Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Rockford Health System

Tooth Hurts Worse After Temporary Crown: Unraveling the Mystery

8 min read
tooth hurts worse after temporary crown

Dental procedures are often seen as the panacea to our oral woes. They promise a future of pain-free smiles and restored dental health. Yet, for some, the journey only sometimes follows the predicted path. If you felt that your tooth hurts worse after temporary crown, then, you’re not alone. Many patients find themselves perplexed and concerned by heightened discomfort following what’s meant to be a relief-giving procedure.

This article will delve into the potential causes, alleviating solutions, and preventive measures. Stick around as we unravel the enigma that leaves countless individuals asking: why does my tooth hurt worse after a temporary crown?

Why the tooth hurts after crown placement

Placing a dental crown is a common procedure often sought to rectify tooth decay or a fractured tooth. However, post-procedure discomfort or even severe pain can take patients by surprise.

  1. Nature of Dental Crowns: Whether temporary or permanent, a dental crown acts as a protective cap for a natural tooth. Crowns can be made from various materials, and their primary purpose is to restore the structure and functionality of the tooth.
  2. Role of Temporary Crowns: Before the placement of permanent crowns, temporary dental crowns are often used. These temporary crowns shield the affected tooth and gum line from potential damage, giving the natural tooth a breather and preparing it for its permanent counterpart. However, they might not fit the tooth precisely, leading to temporary crown pain or even sore gums.

Diving Deeper: Potential Causes of Pain:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: Post the crown placement, the tooth’s inner layers might be exposed, resulting in heightened sensitivity. Consuming hot, cold, or sugary foods can trigger this.
  2. Gum Disease or Gum Recession: If there’s pre-existing gum disease, a placed crown might aggravate it, causing pain. Additionally, gum recession can expose dentin, leading to discomfort.
  3. Teeth Grinding: Those who suffer from teeth grinding or clenching can exert constant pressure on the crowned tooth, leading to pain.
  4. Improper Crown Placement: An unfit or improperly placed crown can lead to adjacent teeth experiencing pain. It can also cause an issue with the bite, leading to jaw pain.
  5. Deeper Issues: Sometimes, the pain might hint at deeper problems, like a required root canal procedure. The affected tooth might house a nerve pain that becomes evident only after the crown’s placement.

In conclusion, while a dental crown, be it temporary or permanent, promises to restore a tooth’s vitality, it’s not uncommon to experience pain. Whether it’s mild discomfort from temporary discomfort or more severe pain indicating deeper issues, understanding the causes and potential solutions can be empowering. If you experience pain, consult your dentist to ensure the crowned tooth and the teeth surrounding it remain in optimal health.


Why do dentists place temporary crowns?

Dentists routinely employ temporary crowns, and the reasons for this interim step are multifaceted and grounded in the patient’s immediate needs and long-term oral health outcomes.

  1. Protection of the Exposed Tooth: Once a tooth has been prepared for a crown, its structure becomes vulnerable. A temporary crown protects the tooth from potential damage or contamination from daily activities such as eating or brushing.
  2. Maintenance of Gum Health: The space left by the prepared tooth can be an open invitation for the gums to overgrow. A temporary crown prevents this by maintaining the natural gum line and keeping the area well-defined.
  3. Ensuring Aesthetic Continuity: While waiting for the permanent crown to be fabricated—which can take a few days to weeks—a temporary crown provides a visual placeholder. This ensures the patient doesn’t have to grapple with unsightly gaps in their smile.
  4. Prevention of Tooth Movement: Teeth are dynamic and shift towards any open space in the mouth. A temporary crown occupies the space of the prepared tooth, ensuring that neighboring teeth remain in their proper positions.
  5. Testing for Proper Fit and Bite: Temporary crowns allow the dentist and patient to ensure that the final crown will fit well and that the bite is comfortable. Any necessary adjustments can be noted and then implemented in the permanent crown.
  6. Relief from Sensitivity: Prepared teeth can be sensitive to temperature changes because of exposed dentin. Temporary crowns act as a barrier, offering relief from such sensitivities.

While the name might suggest otherwise, temporary crowns are crucial in ensuring the final dental restoration is successful, comfortable, and long-lasting. They bridge the gap between initial preparation and final placement, ensuring a smooth transition for the patient’s oral health journey.

How can you tell if the dental crown is infected

damaged tooth

Dental crowns are often hailed as a testament to modern dentistry’s ability to restore and protect. Yet, like any medical intervention, they are not entirely devoid of potential complications. One such concern is the risk of an underlying infection beneath the crown.

Recognizing the signs of such an infection is paramount for timely intervention and maintaining oral health.

