Dental crowns are made to protect the teeth and to repair them when the biting edge wears or becomes substantially degraded. And while crowns are meant to last 10 to 15 years or even longer, they can actually crack, chip, and break. When this happens, you may have no idea what to do. Keep reading to learn about what you should do when you find out your crown has cracked.
Feel The Crown
If a crown has cracked, then there is a good chance that the entirety of the crown is loose. Tooth grinding and hits to the face are two of the most common reasons why a crown will chip and this means that extensive damage is likely. So, take your fingers and gently rock the crown back and forth to see if it is loose and also feel around the edge to see if a chipped area is pulling away from the crown. You want to pull anything loose out of your mouth to prevent yourself from swallowing it.
After you remove the crown, you want to examine your tooth and the surrounding gums to see if you notice any blood. If you do, use a piece of gauze to slow the bleeding. You will want to assess the bleeding in a few minutes. If it continues, then contact a dentist immediately. You may need stitches to the gums or the tooth may need immediate medical treatment.
Keep Stimuli Away
When a crown cracks, either a small or large portion of the tooth will be exposed. Since dental crowns require your tooth to go through extensive preparation with grinding, the tooth dentin will sit just underneath the crown. Dentin is extremely sensitive so you are likely to feel some strong pain and pressure signals if you eat hot foods, drink cold beverages or bite hard on the tooth. Try to avoid these things until you see the dentist.
Strong stimulus does include the biting that you may do while you are sleeping, so if you think that you may grind or bite in your sleep, think about asking your dentist for a temporary bite guard or purchase a boil and bite guards that you can wear in the evening.
Keep in mind that you may notice some sensitivity both during and after your crown is repaired, so speak with your dentist about the possibility of using sensitive toothpastes to reduce your pain.