Decay Under Crown: How To Fix It & Find It

It is essential to fix decay under the crown of a tooth as it can lead to serious health concerns. Brown and grey spots show up on the tooth material around a crown where pearly whites should be. These spots indicate tooth decay, which can be the culprit of nerve damage. Decay under crowns starts with a buildup of a sticky yellow plaque film. Plaque contains bacteria that attacks the teeth and combines with saliva to mineralize into a hard, crusty yellow or brown tartar. Tartar deposits adhere to the teeth, trap stains, and accumulate. If the problem persists, it can damage nerves, lead to root canals and other complicated procedures. The cavity under crown repair process is to remove the old crown, remove the decay, and replace the crown.

What causes Decay Under Crown?

After someone eats, the food left on the teeth and surrounding areas becomes a feast for harmful bacteria. So what causes tooth decay under crowns? This bacteria lives within the plaque that lives inside of mouths. The bacteria microbes sustain themselves through sugar. Consequently, they flourish from leftover food. Acid develops from the bacteria, attacking and damaging the enamel. This acid creates holes in the teeth, also known as tooth decay.

Regularly brushing and flossing teeth removes plaque. Having a dentist monitor and clean one’s teeth also helps remove plaque. Most importantly, dentists can notice signs of decay before the decay worsens. Neglecting these oral hygiene steps will result in plaque becoming trapped under crowns and in the cracks of teeth. As a result, the plaque causes decay under crowns.   

What happens if you get a rotting tooth under a crown? 

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Crowns are covers that are connected on top of teeth to improve them when they have problems. These problems include cracked teeth and cavities that are too large for a filling. When decay occurs, it happens around the crown’s edges on the natural tooth and quickly spreads underneath the crown. Consequently, the old crown needs to be removed, along with the decay. 

After that, dentists must add a new crown. Sometimes the decaying eats through the natural tooth entirely and destroys the nerves. In these cases, if dentists can still save the tooth, a root canal will need to be performed before adding a new crown. 

When a tooth has already had a crown, the new crown’s edges will need to be deeper. The process requires this additional depth because of the space left from where the dentist removed the decay. Fixing a rotting tooth under a crown is a difficult process and may require a crown specialist.

How to identify cavity under crown symptoms 

Sometimes the size of the area affected by decay under crowns is relatively small. However, decay under a crown is always unpleasant, with the ability to cause severe damage. There may be brown and grey spots that one can see. But some of the signs of decay are less specific. Dentists can X-ray to look for decay under crowns. Even so, a more in-depth examination may be necessary through a second opinion. 

Other signs of a cavity under a crown to look for include crown tooth pain or sensitivity, inflamed gums, and bleeding while practicing routine oral hygiene. Keeping up with regular dental appointments and going in as soon as one suspects any signs of decay under crowns will make a difference in their oral health.

How to prevent dental crown pain

Crown tooth pain is caused by plaque, which can be removed by brushing and flossing. To avoid having the bacteria in the plaque cause damage and pain under the crown, one should keep up with routine oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly. One final way is to preserve a dental crown’s integrity is to avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods, especially ice.

Stop decay before it starts with regular checkups from Dr. Wilhite’s dental team. Our practice is here to deliver high-quality dentistry to the Plano, Texas, community. We want to keep you happy and your smile healthy!

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Decay Under Crowns FAQs 

How do I know if my tooth crown is infected?

Crown tooth pain, swollen gums, tooth sensitivity, and fever can all be signs of an infected tooth crown.

Why does my crown smell bad?

Dentists use dental cement to put crowns in place. Over time the cement wears down, leaving space for material like bacteria and food to enter. This bacteria can lead to a bad smell. Space for bacteria to flourish can also occur if a crown becomes loose for any reason. 

How do you clean under a crown?

Good flossing technique keeps plaque from causing issues. Floss should be threaded and moved through the space between the crown and the gumline. Regular brushing also helps clean around the crown. 

How does a dentist remove a crown? 

Removal of temporary crowns is standard practice. Dentists gently pry temporary crowns. This action causes the dental cement that holds the crown and tooth together to break. Dentists may take alternative methods for other more permanent crowns. The first of these methods is cutting a hole in the crown and using it to lift the crown from the tooth. The second is cutting into the crown with a high-speed rotary instrument in which case the crown is not reusable.


\"Plano David Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

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If you’re looking for the most skilled and dependable dentist in Texas, look no further than Dr. Wilhite. With unrivaled expertise, countless awards and accolades, and a deep commitment to his patients, there isn’t a challenge Dr. Wilhite can’t handle. Now that you know what to expect from your first visit with the dental offices of Dr. Wilhite in Plano, TX, it’s time to set up your appointment.