Dental crowns are designed to be resilient and strong, but as the years go by, crowns can break down and come off of your teeth. Since you're more likely to be chewing when this happens, it is possible that you might swallow your dental crown by accident. If you think you've swallowed your crown, read this guide to learn what you should do about it.
Swallowed or Aspirated?
The first thing you need to determine is whether you swallowed your crown down your esophagus or if you accidentally aspirated it. Swallowing your crown means you swallowed it like food, and that it's gone down to your stomach. Aspirating a crown means you inhaled it, and it's either stuck in your windpipe or is migrating to your lungs.
If you experienced any coughing, wheezing, or choking when your crown went down your throat, it's more likely that you aspirated your crown. This is a medical emergency and you should seek treatment immediately. However, if you think you simply swallowed it, don't panic, and keep reading.
Monitor for Discomfort
In most instances, a swallowed crown won't cause any problems in the body. While a crown can't be digested by the stomach, in most cases, it will migrate through your stomach and intestines and leave your body as excrement. However, it's important to monitor how you're feeling over the next few days until you successfully excrete the crown.
If you feel any discomfort in your stomach or abdomen, you should see a doctor to make sure that everything is moving along properly.
In any case, you are going to need to see a dentist to have a new crown put in place. Even if your crown successfully makes it out of your body, you will still need to have a new crown installed. Thankfully, your dentist will be able to provide you with a temporary crown right away, and creating a new permanent crown shouldn't take long at all.
Make sure to set up an appointment to see a dentist as soon as you can, as your exposed tooth could be harmed by debris and bacteria. In the meantime, you may also want to avoid very hard, cold, hot, and acidic foods in order to prevent injury or discomfort in the tooth.
In most cases, swallowed crowns don't cause any problems whatsoever. In the future, if you suspect that a crown is becoming loose in your mouth, see a dentist right away to prevent accidentally swallowing it and needing a new one. You can click here to find out more.