Dental crowns, especially when treated well, can last for many years without incident. However, when a crown progresses to a certain age or becomes damaged due to external factors, it can present a problem for the patient. If you want to be able to tell if there's something wrong with your crown before it becomes critical, or completely breaks or falls off, here are three common warning signs that you should look out for.


Depending on the purpose of your dental crown, it may either be kept in place with dental cement, a dental implant, or both. While these methods differ, the one thing they have in common is that your dental crown should be firmly planted in place and not move around. If you notice that your crown seems to be loose, wiggling, or shifts when you're trying to eat or speak, that's one of the first signs that a problem is developing. In many cases, this just means that the dental cement is weakening or has become damaged. In some cases, it may be possible for a dentist to remove an intact but loose crown, remove the old dental cement, and then replace it without any additional expenses. However, the longer your crown is loose, the more likely it is to be damaged from chewing or other pressure, so don't wait to get help.


Another problem people often fail to notice is that their dental crowns feel rough when they run their tongue over them. Dental crowns are designed to be indistinguishable from real teeth, which are naturally smooth and slick to the touch. If your dental crown feels rough or jagged, that either means that the material is breaking down or has already chipped or cracked. Since the tongue is very sensitive, it can sometimes pick up irregularities that aren't easily visible to the naked eye, so don't depend upon your vision to confirm or deny whether or not there's a problem. A dentist can easily determine this via examination.


Finally, if you're noticing sensitivity in the tooth that the crown is covering or the gums under it, that likely indicates there's a problem. A dental crown is designed to protect whatever it's covering, whether it's a real tooth or a dental implant. In the case of a tooth, sensitivity usually means that some kind of opening has developed either in or under the crown, allowing the nerve of the tooth to be touched. This is dangerous because that portion of the tooth may also be more susceptible to decay if it comes into contact with bacteria or plaque. Similarly, sensitivity in the gums with a real tooth or dental implant may indicate the same issue.

If you notice any of these problems, stop by a dentist's office to have your crown examined. It may be time for a new one, or you may be able to simply get your current one repaired. Either way, getting help soon will mean the difference between a big expense and an easy and quick visit.