I had two crowns put in (I believe #19 and 31) approximately 1.5 years ago. One was a replacement porcelain crown. The other was for one of my molars (#19) that was extrememly sensitive to bite pressure.
After the new crowns were installed, I began to notice sensitivity to cold and bite pressure. I asked my dentist and he said that this was normal after this type of procedure. I asked if I may need a root canal and he said that the X-rays did not show anything and that he didn’t think it was warranted. After a short while, the pain associated with the bite pressure went away. I never felt any discomfort with hot foods. After 1.5 years, I still feel pain when eating cold things and recently started to experience pain with bite pressure. I have contacted my dentist on two separate occasions over the 1.5 years and each time, he stated that this will either eventually go away or will be permanent. Can you provide me with your thoughts on what might be causing this pain and recommend my next course of action to get rid of this pain? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Gene from California
I can’t really tell what is wrong with your tooth without an x-ray and testing it, but it sounds as if it may need root canal treatment.
Pain to cold indicates that the pulp of the tooth is irritated. When the pain to cold lingers, it indicates that the irritation will not get better on its own, and the tooth needs root canal treatment.
Pain to biting could mean that the bite is off, or that the tooth has a traumatic injury, or that the tissue around the end of the tooth is infected from the beginnings of a tooth abscess. When the pain to biting just appeared seemingly out of nowhere with a tooth that has had long-term cold sensitivity, my first suspicion is that there has been a long-standing slight infection in that tooth, and that infection has spread to the end of the root. An infected tooth will not get better on its own – it will need a root canal treatment.
Have your dentist look this tooth over very carefully and test it. If he is unsure, ask for a referral to a specialist.