Dental crowns are effective restorations that protect damaged teeth and restore the aesthetics of your smile. Though crowns are built to last a long time, some habits can cause them to break or fall off long before their time.
Eating Too Many Sticky or Chewy Foods
Crowns are designed to withstand the force of chewing, but are affixed to damaged teeth rather than being a solid tooth structure on their own. Being exposed to the constant pull of sticky foods can eventually work your crown loose. It will not happen right away, so don’t be too afraid of having an occasional jellybean or enjoying a seasonal toffee, but over time the effect can be significant. These foods aren’t too good for your natural teeth, anyway, so enjoy them sparingly.
Using Your Teeth as a Tool
Your teeth are important tools for processing food and speaking, but should never be used in any other manner. Opening plastic or glass bottles or tearing into plastic packaging with your teeth can crack, chip, and loosen dental crowns. You can also damage your other teeth by using them as inappropriate tools.
Chewing Hard Foods Like Hard Candies
Hard foods have a propensity for chipping and cracking teeth. Crunching down on hard foods can also damage crowns. Hard candies are a frequent offender because it is difficult for many people to stick to their original intentions of not chewing the candy.
Clenching and Grinding
Bruxism is another common enemy of dental crowns. Although new technologies have made it so that grinding will not damage today’s crowns as quickly as crowns in the past, it is still damaging over time. And it can lead to excessive wear of your other teeth, too, leading to the need for additional crowns.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Just like with any other teeth, it is important to brush teeth being protected by dental crowns. This is partly to prevent gum disease, and partly to clean the tooth beneath the crown. Teeth protected by crowns are just as susceptible to decay as any other tooth in your mouth. Decay may develop along the crown’s base, weakening the tooth structure where it supports the crown. Advanced decay can result in the loss of the crown. Even worse, the tooth can become infected and we may have to remove the crown for a root canal. In teeth that have already been restored with a root canal. extensive damage can still lead to extraction.
What You can Do if Your Crown Falls Off or Breaks
Sometimes, bad habits can cause the crown to fall off or break. If you cannot visit your dentist, you may be able to phone your dental office and discuss the possibility of using a temporary emergency crown fixative. Do not use super glue or other toxic adhesives to affix the crown. Keep the crown out of your mouth until you are able to discuss options with your dentist to avoid accidentally swallowing it. You should also check the inside of the crown for tooth fragments to see if the crown was pulled loose, or if the tooth itself failed and share that information with your dentist.
To learn more about taking care of your dental crowns, please call 845-627-7645 for an appointment at B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack.