Pain Under The Crown

A dental crown is a dental prosthesis- it is an artificial replacement of the cusps of the teeth and the visible portion of the teeth. Crowns can go on top of existing teeth that have become so structurally compromised that they cannot fulfill chewing functions at all, or in a satisfying manner. If the tooth has been extracted, the crown is either attached to the adjacent tooth, or is set on top of a dental implant. If the dental crown is set on top of an existing tooth, there are several things that can still go wrong. Here are some of the painful emergencies that can happen to a tooth that has already been capped.

Improper preparations

When a tooth breaks or is worn away and becomes structurally unsound, there is something wrong with it. Frequently, there will be a bacterial infection and a root canal needs to be performed. Less frequently a filling needs to be changed, but there is not enough tooth left of the cusps after removing the infected bits, and thus a crown is needed to restore proper chewing function. Sometimes the enamel and the cementum has been worn down so much that the tooth hurts because the nerve is exposed, but the tooth is otherwise healthy, and sometimes teeth break because of trauma and need some kind of protection from the outside world. 

Before the crown goes on, in each of these instances, there are reparations to be made, infected materials to remove, places to fill, root canals to be done, antibiotics to be administered, etc. If these are not done properly, the tooth will start hurting once the anaesthetic has worn off, or once any sort of irritation or occlusal force touches the tooth. Improper preparations make themselves known immediately, and will cause a problem quickly after the dental appointment is finished. 

Infection under the crown

If you start to feel a dull pain or itchiness under the crown, then you have an infection. This can be cause by many things. It can come from the exposed portions of the tooth becoming infected just like any other tooth is. It can also come from food getting stuck between the crown and the tooth, thus giving bacteria ample food to eat and cause havoc below the crown.

Further trauma

The tooth underneath the crown can break, especially if it has first become structurally unsound. It can break below the gum line, or directly below the crown as well. If the tooth is dead, it can also start to crumble. The crown can shift positions this way, and can start to damage your gingiva or the adjacent teeth. If your crown has shifted, get in touch with your dentist immediately, and see what can be done. 


Your tooth may yet be sensitive if it has a lot of enamel missing. The crown is supposed to cover it, but the nerve can still be receiving impulses and not like it, and this will cause it to flare up. In these cases, the tooth may even be completely fine, and you may be free from infection. Perhaps investing in some desensitizing toothpaste is a good idea, but the first thing you need to do whenever there is toothache is to book an emergency appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Taking painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs should help in the meanwhile.