My dentist placed crowns on my top left second bicuspid, first molar, and second molar in late October. I do not have any wisdom teeth left. I had deep decay and old fillings in all three teeth. I feel radiating pain when I chew on the left side of my mouth, but I cannot tell which teeth hurt. When I put pressure on the teeth with my finger, two seem to hurt more than the others.
My dentist adjusted the crowns twice but said I have an aggressive bite when I chew. He suggested chewing on the right side of my mouth. I disagree with him because I did not have the problem before getting new crowns. The pain almost feels like nerve exposure. Should I ask for new crowns? Thank you. Blake
Thank you for your question.
Dr. Gavrilos would need to examine your teeth and crowns and take x-rays to identify the cause of your discomfort, but we will provide general information.
Why Do Your New Crowns Hurt When You Chew?
If your new crowns hurt when chewing, two possible causes are your bite (how your upper and lower teeth meet) or a tooth infection.
- Adjusting your bite – When your bite is too high, the lower teeth hit the crowned teeth with more force than the other teeth. The repetition makes the teeth sensitive. Over time, your jaw muscles and joints can become irritated and sore. You may also experience neck pain, earaches, or headaches. These symptoms are related to TMJ disorder.
- Tooth infection – Your dentist can take x-rays to see if your crowned teeth are infected. The intensity of your pain sounds like you may need root canal treatment. Sometimes signs of infection are subtle and require a root canal specialist’s skill (endodontist) to detect the infection.
Will You Need New Crowns After Root Canal Treatment?
You will only need new crowns if your current crowns are defective or contributing to your tooth irritation. An endodontist or dentist skilled in root canal treatment can make an opening through your new crowns to access the infected tooth pulp and perform root canal treatment.
Barrington, Illinois, accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. James Gavrilos sponsors this post. Dr. Gavrilos prefers restoring damaged and decayed teeth with porcelain onlays as a conservative alternative to dental crowns.