There is a variety of reasons a patient may experience dental crown pain. The crown may be placed incorrectly or poorly fitted, which can irritate the gums or cause sensitivity in the nearby teeth. The patient may feel pain if a root canal is performed incorrectly prior to the crown being placed. A crown that has been in place for a long time may eventually cause the gums to recede. Some patients may brush or floss too hard in an effort to care for the crown, which can then lead to gum pain nearby.
Dental crown pain is often the result of an ill-fitting crown or one that does not sit on the tooth correctly. This may occur because the mold it was made from or the original impression of the tooth was inaccurate, or the manufacturer did not make it to fit as it should. The crown may then aggravate the surrounding gum tissue or create areas that are susceptible to buildup of bacteria and therefore infection. It may also sit too high, impacting the teeth above or below and leading to sensitivity.
A crown is often placed on a tooth after a root canal is done on it; if that procedure is done incorrectly, the patient may feel crown pain. Sometimes a small amount of the root pulp can be left behind in the canal. It is also possible for the filling that is placed in the canal to get into areas in the tooth where it causes irritation and discomfort.
Another cause of dental crown pain is recession of the gum line at the base of the affected tooth. This is often a problem with crowns that have been in place for a long time; if they are even slightly ill-fitted, they may not cause pain at first but can impinge the gingival tissue, causing it to recede. Eventually, this can expose some of the root of the tooth, leading to sensitivity and pain.
Patients who have dental crowns are typically instructed to take extra care of that tooth and the surrounding area, as it may be more likely for food and other particles to collect there, making it susceptible to infection and other problems. Sometimes patients can be too overzealous about cleaning, however, and injure the nearby gum tissue. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and bleeding near the crown.