  1. Prolonged Pain or Sensitivity: While some sensitivity or discomfort is expected immediately after crown placement, persistent pain, especially when consuming hot or cold items, might indicate an infection.
  2. Swelling or Redness: Noticeable swelling or redness in the gums around the dental crown can be a clear sign of an underlying infection.
  3. Bad Taste or Odor: An unpleasant taste in the mouth or bad breath, especially from the area around the crown, often signals bacterial activity and potential infection.
  4. Gum Recession: If the gums around the crown begin to recede or a gray line appears at the gum line, it might indicate an infection or other issues with the crown.
  5. Presence of Pus: Pus oozing from around the dental crown is a direct sign of infection and requires immediate attention.
  6. Fever or General Malaise: While less specific, sometimes an infection in the mouth can lead to systemic symptoms like a fever or feeling unwell.

In sum, while dental crowns are a powerful tool in the arsenal of restorative dentistry, it’s vital to stay vigilant to the signs of possible complications. If you suspect an infection beneath your crown or experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, seeking prompt consultation and care from your dentist is imperative.

Symptoms of dental crown tooth pain

Placing a dental crown is a common procedure intended to restore the structure and function of compromised teeth. While many patients experience a seamless transition after getting a crown, some may encounter pain or discomfort related to the new crown. Recognizing dental crown tooth pain symptoms is crucial for timely intervention and optimal oral health.

  1. Sensitivity to Temperature: One of the foremost symptoms experienced by patients post-crown placement is sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages. This happens because the dental work temporarily exposes the inner layers of the teeth to external stimuli.
  2. Pain While Biting: Some patients feel discomfort or sharp pain when biting down. This could be an indication that the crown is slightly elevated or misaligned.
  3. Jaw Pain: An improperly aligned crown can lead to an uneven bite, which, in turn, can manifest as jaw pain or even cause complications with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
  4. Constant Throbbing or Discomfort: Persistent pain, especially a throbbing sensation, might indicate an underlying issue, potentially pointing to the need for a root canal treatment.
  5. Gum Swelling or Inflammation: The area surrounding the crown might show signs of inflammation, and in some cases, this can lead to swelling. Using over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  6. Pain While Consuming Hard Foods: A new crown might be sensitive to pressure initially. Consuming hard foods can exacerbate this, causing noticeable discomfort.
  7. Pain that Diminishes with Time: Some level of pain or sensitivity might be expected immediately after the procedure. However, this should diminish with time. It could indicate a problem with the crown or the underlying tooth if it doesn’t.

As a preventative measure, patients are often advised to avoid very hot or cold foods and to chew gently, especially on the side of the new crown, for a few days post-procedure. If symptoms persist or the pain becomes severe, it is essential to seek dental intervention to ensure the crown and surrounding teeth remain optimal.

How to treat dental crown pain

temporary dental crowns

The journey to a restored and radiant smile often leads many through the doors of a dentist’s office for a crown placement. However, the path sometimes ends when the crown is placed. For some, it can unexpectedly become a painful experience, marked by discomfort or even sharp pains. Understanding how to navigate these challenges and treat dental crown pain is essential to ensure oral health and well-being.

Initial Post-Placement Sensitivities:

  1. Bite Issues: Immediately after crown placement, it’s common to feel that something is “off” with your bite. If the crown, even a permanent one, isn’t aligned perfectly, it can cause pain due to bite issues. Adjusting the crown’s fit might be necessary, which your dentist can easily address.
  2. Food Particles: Tiny particles can get trapped between the crown and adjacent teeth. Ensuring thorough cleaning, especially in the initial days post-placement, can prevent discomfort from this cause.

Deeper Concerns and Their Solutions:

  1. Infection Inside the Tooth: If there was an undetected infection inside the tooth before the crown was placed, it might become aggravated afterward. A root canal might be recommended to treat the infection and prevent further damage.
  2. Dry Socket: Particularly if an extraction accompanies the crown, there’s the risk of developing a dry socket—a painful condition where the protective blood clot gets dislodged. Immediate dental attention is crucial in this scenario.

Home Remedies and Preventive Measures:

  1. Saline Rinses: A simple saltwater rinse can work wonders in alleviating pain, especially if the cause is minor inflammation or trapped food particles.
  2. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relief medications can be effective for temporary relief. However, they should be used per recommended dosages and always in consultation with your dentist.
  3. Avoid Aggravating Factors: In the days immediately following the crown placement, it’s wise to steer clear of extremely hot or cold foods and chew gently to prevent any exacerbation of pain.

In conclusion, while a dental crown promises to be the guardian of a vulnerable tooth, it can sometimes become a source of discomfort. Recognizing the symptoms, understanding the potential causes, and knowing how to treat the pain can make all the difference. Always remember, when in doubt or when the pain persists, the expertise of a dentist is invaluable. They can diagnose the exact issue, guide you on the next steps, and ensure your dental restoration journey is comfortable and successful.


In wrapping up, it’s clear that dental procedures, though beneficial, can occasionally come with their set of challenges. You are not alone if you feel your tooth hurts worse after a temporary crown. So, it’s important to recognize and address post-procedure discomfort. Remember, while temporary crowns are a stepping stone to a healthier smile, any persistent pain or discomfort should never be overlooked. It’s essential to consult with your dentist to ensure your path to optimal dental health remains on track.


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