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How Diet and Eating Habits Can Affect Dental Crowns

Harvey Dental Group
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BY Harvey Dental Group

Dental crowns can fully restore teeth damaged by decay or trauma. These porcelain caps fit neatly over the damaged portion of a tooth. And it's all but impossible to tell dental crowns apart from natural teeth. But your diet and eating habits can have a negative effect on a dental crown. That's why it's important to adapt your diet to suit a new dental crown.

A dental crown can last at least ten years. But the following dietary and eating habits could reduce the longevity of a dental crown.

Eating Hard Foods

Although dental crowns are made of porcelain, a very hard material, they can chip or even break if regularly exposed to hard foods. Hard foods like boiled candy, nuts, apples, and raw vegetables will put a strain on your dental crown. Aside from the risk of cracking or breaking a crown, you can also dislodge a dental crown by chewing on hard foods regularly.

One especially high-risk area is the adhesive that connects a dental crown to the tooth structure beneath it. The adhesive isn't as strong as the crown itself. This means that constantly chewing hard foods with your crown could damage the adhesive and dislodge your crown. If you eat hard foods, try to chew with your natural teeth as much as possible to protect your dental crown.

Eating Sticky Foods

Sticky foods tug at dental crowns. If you chew gum and eat caramel or toffee, for instance, the constant tugging of these sticky foods could eventually dislodge your crown. This is because the crown could separate from the adhesive holding it in place. You can still enjoy sticky foods, but you'll need to ensure that you do most of your chewing with your natural teeth instead of your crown.

Eating Sugary Foods

Sugary foods provide oral bacteria with a steady stream of easily digestible food. This is especially true of processed sugar, which is easier for oral bacteria to take in and digest. Tooth decay occurs when oral bacteria excrete an acidic compound after they have metabolized sugar. This acid erodes tooth enamel, creating caries, which then progress into cavities.

Although the porcelain structure of a crown won't decay as tooth enamel does, the acid secreted by oral bacteria can attack and destroy the adhesive holding a crown in place. When this happens, oral bacteria can then enter the space between a crown and the tooth it protects. The natural tooth structure beneath the crown will then fall prey to tooth decay, and the crown could fail as a result.

Eating Acidic Foods

Just as the acid produced by oral bacteria can damage dental crown adhesive, so too can the acid of acidic foods. For instance, if you eat citrus fruits like lemons and oranges regularly, the acid from these fruits will erode the adhesive holding your crown in place. Acidic drinks like cola and lemonade will also have a similar effect.

You can reduce the damage by rinsing your mouth out with water after enjoying these foods and drinks.

Eating Staining Foods

Porcelain doesn't stain, at least not intrinsically. But, just as with the other examples, the dental adhesive that holds crowns in place can stain. This means that if you drink coffee or tea on a regular basis, the margin between your crown and the natural tooth might stain, leaving a dark line between your natural tooth structure and the crown.

Try to cut down on staining foods and drinks. And when you do enjoy staining foods or drinks like pasta sauce or coffee, drink water afterward to rinse away the staining molecules.

Although dental crowns can restore your ability to eat, speak, and smile completely, they are vulnerable to the aforementioned foods. If one of your teeth has suffered due to decay or trauma, a dental crown can restore that tooth.

Call Dr. M. Dawn Harvey, DMD, PC, today to schedule an appointment.

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