Four Reasons Why Dental Crowns May Hurt

guy with tooth that hurts

Do dental crowns hurt? It’s normal to experience some discomfort, but if it’s any more than that, I advise you to call your dentist. Here are four reasons your new dental crown may be hurting — and whether or not you should revisit the dentist’s chair as a result.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over your cracked or missing pearly white. It restores the size, strength, appearance and functionality of an original tooth.

I know it can feel like a bummer to have a missing or cracked tooth, and even more of a bummer to have it replaced by a crown.

But, like I tell my patients, even kings and queens have crowns!

As I mentioned earlier, it is normal to experience some discomfort after the procedure. After all, it takes some time for a crown to settle in. But if pain is intense, or lasts more than a week, it’s wise to call your dentist for an evaluation. You may need further treatment.

Here are the four most common causes of pain that result from a new dental crown:

1. It doesn’t fit just right.

The biting surface of your tooth changes when your dentist inserts a new crown. But if your crown is too high or tall, even the slightest interference (think: biting down or chewing) will cause tooth pain.

If you’re experiencing pain when biting down, call your dentist, you may need the biting surface of the crown adjusted.

2. Your nerve is irreversibly inflamed.

I would say, on average, if a tooth needs a crown, 40% of the time, it may also need a root canal. (You can read about other reasons why you may need a crown here.)

A root canal is needed when a tooth becomes irreversibly inflamed and damaged. The tooth’s dental pulp — often called the “nerve” — became exposed to bacteria, and therefore needs to be removed to deter further pain and infection.

The following symptoms indicate a root canal is needed:

  • Severe toothache pain from chewing
  • Your tooth hurts longer than it should after exposure to hot or cold temperatures. *Darkening or discoloration of the tooth.
  • Swollen and tender gums surrounding a tooth, or a “rotten” taste in your mouth.
  • Dental abscess.

If you remember anything from this post, please remember this: if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, pay a visit to your dentist immediately to have your nerve tested.

(And no, the root canal procedure is not as scary or painful as it seems.)

3. Your gum tissue may be sore.

This is completely normal. Like I said, it takes some time for a new crown to settle in your mouth. It can make your gums tender and sensitive and cause mild discomfort. Take ibuprofen to ease the pain.

4. You’ve been grinding your teeth.

If you suffer from bruxism — more commonly known as teeth grinding — you may not have even known it until now.

Bruxism is, more often than not, done subconsciously, or during sleep. But doing so could seriously irritate your new crown.

Your dentist may recommend a mouthguard, which is one of the most effective ways to treat symptoms of bruxism. They’re similar to the ones athletes use, but they’re made out of harder material and are custom-fit to your jawline.

Remember, if pain is increasing in frequency or intensity after your new crown was inserted, or lasts longer than a week, pay a visit to a dentist. And if you experience any of these root canal symptoms, call a dentist immediately.


Call us today with any questions or to book your appointment!

Glendale:  414-352-1600 or Greendale:  414-421-2303


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