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Why is My Crown Loose?

September 18, 2014
Posted By: Dr. Bray
image of a dental crown in high point nc

We bet that you or someone you know has a dental crown. The reason for their popularity is simple - they are one of the most widely used dental restorations available. Crowns are pretty versatile too – they not only provide strength and protection for damaged teeth, but can also be used for certain cosmetic flaws.

Of course, dental crowns placed by Dr. Bray are very durable, lasting from ten to twenty years with proper care. But a crown can loosen or even fall off for any one of a number of reasons. Here’s are some typical reasons why a dental crown may fail:

Deteriorating Dental Cement

The cement that we use to hold your crown firmly in place is designed to be durable and take many years of use and abuse. But it’s not indestructible and can gradually degrade over time, causing the crown to become loose and possibly fall out.

However, all is not lost if this happens. Dr. Bray will check the underlying structure of your tooth to make sure it’s sound and healthy. If he doesn’t find any damage to the tooth, and the crown is still in good shape, there’s a good chance we may be able to cement it securely back in place.

Underlying Decay

A dental crown is a prosthetic, so it will not decay, but your natural tooth can. Decay commonly develops along the gum line where the tooth and crown meet. Since the underlying structure of your tooth can change with decay, we may or may not be able to save the crown.

The decay will need to be removed from the tooth and a new filling will need to be placed. After the tooth is filled, it may be possible to place the existing crown back on the tooth. If not, Dr. Bray will need to make a new crown.

Chewy or Crunchy Foods

Have you ever popped a luscious caramel into your mouth only to think, “I hope I don’t pull my crown loose!” Common sense tells you which foods to avoid when you have a crown, but we understand that everyone needs to indulge once in a while.

That one gooey caramel probably won’t do any harm, but you can be sure of one thing - eating a lot of chewy or gummy foods and candies will definitely loosen a crown over time. Keep in mind that if your crown is already loose for one of the reasons above, it just takes is one chewy piece of taffy or caramel to pull the crown off.

Excessive Stress on Your Teeth

Dental crowns are designed to provide function and withstand years of wear and tear. But if you’re using your crown for things like opening bottles (!!) or bags of chips, you’re weakening the cement, and your crown will gradually loosen.

Grinding and clenching also places tremendous force on your teeth, especially your molars. Over time, this constant stress will cause the wear down your crown. If you grind your teeth, let us know.

Maintain a Schedule of Regular Checkups

The best way to avoid problems with your dental crown is to maintain a consistent schedule of visits to our office for exams and cleanings. During your regular checkups, we can check the condition of your crowns to make sure they are secure.

If your crown does become loose or fall off, call our High Point dental office right away. There’s a good chance we may be able to cement it back in place.


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