5 reasons for pain after dental crown

Pain after dental crown can be an uncomfortable feeling yet it’s not uncommon. Many people experience this problem and worry about what may have happened or how long will it last. Reasons for consistent pain after getting a dental crown are many. They include just an adjusting period, active infections or cavities under the tooth, bruxism, the recession of gums, etc.

When experiencing severe pain after the dental crown procedure, you should know that you are not alone. Most people go through it. There are many ways the pain can be handled after the procedure by using herbal remedies or over-the-counter pain killers. You should know this are just a temporary solution. If the pain persist you may want to get in touch with your dentist. They are the only one able to understand if it’s just a temporary problem or something more serious.

In this article we will talk all about pain after dental crown treatment and how to get rid of it. 

What are the reasons for pain after dental crown?

Pain after a dental crown may be a temporary problem but it may also hide some problems. Dental Crowns are used when a tooth has extensive damage. The teeth need a protective cap to protect them from further damage. They also help restore the size and shape of the tooth so that it can function well with the rest of your teeth. While a permanent crown is meant to give you relief from future dental problems caused by tooth decay, fractures or teeth misalignment, it can sometimes worsen an already bad situation. If you have been experiencing throbbing pain after a dental implant crown procedure you need to get in touch with the doctor.

There may be a variety of reasons for pain after dental crown:

  • Adjustment period 
  • Infection or large cavity under the crown
  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Recession of the gums or gingival recession
  • The crown doesn’t fit perfectly

Now, let’s analyze these possible problems one by one.

Adjustment period

Dental crowns take some time to adjust to your original bite. This is whether your doctor placed a permanent crown or a temporary crown. As a result, mild to severe pain or irritation is expected. We normally refer to this period as the ‘adjustment period’.

It can take up to two weeks for you to feel your upper jaw align completely with the lower jaw. Therefore, it is completely normal if your bite feels different and hurts when you chew your food. If the pain continues, it’s important for your crown to be reassessed by a dentist. This is because there may be other factors that should be taken into consideration. 

Infection or Large Cavity under the crown

If you went through a dental crown procedure recently and are experiencing persistent pain, there is maybe something going underneath the tooth that you are not aware of.

A very common procedure called root canal treatment is performed usually before the crowns. Specifically, it’s performed if the infection or cavity has progressed into the nerves and surrounding gum tissues of the tooth.

In simple words, a root canal procedure is performed to save your entire tooth from extraction. This is because it could have harsh long-term effects on your otherwise healthy teeth.

If a dental crown is placed on your tooth without a root canal you may have pain. There is a high probability that there is a traumatized nerve under it and the root has been infected. There are various reasons why that happens including bacterial plaque buildup, fractured or leakage from old fillings etc.

You may experience inflammation around the tooth, bleeding gums, or throbbing pain if there is an active infection under the crown. If you are facing any one or all of these symptoms, visit your dentist for a checkup, so they can assess and treat you according to what is needed for pain relief and treatment.

Teeth Clenching or Grinding

Susceptibility to pain after a dental crown procedure is much higher if you have the habit of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw when you sleep at night. The medical name for this habit is ‘Bruxism’ and its severity varies from person to person.

This condition is usually stress-induced although in many rare cases it may also occur as a side effect of certain medicines. Habitual teeth grinding can result in a fractured or chipped tooth, myofascial pain, damaged enamel exposing the deeper layers of the tooth and sensitive teeth.

Your dentist may be able to best identify if you have bruxism and suggest treatment accordingly.

Recession of the Gums or Gingival Recession

Post-procedure soreness or inflammation in the gums surrounding your tooth is normal if it lasts for a few days but if it persists for more than a week, it is advisable to see your dentist and find out what’s wrong. Infected nerves or a weak tooth can also cause your teeth to recede.

One possible reason could be that your gums have recessed or simply put, the gum tissue has been compromised which exposes the tooth roots and many other dental problems including cold sensitivity, discolored teeth, and of course cavities.

