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Common Symptoms For a Crown That is Too High

Updated: Oct 31

The most common complication after getting a new dental crown is when the bite feels too high meaning there is discomfort when you bite down.


ceramic molar crown
ceramic molar crown

All of the discomfort stems from the tooth cap being too bulky or too big. If you've experienced a high bite before such as with other crowns or fillings, you'd know how annoying it could be.


Common symptoms

A crown with a high bite has a couple of distinctive signs but most notably, it feels too high when you bite.


Signs and symptoms:

  • Whenever you close your teeth together they hurt.

  • It hurts whenever you're eating or chewing food.

  • However, there is no discomfort if you're not eating or when your teeth are apart.


Note: These symptoms apply to all types of crowns whether they're all ceramic, metal, gold or even implant crowns. Yes, implant crowns can experience discomfort from a high bite as well.


Pain from biting down

A common symptom of a crown with a high bite is pain when you close your teeth together. It doesn't have to be when you're eating because the simple acting of biting down will cause discomfort.


This is one of the signs that your bite is off. In fact, when your dentist was checking your bite after they glued in the crown, they probably asked you to bite on blue paper. The act of tapping your teeth together on blue paper is how they check your bite.



You may call it a high bite but your dentist calls it high occlusion. That blue paper is called articulating paper and it is used to detect high occlusion.


Pain when chewing

Sometimes closing your teeth together may not hurt but it does hurt only when you're chewing. It is only symptomatic while you're chewing on food.


That is another common sign of a high bite but the fact that it only occurs when you're eating means that it is not as severe. However it still indicates that bite is off.


No pain when teeth are apart

Most importantly, a sign of a crown with a high bite is zero pain when your teeth are apart. That means you shouldn't be experiencing any discomfort if the teeth aren't touching.


If you are experiencing discomfort even with the teeth apart, it may be indicative of another type of problem with your crown. A tooth cap with a high occlusion should only bother you if you're occluding your teeth together.


Non-indicative symptoms

Patients often mistake other symptoms for a crown with a high bite, however they are indicative of a different type of complication. Here are some common symptoms which may mean something else.


Signs & symptoms not related to a crown that is too high:

  • Tooth randomly hurts where the toothache comes and goes.

  • A raging toothache that wakes you up while you're sleeping.

  • Tooth is sensitive when you're eating hot or cold foods.


Spontaneous toothache

You would randomly get tooth pain even while you're not eating. That is in fact a tell-tale sign of tooth nerve pain rather than a crown with high occlusion. Discomfort from a high bite is typically stimulated when you're biting with the new cap. Only nerve pain acts up without being provoked.


Pain that wakes you up

You experience an unbearable toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night or prevents you from sleeping. There is no way you're trying to eat while you're sleeping so this is also another type of nerve pain.


Temperature sensitivity

You're not even biting down but whenever you drink something hot or cold, the tooth hurts. Temperature sensitivity has nothing to do with the crown's occlusion. This symptom is more related to an exposed tooth nerve.


What you should do

Regardless of what symptom you're experiencing with your new crown you will need to return to your dentist. Only they can adjust the cap (shaving it down) and alleviate your pain if it is a high bite or anything else for that matter.



In case you were wondering what to expect for each symptom, we've summarized it for you.


Symptom

Treatment

Pain from biting down

Bite adjustment

Chewing pain

Bite adjustment

No pain with teeth apart

Bite adjustment

Spontaneous toothache

Root canal

Pain that wakes you up while sleeping

Root canal

Temperature sensitivity

Root canal or desensitizer


Bite adjustment

A bite adjustment or occlusal adjustment from your dentist is a very quick procedure. It should only take about 5-10 minutes at most.


bite checking paper
bite checking paper

What to expect:

  1. Your dentist will have you bite down on articulating paper.

  2. Bite up and down a few times and then grind your teeth side to side.

  3. The high spots will be polished away.

  4. Repeat steps #1-3 until the bite feels good and normal.


articulating paper marks on teeth
articulating paper marks on teeth

The entire procedure should be painless and you won't require any anesthesia.


Root canal

Other types of crown discomfort may require a different type of treatment such as a root canal. That is often the case if the tooth pain stems from the nerve. The only way to treat an unhealthy nerve is by removing it from the tooth via a root canal procedure.


Takeaway

If your crown is too high there are ways to tell because it often comes with very distinct symptoms that tell you it's a bad fit. If that is the case you must return to your dentist for a quick bite adjustment. That is the only way to relieve the biting pressure but the good news is the follow up is very quick.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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