Tooth crowns play a crucial role in your oral health. They are the visible part of a tooth’s anatomy and sometimes, they can either make or break your confidence. It is not without a reason that healthy tooth crowns are often associated with eye-catching smiles. However, there’s more to crowns than that.
Teeth are susceptible to cavities. That is to say, decay can occur even beneath the tooth crown. If you suspect that your teeth are in danger of developing cavities under the crown, stick around. This article will help you discover more about the potential causes and signs that indicate decay beneath the tooth crown, as well as the treatments available.
Are Painful Teeth One of the Symptoms?
Perhaps you have felt a sharp pain in your teeth that you cannot put a finger on. Moreover, you may have detected that this pain is, in fact, under your tooth crown. Unless you have undergone a crown procedure recently, painful teeth can be indicative of two conditions.
If you are developing an infection under the tooth crown, some of the symptoms include swollen gums, painful biting, and tooth sensitivity.
2. Tooth Decay
Decay under the tooth crown can be tricky. While it may start as an insignificant hole in your enamel, if left untreated, it can spread to other tooth structures as well.
How to Detect and Prevent Decay Under Tooth Crown
As previously mentioned, holes in your enamel can be one of the first signs of ongoing decay under the tooth crown. They are usually accompanied by brown or grey spots on your teeth. You can even detect these at home without having to pay a visit to your dentist. On the other hand, if the affected area is small and invisible to the naked eye, you will need an in-depth examination. For this reason, your dentist can run an x-ray scan to see if you have decay under your tooth crown.
Generally speaking, if you would like to minimize the risk of developing an infection or cavities under the tooth crown, you can work on preventing them.
Do not neglect your oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is half the battle. The bacteria that form around your teeth throughout the day need to be removed frequently. The same goes for plaque that gets stuck between the ridges of your teeth or beneath the crown. To prevent harmful bacteria and plaque buildup, remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly.
Do not ignore your dentist appointments
A good rule of thumb is to have check-ups twice a year. Since it is an individual matter, you can discuss the optimal frequency of your visits with your dentist.
What are the Available Treatments for Decay Under Tooth Crown?
Unfortunately, sometimes even the most diligent approach to oral care may prove insufficient. After all, other underlying health conditions may result in decay under the tooth crown as well. To prevent decay from compromising the process of dental restoration, different treatments are available.
1. Opting for a dental filling
If the decay under the tooth crown is detected at an early stage, you are eligible for a dental filling. This treatment removes the existing cavity and restores the shape of your natural crown with composite resin.
2. Opting for a root canal treatment
If the decay is left unattended and progresses further into the root of your tooth, your dentist may decide that a root canal treatment is in order. While this is a more invasive procedure, it will remove any existing decay under the crown and restore your tooth’s appearance from the inside out.
3. Opting for a dental crown
If the untreated decay requires a large area of your tooth to be removed, you are likely going to need a replacement crown. Some dental practices offer same-day dental crowns, while others require you to book multiple appointments and wear temporary crowns in the meantime.
4. Opting for a tooth extraction
In severe cases, the only viable option to treat decay under the tooth crown is tooth extraction. This would mean that decay has spread through the entirety of your tooth, leaving no natural tooth structures to support a different restoration procedure.
Are Dental Crowns the Answer to Decay Under the Crown?
With all this in mind, one of the aforementioned treatments stands out among the rest. In fact, it is more common than you think.
Dental crowns serve as a replacement for your natural tooth crown. They are used in dental restoration for different types of tooth damage. Interestingly enough, many patients believe that dental crowns are indestructible. The truth, however, is that they are anything but.
A point often overlooked is that dental crowns are not as strong as the enamel they replace. For this reason, they are just as prone to injury as natural teeth. That is to say, getting a dental crown does not mean you cannot develop decay under the crown.
While the average life expectancy of a dental crown is anywhere between five and fifteen years, it is solely dependent on how you treat it. If you decide that a dental crown is the best option for you, you should keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, you can still develop tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. Secondly, poor dental hygiene can damage the crown, which will, in turn, lead to new cavities. And thirdly, gum inflammation or tooth decay under the crown can occur if you choose to ignore an ill-fitted dental crown or avoid regular dentist check-ups altogether.
Final Thoughts on Decay Under Tooth Crown
All things considered, there are no shortcuts to treating decay beneath the tooth crown. The best way to go about it is to tend to your oral hygiene and address the cavities as soon as they arise. By doing so, you will not have to resort to any major invasive procedures, such as tooth extraction.
In the long run, prudent oral care will go far and ensure your overall crown health. To that end — stay diligent, eat healthily, and keep on smiling!