Did Bruxism Cause Your Crown To Break Overnight? 3 Steps To Take Immediately
Dental crowns are designed to last for many years with proper care, yet they are susceptible to the same types of damage that occur to natural teeth from nighttime tooth grinding. Over time, the constant pressure on your crown from the opposing teeth can cause porcelain and resin crowns to crack. Even metal crowns could come loose if the grinding causes the underlying cement to weaken. Although waking up to a broken crown is quite upsetting, you can take these three steps to care for your oral health until it is repaired.
Assess the Damage
Depending upon the type of material your crown is made from, it may merely have a small chip or crack that does not interfere with the seal. In this case, you may be able to leave the crown in your mouth until you see the emergency dentist. Special dental wax may be placed over the broken portion of the crown if sharp edges rub agains your gums or cheeks. However, a crown that is severely loose may need to be kept out of your mouth to prevent you from swallowing it. If this is the case, simply take store the crown in a safe place while you wait for your appointment.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
A broken crown is considered a dental emergency in most cases, especially if you are experiencing severe sensitivity or pain. When you call to schedule the appointment, be sure to let the person on the phone know if you are experiencing extreme discomfort. They may be able to offer recommendations for pain relief or for ways to temporarily place the crown back in your mouth if it is still in one piece. You may also want to expedite the appointment if the missing crown is in a prominent location such as the front of the mouth.
Use Caution With Eating and Drinking
Crowns are typically used to provide strength to teeth that are weakened after a large filling, fracture or root canal. Now that the crown is off, the underlying tooth structure is vulnerable to further damage. Avoid chewing on the side of your mouth until the crown is repaired, and you may also need to abstain from food and drinks that are extremely hot or cold to minimize sensitivity.
For many people, a broken crown is the first sign of bruxism. If this is the case for you, then make sure ask the dentist about ways to prevent this from happening again. After the restoration of your crown, you may be a candidate for a special type of mouth guard that you can wear as you sleep to preserve your smile. For more information, contact companies like Milner Dentistry.