Dental crowns are a great way to protect a tooth that is too damaged for a dental filing. With proper dental hygiene crowns can last a good while, but there is a myth floating around that claims that the crown can completely protect the damaged tooth underneath. This is simply false, and can ultimately lead to losing the damaged tooth entirely.

young adult man looking at his teeth in mirror

Decay Underneath

When property utilized, dental crowns work by covering and protecting a damaged tooth. What most people do not realize is that infections and decay can start at the gum line, which also happens to be the weak spot in the crown. When you eat and drink, and do not properly brush and floss afterward, food can collect at the margin where the crown meets the gum line. This is especially true with crowns that are poorly made as that margin between the crown and the gum line will be larger.

Crowns made with modern materials that can be thinner at the margins and properly placed will have very small margins and won’t collect much in the way of food or plaque.

Gum Disease

Another factor that can play into this is gum disease. Gum disease initially causes inflammation and bleeding of the gums. If left untreated this can lead to periodontal disease which causes the gum line to recede. A receding gum line means that the margin between the crown and gum line becomes even more exposed and leaves the damaged tooth vulnerable to infection. This is definitely not a situation that you would want to be in!

Save the Crown!

Despite all of this serious information there is no need to panic! Keeping up with your dental hygiene is the best way to save the crown and the damaged tooth underneath. It is also a good idea to be mindful of what you are eating. There are many foods and drinks that can help promote good dental health such as cranberries and even wasabi! One of the most important things you can do is visit your dentist regularly for checkups. If you need an appointment be sure to contact us online, or give us a call at (509) 532-1111.