What’s That Lurking Under Your Bridge? Why the Teeth Under Your Bridge Are Aching

When several of a patient's teeth are in poor condition, a dental bridge is a good solution to restore those teeth to their former functionality and appearance. Dental bridges are also ideal for patients who are unable to afford multiple dental implants. Moreover, dental bridges are superior to dentures in every way and so are a good alternative when extraction is necessary.

However, if after your dental bridge has been placed you begin to feel pain, you should return to a dentist as soon as you can so they can diagnose the problem. Abutment teeth can ache for several reasons.

Tooth Decay Might Be the Cause

Even if a dental crown fits perfectly and is tightly sealed at the margin, eventually, the glue that binds the crown to the tooth may wear away, leaving a gap that can be exploited by bacteria. Once bacteria find their way under a crown, they cause the tooth to decay from the inside. If the tooth's nerve is still intact, i.e., if a root canal has not been performed on the tooth, it may become irritated by the bacteria.

This could be the cause of the toothache. It is also a sign that the nerve is dying. Your dentist will need to remove the bridge in order to assess the damage to the abutment tooth. The tooth may need a root canal, and if the decay is severe, you may need to replace the crown.

Abutment Teeth Can Crack

In a standard bridge with one false tooth, the abutment teeth on either side are under more pressure than usual since they are required to support the false tooth. No matter how well a crown fits, one of those abutment teeth could crack under the strain. Those cracks will allow bacteria to enter and infect the tooth, causing toothache.

If the damage is minimal, then a root canal will first be required to remove the infection. Then the damage can be repaired and the crown replaced. However, if the crack is severe, for example, if it extends to the root, the tooth may need to be extracted as it is no longer strong enough to support a bridge.

Newly Bridged Teeth Are Sensitive

If the pain you are experiencing tends to present itself when you drink hot or cold drinks, your teeth might simply be more sensitive than usual because they are not yet used to the bridge. It is normal then, to experience some sensitivity in the days following the placement of a dental bridge. However, you should still visit your dentist so they can verify that everything is as it should be.

If your abutment teeth are causing you pain, don't wait and hope the pain will go away on its own. This may be just the beginning of something more serious. Book a dental appointment and have a dentist examine the bridge for the cause, otherwise you risk losing the bridge.