Dental Crowns and Tooth Sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity often starts as minor irritation, but sensitivity can lead to oral pain without treatment. Dental crowns are often used to treat tooth sensitivity. Dental crowns are durable restorations that surround the crown of a tooth to add a layer of strength and protection. While dental crowns are meant to restore a damaged tooth and alleviate pain, the treatment process itself can cause minor tooth sensitivity.
At our Fountain Valley, CA, practice, Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen explains the causes of tooth sensitivity, how a dental crown can help, and what to do when dental crowns cause tooth sensitivity. With some simple steps, patients can manage sensitivity and enhance oral comfort.
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
To understand what causes tooth sensitivity, you must have some basic knowledge of the structure of the tooth. Each tooth is made up of layers. The innermost layer of a tooth contains the tooth’s roots and nervous system. These tissues are susceptible to sensations like pressure and temperature.
Fortunately, the sensitive tissues that make up the tooth's pulp are surrounded by a semi-hard layer called the dentin, and then a hard layer of minerals, known as tooth enamel. If a tooth is easily irritated or especially sensitive, it is a sign that the outer layers of the tooth have been damaged, and the pulp of the tooth has been exposed.
Can Dental Crowns Treat Tooth Sensitivity?
Dental crowns are one of the most common and effective treatments for tooth sensitivity. Because sensitivity is usually caused by some degree of dental damage, a crown is often the best way to protect the tooth’s pulp and restore oral comfort. A dental crown completely surrounds the crown of the tooth. It addresses the damage caused by:
- Tooth decay
- Acid erosion
- Chips, cracks, or fractures
- General wear and tear
With a dental crown in place, the nerves and tissues at the center of the tooth are protected from the pressure of biting and chewing, extreme temperatures from hot and cold foods and beverages, and bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection.
Can Dental Crowns Cause Tooth Sensitivity?
Dental crowns effectively address the causes of tooth sensitivity to restore oral strength, function, and comfort. However, it is not unusual for our Fountain Valley patients to experience heightened tooth sensitivity following dental crown treatment. Tooth sensitivity is a normal side effect of dental crown treatment and should not be a cause for concern.
When a dental crown is placed, the tissues within the pulp of the tooth, as well as the tissue immediately surrounding the treated tooth, can become irritated. This may result in minor inflammation. Inflamed tissues are likely to be more sensitive. However, any tooth sensitivity following dental crown treatment should be minor and temporary.
Managing Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Crown Treatment
Tooth sensitivity after dental crown treatment should resolve on its own within a few days. In the meantime, there are steps that our Fountain Valley patients can take to manage sensitivity and improve oral comfort.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed
- Rinse the mouth with warm salt water periodically throughout the day
- Avoid biting directly on the treated tooth
- Stay away from foods and beverages with extreme temperatures
- Continue to brush and floss regularly
If you are experiencing heightened tooth sensitivity, a dental crown may be the best way to alleviate discomfort and restore the structure of your tooth. To discuss your dental concerns with Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen, send us a message online or call (714) 964-4183 and request an appointment.