The crown doesn’t fit perfectly

The fitting of your crown is a really important aspect and usually, dentists take a day just to take the measurements for the crown and to send them to the lab. However, if there is even a slight misalignment, chances are that you may have trouble chewing and it may cause pain to your jaw.

You are meant to take special care immediately after crown placements especially when it comes to food. Try not to have chewy foods or cold foods, as they may cause pain and irritation.

If you feel your upper teeth and lower teeth don’t align well and the disparity is causing pain, your dentist can decide if the crown needs to be replaced. Additionally, the blank spaces between the teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and plaque. So make sure your crown fits well when you bite down and there are no irregularities.

If the crown doesn’t fully cover the damaged or decayed tooth, the innermost layer of the enamel called dentin is exposed. It increases the sensitivity of your teeth to cold and hot temperatures. Therefore, it is really important to assess how the crown feels when you bite and reach out to your dentist if it is constantly causing you pain.

Throbbing pain after dental implant crown

Dental implants are ideal for people who lose their original tooth due to an infected dental filling or because of a traumatic injury. After this procedure, sometimes a dental crown is placed to protect the abutment and to keep the inner tooth area and its blood vessels from bacteria or cavities. 

Throbbing pain after a dental implant crown may occur for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is peri‐implantitis, an infection that affects the bone surrounding the dental implant. We can consider it to be a gum disease that slowly starts to invade the bone. It can result from excess crown cementation on the abutment that begins to infect the gums and bone. 

Among other reasons is the fitting of your crown. If the crown doesn’t fit you right, it can cause a bad bite and you will eventually be exposed to cavities. If that is the case, the pain after is an indicator that you must see your dentist, who can reassess your crown and fix it as per the correct measurements.

How to handle pain after dental crown procedure

As we explained before, you can go through just a simple adjustment period or something else may be going on. If you feel like the pain is not stopping after 3-4 days, you should get in touch with your dentist. The dentist is the first point of contact if your tooth pain is unbearable after your dental procedures. If there’s mild pain in the first few days, you can try one of these home pain management tips and tricks.

Let us remind you that natural remedies for pain after dental crown are just extra help. They won’t and can’t substitute pain killers and your doctor.

Salt Water Gargles 

It is a traditional and most effective home remedy that you can use if you have increased sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures after you get a dental crown. Just put half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water, give it a swirl and gargle at least 10 times. 

Warm salt water rinse kills the bacteria and helps a lot with inflamed gums due to crown toothaches. Also, make sure to adopt regular oral hygiene practices in order to protect your teeth from cavities and other dental issues.


Used in toothpaste and many herbal medicines, cloves are well known for their healing properties when it comes to dental health. The active ingredient in cloves called Eugenol contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and act against bacteria. You can chew 2 to 3 cloves or use pure clove oil to bring down any kind of irritation or inflammation in your teeth after you get a dental crown.

Turmeric Powder 

Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory nature and it is used for many ailments. It happens to be one of the best ones you can use in case of a toothache emergency at home. Dilute half a teaspoon of turmeric in water and apply it to the affected area. You can alternate water with honey also if the taste bothers you too much. This mixture can help provide relief from aching gums and nerve pain.

Ice Pack

A well-known and most used method of providing instant relief from pain is cold compression.  Just take a few ice blocks from the freezer, put them in a soft cotton cloth and ice the affected area. Doing this repeatedly for at least 2 times a day for no longer than 15 mins will help alleviate the throbbing pain. For pain caused by nerve root infection or gum infection, this is an effective and inexpensive method of pain relief but not a solution to the cause.

Over the counter medications for pain after dental crown

Although we would recommend you to seek help from your dentist before you take any medicines, in case of an emergency over the counter ibuprofen or paracetamol can work in providing relief from the nagging pain following a dental crown procedure.

All these solutions should be cleared with your doctor and dentist and should never substitute a dentist appointment to find the cause of your problem and a solution.

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