Can You Get Cavities Under a Crown?

Can You Get Cavities Under a Crown?

August 1, 2023

Most people forget about their natural teeth after getting dental crowns in Ajax, ON. They neglect their oral hygiene and eat whatever they desire because crowns cannot decay or stain. As a result, the teeth beneath the crowns become susceptible to oral health issues. Read on to learn whether you can get a cavity under a crown and what to do about it.

What Are Dental Crowns?

They are custom-made tooth-like caps that cover the upper part of a tooth above the gum line. They repair damaged, oddly shaped, decayed, weakened or severely stained teeth. Crowns also replace missing teeth in dental implant and bridge procedures. They are customized to fit over the tooth comfortably and look natural.

Can You Develop a Cavity Beneath a Tooth Crown?

Getting a cavity under a crown may seem unlikely because a crown covers the tooth protecting it from plaque and bacteria. However, it is possible to get a hole below your crown. Below are ways in which cavities under dental crowns can occur.

  • Decay on the gum line

A crown covers the visible part of a natural tooth. However, a bit of the tooth remains exposed between the crown and gum line. Sometimes, the gums at the edge of the crown can recede, revealing a larger portion of the natural tooth. Plaque can accumulate in these areas and damage the enamel resulting in a cavity.

  • Wear and damage

Although crowns resemble teeth in looks and function, they are not as strong. They usually wear down after long-time use and start to leak around the margins. Also, crowns can become damaged if you grind or clench your teeth or chew hard substances. When the crown chips or breaks, bacteria enter the natural tooth, causing decay.

  • Poor oral hygiene

Crowns are not susceptible to decay and staining in the same way as natural teeth. As a result, most people neglect their oral hygiene after getting crowns. Others do not floss or brush along the margin of the crown, causing plaque to build up and cavities to form.

  • Poorly fitted crowns

Dental crowns are usually customized to fit snugly to the tooth. If the cap is lose or becomes displaced, bacteria get inside it. After some time, plaque will form, leading to a cavity under the crown.

  • Unsuccessful root canal

A root canal treatment eliminates infected tissues and bacteria inside a tooth. However, if all the bacteria or diseased tissues are not removed, decay can recur. This usually occurs after treatment in the molars since they have an intricate root system.

Signs of a Cavity Under a Crown

Although tooth crowns in Ajax, ON, cover a tooth completely, it is possible to detect a cavity beneath. Your dentist will be the first to see early signs of a cavity during your regular dental exams. Below are signs you can look for if you suspect you have a cavity below your crown.

  1. Pain and sensitivity in the crowned tooth.
  2. Discoloration occurs around the edges of your crown near the gum line.
  3. The crown falls out of your tooth because cavities have altered its structure, making the crown lose.
  4. The gums near the crowned tooth become swollen, reddish, or get small bumps.
  5. Pain in the tooth when eating or chewing.
  6. When flossing, the thread gets caught in the crowned tooth. The floss can also shred or break due to the sharp edges of a cavity.

How Is a Cavity Under a Crown Treated?

If you have a cavity under a crown, you should not be worried. Instead, contact the dental professionals at KC Dental-Ajax. They provide cavity treatments restoring oral health, aesthetics and functionality.

If a cavity forms along the margin of the dental crown, they will remove the crown first. Then, they will repair the hole with dental fillings and place a new crown on the tooth. A cavity that affects the tooth pulp will require root canal therapy. The dentist will take out the crown and eliminate the bacteria and infected tissues. Then, they will fix a new cap on the tooth.

If decay has deteriorated the tooth beyond saving, the dentist will pull it out. A dental extraction will get rid of the cavity and prevent recurrent decay. Afterwards, they will replace the tooth with dental implants, bridges or dentures.