Tooth Decay Under Crown

As an advisor on dental health, I understand the importance of maintaining a healthy smile. One common issue that individuals with dental crowns may face is tooth decay underneath the crown. In this “Tooth Decay under Crown” article, I will provide some helpful suggestions and tips to help you prevent and address tooth decay under a crown.

Introduction To Tooth Decay Under Crown

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that erode the enamel and dentin of the tooth. When a tooth is crowned, a protective cap is placed over it to restore its function and appearance. However, if proper oral hygiene practices are not followed, tooth decay can develop underneath the crown, leading to potential complications.

Causes Of Tooth Decay Under Crown

Poor Oral Hygiene

Inadequate brushing and flossing can allow plaque and bacteria to accumulate around the crown, leading to decay.

Gum Recession

Receding gums can expose the vulnerable root surfaces of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.

Previous Tooth Decay Or Damage

If the tooth beneath the crown had prior decay or damage, the risk of developing decay increases.

Fitting Crown

A poorly fitted or loose crown can create gaps where bacteria can thrive, increasing the likelihood of decay.

Signs And Symptoms Of Tooth Decay Under Crown

Recognizing the signs of tooth decay under a crown is crucial for early intervention. Some common indicators include:

Sensitivity To Hot Or Cold Foods And Drinks

It may be a sign of decay if you experience discomfort when consuming hot or cold items.

Pain Or Discomfort Around The Crown

Persistent pain or sensitivity around the crown area can indicate decay.

Discoloration Or Darkening Of The Tooth

A change in color or darkening of the tooth beneath the crown may suggest underlying decay.

Bad breath Or Unpleasant Taste

Bacteria thriving in the decayed area can cause halitosis or an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

Prevention Of Tooth Decay Under Crown

Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining dental health and avoiding tooth decay under a crown. Here are some effective preventive measures:

Proper Oral Hygiene Practices

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and bacteria.

Proper oral hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing can prevent plaque and bacteria accumulation under dental crowns. This prevents tooth decay, as harmful bacteria can produce acids that erode tooth enamel.

Regular Dental Check-Ups And Cleanings

Visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings and to ensure the crown and underlying tooth are in good condition.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings remove plaque and tartar build-up that home brushing can’t reach, preventing decay under crowns. Dentists can spot early signs of problems, including gum disease and crown loosening. Fluoride treatments during visits can also strengthen the tooth under the crown, preventing further decay.

Using Fluoride Toothpaste And Mouthwash

Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.

Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash strengthen tooth enamel, making it resistant to acid attacks from bacteria, thereby preventing decay. These products can reach under the edges of crowns, offering protection to the underlying tooth. Regular use helps maintain crown integrity, prolongs its lifespan, and improves oral hygiene.

Avoiding Sticky Or Sugary Foods

Limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods, as they can contribute to tooth decay.

Avoiding sticky or sugary foods reduces the fuel for bacteria that produce tooth-damaging acids. Such foods can stick to and around crowns, promoting plaque build-up. Less plaque results in less acid, reducing the chance of decay under crowns. A balanced diet supports overall oral health.

Wearing A Mouthguard If Necessary

If you engage in activities that could potentially damage your teeth (such as contact sports), wear a mouthguard to protect your crown and natural teeth.

Fluoride Toothpaste And Tooth Decay

Fluoride toothpaste plays a crucial role in preventing and reducing tooth decay. Here’s how fluoride helps in maintaining dental health:

Strengthens Tooth Enamel

Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen the enamel, which is the outer protective layer of the tooth. It combines with the minerals in the enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria and acidic foods and drinks.


When the enamel is exposed to acid, minerals are lost from the tooth structure. Fluoride helps in the remineralization process by replenishing lost minerals such as calcium and phosphate, which help repair early signs of tooth decay and prevent further damage.

Inhibits Acid Production

Fluoride can inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth and reduce the production of acid. Bacteria in dental plaque produce acid when they break down sugars and carbohydrates in the mouth. By reducing acid production, fluoride helps to create an environment that is less conducive to the development of tooth decay.

Reduces Bacterial Activity

Fluoride has antibacterial properties that can help inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria in the mouth. By reducing bacterial activity, fluoride helps to prevent the formation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

Protects Both Natural Teeth And Dental Restorations

Fluoride benefits natural teeth and dental restorations, such as dental crowns. It helps to protect the tooth structure surrounding the crown and prevents decay from developing underneath the crown.

To reap the benefits of fluoride toothpaste, it is essential to use it consistently and correctly. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, covering all tooth surfaces, and spit out the toothpaste without rinsing afterward. This allows the fluoride to stay in contact with the teeth for a longer period, enhancing its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. Additionally, it is recommended to use fluoridated water for drinking and cooking, as it further contributes to overall dental health.

Treatment Options For Tooth Decay Under Crown

Prompt treatment is essential to prevent further damage if tooth decay is detected under a crown. Treatment options may include:

Removal Of Decay And Placement Of A New Crown

The decayed tooth structure is removed, and a new crown is placed to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

Root Tanal Treatment

If the decay has reached the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure may be necessary to remove the infected tissue and save the tooth.

Dental Fillings Or Bonding

In some cases, dental fillings or bonding materials may be used to repair minor decay or damage.

Extraction Of The Tooth

Extraction may be the only option in severe cases where the decay is extensive, or the tooth is beyond repair. This is usually followed by tooth replacement options, such as dental implants or bridges.

Maintaining Dental Health With A Crown

To ensure the longevity of your crown and maintain optimal dental health, follow these guidelines:

Brushing And Flossing Techniques

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently in circular motions. Clean around the gum line and pay attention to the areas around the crown.

Using Interdental Brushes Or Floss Picks

These tools can help clean hard-to-reach areas between teeth and around the crown.

Regular Professional Cleanings

Schedule regular dental cleanings to remove plaque or tartar buildup and ensure the crown and surrounding teeth are in good condition.

Avoiding Harmful Habits

Refrain from teeth grinding, nail-biting, and chewing on hard objects, as these habits can damage both the crown and natural teeth.

Tooth Decay Under Crown – Conclusion

In conclusion, tooth decay under a crown is a preventable condition with proper oral hygiene practices, regular dental check-ups, and early intervention. By following these suggestions, you can maintain a healthy smile and ensure the longevity of your dental crown.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can tooth decay under a crown be prevented?

Yes, tooth decay under a crown can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly, and avoiding harmful habits.

2. How often should I visit the dentist if I have a crown?

You should visit your dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cleanings, even if you have a crown.

3. Is it possible to repair a decayed tooth under a crown without extraction?

In some cases, decayed teeth under a crown can be repaired through the removal of the decay and placement of a new crown. However, severe decay may require extraction.

4. What should I do if I experience discomfort or pain around my crown?

If you experience discomfort or pain around your crown, it is essential to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

5. How long does a crown typically last?

With proper care and maintenance, a dental crown can last between 10 to 15 years or even longer. However, regular dental check-ups are necessary to monitor the condition of the crown and underlying tooth.

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Matt Collins

Matt Collins established this website passionate about helping as many people as possible live better lives by supporting healthy gums and teeth and providing the best information for everyone.

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