Dentistry
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Updated on October 3, 2022

Loose Crown

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Loose Crown Overview 

Dental crowns can become loose for various reasons and without any notice. If your dental crown becomes loose, the first step is to make an appointment with your dentist. 

However, you can take steps to manage the loose crown while you wait to see your doctor.

Crowns can last between 5 and 15 years (or even up to 30 years with excellent dental care, depending on the material of the crown). To ensure your crown stays in good health, practicing optimal oral care at home and getting professional teeth cleanings every six months is essential.

5 Things to Do if Your Crown is Loose

There are some precautions you can take before your appointment to ensure the crown doesn’t fall out:

1. Apply temporary dental cement

If your crown is very loose, apply an over-the-counter (OTC) dental cement as a temporary solution before your appointment.

To apply the cement, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the remaining cement stuck under your crown with a toothbrush 
  2. Dry your tooth and crown with gauze, and then place just a little bit of the temporary dental cement in the crown
  3. After the cement is placed, bite down on another piece of gauze for 5 minutes (this allows the adhesive to set)

Do not use super glue to cement the crown, as this can permanently damage the tooth, gums, and crown. 

2. Don’t touch the crown 

If your loose crown has not fallen out, refrain from touching it. Wiggling the crown can damage the underlying tooth structure. 

3. Limit or avoid crunchy and sticky foods

Sticky foods like gum, candy, beef jerky, chewy bread, and similar foods can loosen or pull off crowns.

Crunchy foods, like raw vegetables, chips, apples, and crackers, should also be avoided. If your crown is already loose, do not eat these foods until it has been recemented or replaced. Also, try to chew all food on the opposite side of the mouth. 

4. Take OTC pain relievers

If your crown is causing pain, you can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications to relieve any discomfort. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are two common options.

Do not take more than the recommended daily dose for your age group. You can also apply a numbing agent to the affected area. Orajel™ Severe Toothache & Gum Relief Plus Triple Medicated Gel is the most commonly used ointment for oral pain.

5. Talk to your dentist

If your crown falls out before your appointment, make sure you keep it (unless it is broken). Your dentist can likely recement the existing crown if it still fits well and there is no decay underneath.

What Can Cause a Loose Crown?

Here are some reasons why your crown may be loose:

Amount of time the crown has been in place

Your crown may begin breaking down over time. 

This is normal and requires an evaluation by a dentist. During the appointment, your dentist will examine the crown and underlying tooth structure and check if it is damaged. If either is damaged, you may need a new crown. 

Constant teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)

Bruxism, which refers to the habit of clenching and grinding the teeth while awake or sleeping, can lead to loose dental restorations. If you are a “heavy bruxer,” your crown may become loose quicker. 

Tooth decay under the crown

If your loose crown has sensitivity and pain, a cavity may have formed underneath the crown.

Food particles and oral bacteria can accumulate under the crown or on the tooth's root surface if you have poor oral hygiene. This results in tooth decay over time. Therefore, you must visit your dentist as soon as possible to ensure the cavity doesn’t become larger. 

Poorly fitting crown

Some crowns may be in good shape but were fitted incorrectly, making them more likely to loosen over time.

Crowns can also become loose while the dental cement is setting. If this is the cause, you’ll notice the loose crown within a few days after placement. 

Mouth damage and trauma

Trauma, accidents, and facial injuries can result in loose dental restorations, including crowns. 

Eating sticky foods regularly

Sticky foods like gum, candy, beef jerky, chewy bread, and similar foods can cause loose crowns. Refrain from eating these foods in excess if you have a dental crown. 

Signs & Symptoms of a Loose Crown

A crown can last for many years with proper care. However, sometimes crowns wear out sooner than expected.

Here are some common signs your crown requires an evaluation:

  • The crown is wobblier than your surrounding natural teeth (most apparent sign) 
  • Food is getting stuck where the gum line meets the dental crown
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to hot or cold food
  • Tooth sensitivity to chewing pressure and air exposure
  • Pain or throbbing under the crown
  • A crack or fracture of the crown 

Is it Normal for a Crown to Feel Loose But Not Fall Out?

Permanent dental crowns should not feel loose because they should be firmly bonded to your teeth. 

Healthy adult teeth move slightly if you pull on them, but they will not feel loose. Crowns should feel the same way. 

Can a Dentist Repair a Loose Crown?

Most loose dental crowns can be repaired by your dentist relatively quickly.

Before the repair, your dentist will examine the underlying tooth to ensure it isn’t severely damaged. If the crown fits well but the dental cement fails, they will simply re-cement the crown onto your tooth. 

stainless steel crown

If a cavity is under the crown, your dentist will remove the cavity first. Then they will replace the crown. 

Waiting too long to restore a loose crown can result in the crown falling out. If the crown fits well and there’s no decay in the underlying tooth, you may be able to have it recemented. However, you'll need a new crown if the dental crown is damaged beyond repair.

Is a Loose Crown a Dental Emergency?

A loose crown can be a dental emergency if it is about to fall out, causes extreme pain, or triggers severe tooth sensitivity. If the crown is slightly loose, set up a regular appointment with your dentist within the next few days. A loose crown should never go untreated.

6 Sources Cited
Last updated on October 3, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. “Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) in Children Age 2 to 11.” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. D., Da Silva John, et al. Oxford American Handbook of Clinical Dentistry. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  3. “Emerging Trends in Oral Health Sciences and Dentistry.” InTech, 2015, 
  4. Hollins, Carole. Basic Guide to Dental Procedures. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2015.
  5. Pham, D. Young. “Signs That Your Dental Crown Needs to Be Replaced.” Dentist Chula Vista, 2 Aug. 2019.
  6. Sharma, Ashu, et al. “Removal of Failed Crown and Bridge.” Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, Medicina Oral S.L., 1 July 2012.
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