Live Oak Dental Group

3 Crown Problems that Cause Tooth Pain

Dental crowns are relatively common. According to a survey by DentistryiQ, the average dentist places about 13 crowns per month. That’s – each year, in every dental office!

You may assume that because a crown is artificial and sealed with dental cement, you won’t be able to develop a cavity or toothache on the restored tooth. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While a dental crown is impervious to decay, it can crack, loosen, or a cavity may develop beneath a crown if it’s not properly sealed. 

Traditionally, having a crown placed requires two office visits, and a temporary is worn between appointments. At our office, we offer same-day crown service with CEREC® digital technology. CEREC allows us to design and fabricate custom ceramic crowns and secure them in just one visit. You won’t have to wear a temporary crown or attend two visits. A CEREC crown can replace a damaged crown if the remaining tooth is not infected. 

How can you know if your dental crown is failing? 

Crowns have an average lifespan of about five to 15 years. This estimate does not account for injury to the tooth – like a crack or a broken seal. If you had crowns placed before the age of 50, you’ll probably need them replaced at some point. 

Here are three causes of crown failure and how to recognize them. If you suspect that you have a damaged crown, call us for an appointment today!

Cracked crown

While they are almost as strong as teeth, crowns are still more susceptible to cracks. If a crack occurs, your remaining tooth is exposed. This allows bacteria to get in there and infect your tooth. It also makes that tooth more sensitive to heat and cold. 

We recommend the following preventive steps to ensure your crown remains damage-free:

  • Be careful with hard foods – It’s simple: don’t chew hard foods with your crowned tooth. While we can generally control how we chew, it’s possible for accidents to happen. Avoid hard foods like candy, ice, pistachio shells, olive pits, etc., whenever possible.
  • Treat bruxism – Do you grind your teeth at night? This gnashing can cause your crown to crack. Wearing a retainer at night will protect your crown, along with the rest of your teeth.
  • Wear a mouth guard – If you’re the athletic type and like to play sports, you’ll want to be careful. This especially goes for contact sports like boxing, martial arts, football, and rugby. A rogue baseball can cause a lot of damage, so make sure you protect that beautiful smile!

Taking these steps will ensure you prevent your crown tooth from those pesky bacteria. If your crown tooth is hurting already, check for cracks, and then come in for a checkup. We’ll create a treatment plan tailored to your needs!

Loose crown

Besides suffering a crack, a crown can also become dislodged. When a crown becomes loose or dislodged, you risk it falling out. This exposes the remaining tooth underneath, opening it up to infection. Usually, if a crown falls out, we can cement it back into place. In some instances, a new crown may be necessary, especially if your old one is broken or lost.

If your crown is still in place, but you’re experiencing some tooth pain, it’s possible your crown has slipped. It’s still attached; however, the position has shifted slightly, exposing the top of the inner tooth near the gumline.


Sometimes, bacteria can still invade the remaining tooth structure underneath of a crown. When this happens, it’s possible that the tooth will need a root canal. If you’re suffering from the following, you may have an infected tooth:

  • Swelling of the surrounding gum
  • Throbbing pain
  • Pain while biting 
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Sensitivity to sugar

When experiencing any of the above, it’s a good idea to have an x-ray taken. We want to see if there’s any sign of damage! 

Treatment is in reach.

Here at Dr. Hardt’s office in Porterville, California, we take crown health and integrity seriously. Our mission is to provide you with realistic looking teeth, that are as hardy as we can make them. Schedule an appointment today with one of our lovely staff members by calling 559-781-0223 or messaging us here, and we’ll be happy to answer any additional questions you may have!