Dental crowns are a common solution for restoring damaged teeth, providing strength, aesthetics, and functionality. However, while crowns protect the underlying tooth structure, they are not impervious to issues, including the development of decay beneath them. Detecting decay under a crown is crucial for maintaining oral health and ensuring the longevity of the dental restoration. Here’s how to recognize the signs and understand the measures to take for prevention and treatment.
Signs of Decay Under a Crown
Detecting decay beneath a crown can be challenging, as the symptoms may not always be visible or immediately noticeable. However, there are several signs that could indicate the presence of decay:
- Sensitivity or Pain: If you experience sensitivity or pain around the crowned tooth, especially in response to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli, it could suggest decay or an issue with the crown’s fit.
- Swelling or Inflammation of the Gums: Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums around the crown could indicate decay affecting the tooth at the gum line or below it.
- Bad Breath or Taste: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, despite good oral hygiene, can be a sign of decay under the crown.
- Visible Signs: In some cases, if the crown margin (where the crown meets the tooth) recedes due to gum recession, you might see darkening or a line indicating decay.
Diagnosing decay under a crown typically requires a professional examination and may involve several steps:
- Visual Examination: A dentist will first inspect the crown and the surrounding gum area for any visible signs of decay or damage to the crown.
- Dental X-rays: X-rays are crucial for detecting decay under crowns, as they can reveal issues not visible to the naked eye.
- Dental Probing: Using a dental probe, the dentist may check for soft spots or areas where the crown does not fit snugly against the tooth, indicating potential decay.
How do dentists treat tooth decay under a dental crown?
If decay is detected under a crown, the treatment will depend on the extent of the decay and the condition of the crown:
- Removal and Replacement: Often, the crown will need to be removed to treat the decay. After treating the decay, a new crown will be fabricated and placed.
- Root Canal Therapy: If the decay has reached the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be necessary before placing a new crown.
- Tooth Extraction: In severe cases where the tooth structure is significantly compromised, extraction may be the only viable option.
Despite the durability and resilience of dental crowns in handling the daily demands placed on your teeth, inadequate daily brushing and flossing can lead to plaque and bacteria accumulation beneath the crown. This can cause decay under the crown, compromising its integrity and potentially resulting in further dental complications. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, discomfort, or simply wish to have your current dental crowns inspected, please contact BioDental Care in Tijuana, Mexico.