In early July, my dentists put crowns on my top left bicuspid and the two teeth behind it. After the second molar, I do not have any teeth because an oral surgeon pulled my teeth 14 years ago. All three teeth had old fillings and deep decay. Now that I have crowns, the teeth hurt when I chew. Because three teeth in a row have crowns, I’m unsure whether one or all teeth hurt.
When I put pressure on the crowns with my finger, they all hurt, but the pain could be referring. My dentist adjusted the crowns twice but said my bite was too aggressive when I chew. She said I should chew on the other side of my mouth until the inflammation calms down. That is not a solution for me. Should I ask my dentist for new crowns or get someone else to check out my crowns first? Thanks. Ennis from MD
Thank you for your question.
Dr. Delaune would need to examine your crowns and take x-rays for an accurate diagnosis, but we will provide general information that can help.
Why Do Your New Crowns Hurt?
If your new crowns hurt when you chew, you may be too high or have a tooth infection. What is the solution?
- Adjust your bite – Lower opposing teeth can hit the upper teeth with more pressure than usual if your bite is too high. The repetitive force will irritate your teeth. Eventually, your jaw muscles and joints can become irritated and sore. Neck pain, earaches, or headaches may develop as TMJ disorder symptoms. If your dentist correctly adjusted your bite and the pain linger, you may have a tooth infection.
- Check for tooth infection – An x-ray will reveal whether you have a tooth infection. The extent of your pain sounds like you may need root canal treatment. When an infection is challenging to detect, you may need a referral to a root canal specialist (endodontist).
Will You Need New Crowns After Root Canal Treatment?
You should not need new crowns after root canal treatment unless your current crowns are defective or contribute to discomfort. An endodontist can access your tooth pulp through the top of your crowns to perform root canal treatment and seal the crowns closed.
If you do not get satisfying answers from your dentist, schedule a second opinion with a dentist with advanced TMJ and root canal training.
Duane Delaune, DDS, an accredited cosmetic dentist of Metairie, New Orleans, sponsors this post.