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of oral health conditions.

Contact us today if you need advice or assistance in dealing with tooth sensitivity months after the crown.

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