Do Crowns Decay?

Crowns are covers for damaged teeth. Crowns provide a grinding or biting surface and make your tooth work well and look like your other teeth. When your dentist tells you a crown needs to be replaced, it’s natural to ask, “Do crowns decay?”dental_care_phoenix

“No, the material of the crown itself will not decay,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix office. “But everything that comes in contact with the crown—the original tooth structure, gums, even the bone in which the crowned tooth sits—all those can hold decay,” Dr. Ford continues.

Once the crown is in place, the mouth continues to change. Age or medication can make the gum tissue recede. Once the crown is no longer underneath the gum line, there is a way for decay to work its way into the remaining tooth.

Receding gums create pockets that are deep and impossible to clean by yourself at home. Only professional dental care can reduce pockets and the bacteria that hide in them.

One of the problems with decay is that it isn’t always obvious. If the decay is on the back of the tooth or under the crown, it can be advanced before it begins to hurt and is discovered.

Some medications cause dry mouth, a condition that allows the gum to shrink and develop pockets. “That’s why we want to know about your medication,” says Dr. Ford. “If you are taking something that we know causes dry mouth, we are going to pay special attention to preventing decay.”

Dr. Ford also warns that gum tissue follows the bone level, and that root planing or scaling can reduce gum tissues, creating a gap between the crown and the gum line.

Dr. Ford’s office is aware of all the factors of crown care. “We constantly keep a watch on the changes in your mouth,” says Dr. Ford. “Any change that might bring on decay is one we watch and may recommend treatment for. The more we know about your health history, the more we can provide effective care and prevent tooth damage.”

Regular visits and great dental care, not only make you smile, they make your smile sparkle.


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