Top reasons crowns come loose

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  • By
  • February 18, 2019
  • Many dental patients have received crowns through the years, and many people have heard about crowns failing and becoming loose or falling off. However, advances in dental sciences have made this a rarer occurrence, but it can still happen. If you’ve recently received a crown, you may be wondering what causes a crown to become loose and are there ways that you can avoid it. Fortunately, there are some general reasons that crowns come loose and certainly some basic practices that you can do to help maintain your crowns and dental health for years.

    Tooth Decay – Crowns themselves are not susceptible to decay, but the underlying tooth can still become infected and experience decay. If this decay isn’t caught early, it can lead to significant changes in the tooth and eventually lead to crown failure. While the crown is designed to protect the tooth, there is still potential for infection. Sometimes this infection is left over from before the crown was even placed. If all the damaged or diseased tissue in the tooth is not removed, decay can continue after the crown is placed.

    Decay can also enter the tooth through the roots of the teeth. This is often seen when patients have gum recession after the crown is placed. This exposes the underlying roots to a potential infection.

    Dietary Choices – Many sugary foods, particularly foods that are sticky can often lead to the weakening of the cement that is used to bond the crown to the tooth. Foods like caramel, taffy, or toffees can pull on the crown and can eventually break the crown free from the tooth. Eating foods that don’t have as much potential to pull the crown away from the tooth can help increase the life expectancy of a crown and reduce your time at the dentist’s office.

    Cement Failure – Advances in dental science have created stronger cements for modern crowns to be attached to teeth, so failure is less common. However, many patients that received their crowns many years ago may be more likely to experience a failure of the underlying chemical bond. Fortunately, this issue is often quickly resolved by your dentist. Your dentist can clean away any old cement from the tooth and crown, apply new cement, and glue the crown back in place. This process is a routine procedure for many dentists today.

    Weakened Tooth Structure – Crowns are placed on teeth that have already experienced some level of damage and decay. While your dentist will prepare the tooth for a crown, sometimes so much of the tooth is no longer present that a crown won’t last as long as would otherwise be expected. Additionally, sometimes these damaged teeth will fall out if the damage is just too great.

    Heavy Grinding – Patients that experience bruxism, a condition that causes people to grind their teeth, often see more rapid failure of their crowns. While the crown is designed to take the stresses of everyday chewing, heavily grinding your teeth can wear down the bond between the crown and the tooth. If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about treating bruxism to avoid damaging your crowns and your other teeth.

    Traumatic Injury – Taking a blow to the mouth can jar a crown loose rapidly. Many people that are involved in impact sports or in activities where there is a possibility to hit their face should always wear proper safety equipment. Many sports offer mouthguards specifically designed to protect your teeth. If you have a problem wearing some of these mouthguards, you can also talk to your dentist to get a mouthguard that is specifically designed for you. This often increases the comfort of the product and allows you to wear it more easily.


    Many patients who have a crown may experience it loosening or coming off at some point in their lives. I this happens to you, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get it put back on as soon as possible.