A couple of years ago, my dentist did some crowns for me across my four front teeth. I’d chipped them in my early 20s and, although the fillings that had been placed served me well for many years, they were starting to fail and cause some issues.
Anyway, I mentioned that I had a metal allergy at the time of placement and the doctor assured me it wouldn’t be a problem with these. I probably should have asked more questions but I didn’t. I just took him at his word.
Lately, I’ve noticed that the spot right between my two front teeth is quick to bleed. It often bleeds when I’m eating and, I’m embarrassed to say, one of my coworkers pointed it out to me the other day when I hadn’t done anything at all that could have triggered it.
I’m told that most crowns are metal. Is it possible these are or that metal was somehow used and that’s what’s triggering the bleeding? If so, will I need to have them replaced or is there another fix?
It’s probably not a metal issue, but let’s break down why that can be ruled out and go over some potential causes.
The Bleeding Between Your Crowns is Likely Not Related to Metal
Generally speaking, dentists try to avoid using metal on anterior crowns. Front teeth don’t usually need the additional strength afforded by metal and it’s harder to get the aesthetics right with a metal layer underneath.
Moreover, if this was a metal allergy you were dealing with, it would likely be impacting all the surfaces of all the crowns done at that time, versus just between the middle two, and it probably wouldn’t have taken so long to manifest.
Something Else is Causing Gum Irritation
Odds are, something else is causing irritation there. If you’re not getting in there and flossing, that should be a priority.
It could also be that there are issues with the margins of those crowns or perhaps a small amount of cement was left. In these cases, food can easily be trapped or plaque can build up; the latter of which you may not be able to remove on your own.
Focus on Homecare and See the Dentist for an Exam
If you’ve been keeping up with your dental cleanings, it’s ok to work on this a bit at home. Work on flossing. You can use floss picks or similar if you’re not a fan of floss or it’s hard to use there. You can also use salt water rinses to try to speed up the healing, but avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes that can dry out your gums and make the problem worse.
If you start to notice signs of infection or it begins to hurt, go get it checked out right away. Otherwise, you can work on your homecare for a couple of weeks to see if that improves things and then have it checked out at your next cleaning. And, of course, if it doesn’t start to improve with extra TLC, have it checked out sooner. Best of luck to you.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Raymond Bolt, an Auburn, AL dentist.