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4 Warning Signs That a Dental Crown is Coming Loose

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Crowns can be placed over damaged teeth to provide added strength and protection, cover stains or hold old fillings in place. They may also be used to connect bridges or cover dental implants. While dental crowns should last for many years before requiring attention, it's always possible that one can become loose and eventually fall out.

When a dental crown starts to loosen, it's best to address the situation as soon as possible since a lost crown can be considered a dental emergency. With that in mind, here are just four common warning signs that a crown is coming loose. 

1. Movement 

It might sound obvious that dental crowns able to move may be coming loose, but people often ignore this issue when there's only a little play. The problem is that crowns must properly bond to the underlying tooth, so even a small amount of movement is a sign that one is starting to come away. Healthy crowns should always feel immovable.

2. Uncomfortable Bite

When you bite down, you should experience solid contact between the back teeth on both sides of your mouth, plus some lighter contact between the front teeth. However, a crown that starts to come loose may impact your bite. Even a small amount of movement can prevent teeth from coming together properly. If your bite starts to feel unnatural or uncomfortable, a loose crown might be to blame.

3. Acute Sensitivity

Crowns are meant to completely surround a damaged tooth, but any looseness can create gaps through which air and heat can be transmitted. Since the underlying tooth will often have suffered extensive decay, the sensitivity will be more prominent. When hit by any high or low temperatures that penetrate the area between a crown and a tooth, such as whenever you take a sharp inward breath or eat or drink anything hot or cold, you're likely to experience acute sensitivity.

4. Bad Breath or Taste 

When a dental crown starts to loosen and no longer provides an effective barrier for the underlying tooth, small bits of food can also penetrate. These will then start to fester since they cannot be easily removed. Bacteria will also find it easy to thrive in the space between a crown and an underlying tooth. As such, you may notice a bad taste coming from the affected tooth or experience bad breath that won't seem to go away no matter how much you brush or floss.

To find out more, speak to a dentist