I received a dental implant on a left incisor and crowns on all front six teeth. I received the other crowns to close a large gap between my front teeth. Now my speech is slurred and lispy, and I have neck and jaw pain, dry mouth, and numbness in my lips. I regret closing my gap. Are the crowns causing this problem? If so, I want them removed, and I will keep my gap. – Dahlia from CT
Closing your gap is not the issue, but the quality of your crown placement is the problem. Correctly sized and seated crowns do not create the symptoms you described.
When Dental Crowns Cause Symptoms
When dental crowns cause symptoms, including pain, numbness, or dry mouth, it could be that the crowns are too thick, too long, or both.
- Oversized crowns – Oversized crowns can prevent your lips from closing naturally and effortlessly.
- Lip incompetence – When your bite is correct and you put your teeth together, your lips should close naturally without thinking about it or trying to close them. Your lip numbness and dry mouth suggest you have lip incompetence—the ability to close your gaps naturally.
- Thick crowns – Too-thick crowns can disrupt your bite (the way your upper and lower teeth fit together) and cause jaw and neck pain. Speech problems can result, too.
What to Do About Faulty Crowns
When dental crowns cause pain and dry mouth, you must find a cosmetic dentist to correct the issue. A dry mouth and lack of saliva breeds bacteria and promotes rapid tooth decay. Saliva contains antibodies to help fight decay, so don’t let the problems linger.
We recommend that you find an advanced cosmetic dentist—preferably accredited—for a second opinion. It is challenging for a dentist to place multiple crowns simultaneously and balance your bite correctly. But a trained cosmetic dentist who understands occlusion and bite (how your teeth fit together and come in contact when you bite) can evaluate your case.
The cosmetic dentist will do the following:
- identify the cause of your symptoms
- determine if your implant crown is affected
- explain your treatment options
Unfortunately, you may need new crowns. But your oral health is essential to your well-being.
Michael Szarek, DMD, an accredited cosmetic dentist in Lowell, MA, sponsors this post.