Dental Crown Pain: Causes and Treatments

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on April 28, 2022

Our Castle Hills, TX, dental clinic most commonly uses dental crowns to treat cavities. Ordinarily, dental crowns protect sensitive dental tissue and prevent cavities from spreading to other teeth. Although dental crowns are a long-lasting restoration, they are not infallible.

Dental crown pain is an indicator that something more serious is occurring. Below, the team at Castle Hills Family Dental will explore common causes of dental crown pain, when it’s time to seek help, and what we can do about it.

Common Causes of Dental Crown Pain

A dental crown is just as vulnerable to damage and disease as natural teeth. Common causes of pain in a dental crown may include:

  • An infection
  • Cavities
  • A cracked crown or tooth
  • Gum recession


Our Castle Hills team frequently uses dental crowns to cover a tooth following root canal therapy. Although root canal therapy is nearly 98% effective, it is still possible for the therapy to fail.

Typically, root canal failure is due to incomplete removal of all infected material from the tooth. Covering the tooth with a dental crown may offer some protection, but the infection will continue to grow and spread without proper remediation.


Dental crowns can keep cavities from spreading to your healthy, surrounding teeth. This does not mean, however, that the tooth covered with the dental crown can no longer get cavities.

A dental crown can protect tissue above the gumline, but it does not protect tissue below it. Unfortunately, the same bacteria and plaque that cause cavities above the gumline can extend below it as well. Subsequently, teeth with dental crowns are still vulnerable to cavities.

Cracked Tooth or Crown

Bruxism is a condition that causes unconscious teeth clenching or grinding while sleeping. As a result, bruxism can place approximately 162 psi on the teeth and jaws, which is enough pressure to crack teeth and dental crowns.

A cracked dental crown can expose a tiny portion of the original tooth, resulting in extreme sensitivity. Hot and cold food items and airflow over the cracked dental crown may become unbearably painful for patients.

Gum Recession

When a dentist places a dental crown, they cannot anticipate gum recession caused by gum disease or forceful brushing. This means that gum recession around a dental crown may expose more of the original tooth, making it vulnerable to cavities and infections.

When to See a Dentist

Persistent oral pain that doesn’t go away after two weeks must be addressed with a professional to prevent further issues. If you’re noticing increasing tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or normal breathing, then contact our team immediately.

Patients have many options to treat a painful dental crown, including:

  • Replacing a damaged dental crown
  • Treating a newly-developed cavity
  • Removing an infection with root canal therapy
  • Extracting a severely damaged tooth

Our team will always strive to save as much of the existing tooth structure as possible. However, your health, budget, and aesthetic goals will help us deliver treatment tailored specifically to you.

Stop the Pain–Schedule an Appointment Now

If you’re ready to discuss dental crown pain with the talented team at Castle Hills Family Dental, then request an appointment online here or call us at (210) 405-1257.