Dental crown pain after eating
September 14, 2019 11:37 PM   Subscribe

I have a new crown that starts hurting about 20 minutes after eating until I brush and use anti-septic mouthwash for a few minutes until the pain stops. Any idea of how to fix this or who to go to if my dentist isn't helpful?

I need to have a crown on my tooth. I had pain with the temporary crown and went back several times until the dentist said very firmly it was normal and some people are just more sensitive. I was unhappy, left and bought some temporary filling at a drugstore. I went home and smoothed a bit in between the crown and the tooth in front of it after brushing and using anti-septic mouth wash for a few minutes. This worked okay until the filling stuff came loose. Then I'd have to do the whole brush/sterilizing bit and re-apply.

It took almost 3 weeks for the new crown to be ready. I've lost 6 lbs. because I don't want to brush and mouthwash every time I eat or drink so I ate less. I go back and left the temporary filling in place because I wanted to make sure the tech knew it was there and got it all off. She cleaned it off and popped off the cap. The dentist came in to check and glue on the new crown. When he put the glue on, I jumped because the root did not like the temperature change and it hurt for a couple seconds. He might have put a coating on it. I'm not sure but he did mention it being sensitive. I just want to get this over with so the crown is glued on and checked for high spots with the blue carbon paper and seems okay.

I leave and everything is fine for 5 or 6 hours, then I get twinges of pain. It's not abscess level pain, more like a low level pain that wears you down. At this point, I'm hoping it's just the tooth being irritated after being worked on. I call the next day and ask them to note on my chart that I'm still having some pain. By that night, it's worse and my lower jaw on that side ached. Heat from a rice bag helped. I also brushed and used peroxide since I was out of mouth wash and finally fell asleep around 5 AM.

I've slept though the dentist hours since they only do a half day on Fridays. After re-supplying, I do the whole brush/mouth wash and temp filling between the teeth. It helps as long as my mouth is on the sterile side. If I eat and wait the 20 minutes to brush like you're suppose to, it starts to hurt. Right now, I don't have a lot of faith in my dentist but I will call Monday and have it looked at again. I'm afraid he'll tell me it's normal or I'm too sensitive again. I need to get this fixed!

You are not my dentist or dental tech but do you have any idea of what's wrong and how to fix it? If my dentist isn't helpful, who should I go to?
posted by stray thoughts to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
If this crown was placed after a root canal, it is possible that the root canal may need to be redone (often called a "re-treatment"). A better person to see for this is an endodontist.

You would not likely need a new crown — the endodontist will reimage your tooth, go into the side of the crown, clean out any remaining nerves not found initially, and reseal the crown.

Given your description of how poorly the dentist has responded to your concerns, I would recommend not asking your dentist for a recommendation for an endodontist, but instead look elsewhere.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:10 AM on September 15, 2019

This may or may not be what’s happening to you, but sometimes new crowns can be sensitive for a few weeks, because the nerves underneath are still jangly. And your dentist is correct that some people are more sensitive. I am—my dentist gives me extra Novocaine in general, and even gives me Novocaine before pulling off a temporary crown. You should ask for this next time.

It’s possible that your dentist didn’t make a very good temporary crown—maybe it was a little loose or there was some space at the margin or something. What did your dentist do on your repeat visits? Mine would have given me a new temporary crown, no charge, if there was something wrong with the one I had.

My advice is, wait a couple weeks and see if things get better. If not, see your dentist. If it still hurts, he should address it. In the meantime, swooshing water around your mouth after eating can help.

Source: I have a lot of crowns, sensitive teeth, and a very good dentist.
posted by the_blizz at 5:28 AM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had a root canal and crown a few years ago on an upper molar. About a year it started hurting intermittently - a low-level pressure rather than a sharp pain, but annoying and at times painful. I went to an endodontist who went through the crown and basically redid the root canal, then sealed me back up. Said he'd found some infection but had cleared it out. That worked for a couple of months, but the pain came back. I went to my dentist, endodontist and even periodontist, and they couldn't figure it out but eventually agreed that the tooth should come out and could be replaced by an implant. I had the tooth removed (say yes to nitrous!) and it turned out there was a hairline crack on one of the roots that was perfectly parallel with it, so it didn't appear in x-rays, but it had been harboring infection and there was no way it could have been treated without removing the tooth.

As a wonderful side effect of getting the tooth out, a low-level sinus infection that had gone on for months immediately cleared up. I had the post put into my jaw three months ago, and this fall, once it's bonded with the bone, I'll have a new crown screwed on. I'm really happy with the outcome.

tl;dr see a variety of experts and don't be afraid to get second and third opinions.
posted by bassomatic at 6:28 AM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had a ton of pain after a crown this year, and finally got checked out by an endodontist. It cost me money out of pocket since I’ve already had treatment for that issue, but I had the correct diagnosis from him. I had referred pain from my jaw from having my mouth open so long from the procedure and repeating that for every recheck for the pain! I notice the pain comes back when I eat something really hard like carrots but that dissipates quickly.
posted by gryphonlover at 11:53 AM on September 15, 2019

I've had several crowns and sometimes the exposed pulp on the tooth is just extra angry at all the work going on and it stays achy for a few weeks. So some residual pain isn't unusual. I would give it a little more time and then go back in if it doesn't resolve itself or at least start showing improvement in the next week or two.
posted by thejanna at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2019

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