If you have a damaged tooth, it can impact your smile as well as your oral health. That’s why many people choose dental crowns to protect their tooth from damage. With this cap that is placed over your tooth, it protects your tooth, and it looks completely natural. However, it requires regular care just like any other tooth. Let’s look at how you can prevent your dental crowns from breaking.
Why Do Dental Crowns Break?
Dental porcelain is a very durable material, but crowns can still be weakened over time, eventually causing them to break. The most common reasons that dental crowns break are:
- Bite problems. Grinding or clenching your teeth can exert tremendous amounts of pressure on your natural teeth as well as your crown. Additionally, if your crown was not properly fitted to match your bite, your crown could break or fall out much sooner than anticipated.
- Decay. The crown itself will not erode due to tooth decay, but the natural tooth underneath is still vulnerable. Brushing and flossing regularly will keep your gums healthy and protect the natural tooth. If the gum recedes due to infection, decay can sneak under the crown and damage the tooth, possibly requiring further treatment such as a root canal.
- Bad habits. Biting your fingernails, chewing on ice, and using your teeth to open packages can also make the porcelain break or chip.
How Can I Prevent My Dental Crown from Breaking?
Crowns are meant to last at least five years, but there are ways you can protect them and keep them for much longer than that. Here are some ways to prevent crowns from breaking or falling out:
- Avoid hard or sticky foods. This is the most common reason that crowns have broken. If you have a crown, you might want to stay away from hard foods such as nuts and sticky foods like taffy. If you can’t avoid these foods, don’t chew or bite them in the area where you have your crown.
- Get tested and treated for bruxism. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a bad habit that can damage your crown as well as your natural teeth. Many people with bruxism don’t know they have it, as it only happens in their sleep. Ask your dentist to check if you grind your teeth. If you do, they might recommend a custom-made nightguard to protect your teeth from the grinding.
- Practice good oral health habits. Brush and floss your crown as you would a regular tooth. Be sure to visit your dentist at least every six months for cleanings. He or she can also check on the status of your crown.
What Should I Do If My Crown Breaks?
If your crown breaks, the first thing you should do is call your dentist and let him or her know. They will do whatever they can to reattach your crown before any damage is done to your natural tooth. If you lose a crown when your dentist is not available, there are a few things you can do until you can get an appointment:
- Have a friend or family member examine the area. See if the crown is loose or if there are pieces missing from the tooth. Pull it off completely so that you don’t swallow it.
- Gently run your tongue along the affected tooth to check for sharp edges that could cut your tongue or soft tissue in your mouth. If the area is smooth, it is less of an emergency situation, but you should still see your dentist pronto.
- If your pain level is mild, then an over-the-counter pain medication should alleviate it. If you’re having serious pain, sensitivity, or bleeding, make an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Dental crowns are a great way to heal and protect broken teeth, as long as you make sure the crown itself doesn’t get broken! Take extra good care of it like you would a normal tooth, and you should be fine. If you have more questions, your dentist in Texas City is always happy to help.
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth, or as his patients call him, Dr. H., stays at the leading edge of dental technology to give his patients in the Texas City, TX area the best and most modern dental care possible. In addition to continuing education, Dr. H. likes to learn from other experts, such as assisting surgeons to improve his own surgical techniques. To learn about how Dr. H. can fit you with a crown, click here or call (409)-935-2111.