TMJ pain has been a problem I have struggled with for a few years now. It is mostly in the mornings when soreness is noticeable. I know. . A night guard could help minimize the problem. I have yet to take my dentists advice to have one made. The immediate problem I’m having is the crown I had placed a few weeks ago. From the very start, something felt “off.” I went back to my dentist, and he adjusted the crown a bit, but it still feels as though it is hitting the opposing tooth wrong. My dentist says that further adjustments really aren’t possible. He says I will get accustomed to this new feel; but I’m in more pain now than ever in terms of my TMJ. Could it be because of this issue with my new crown?
It is absolutely necessary for teeth to come together properly. Otherwise, the muscles and joints have to work harder. This could exacerbate TMJ, or even be the underlying cause for this condition. In order for a dentist to achieve the right fit, he or she must be very familiar with the complex nature of the anatomy of the jaw, not just of teeth.
Unfortunately, relatively few dentists realize the importance of a perfected bite, and so there aren’t many who attain the additional training needed to get the job done right. Often, patients go back to their dentist for ongoing adjustments in order to address the complaint. The repeated adjustments to existing crowns can result in such extensive reduction that the crowned tooth no longer meets the opposing tooth at all when you chew!
Ultimately, you really need a night guard. Until your bruxism, or tooth-grinding, is under control, your TMJ will get worse. That being said, you will not get used to a bad crown; it needs to be adjusted. The only way that your mouth will adapt to this crown will be to move differently so teeth come together comfortably. This will stress your joints and muscles. Go back to your dentist until the issue is resolved. If you are not getting the results you need, we suggest that you consult with a dentist who has obtained specific training in the treatment of TMJ disorder and occlusion issues. Dr. Doan is a La Jolla TMJ dentist who has trained at the Dawson Academy as well as under the tutelage of Dr. Mark Piper.
This blog is sponsored Dr. Stephen Doan.