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Dentistry/New crown causing bite problems and jaw pain


I had a new crown done on the second molar from the rear, left side, lower sbout a 6 weeks sgo. After the numbness wore off, and the final crown was in place, I  began to notice my bite felt "off", and two of my front, center,  L hand side teeth, the upper large teeth, and  the lower, smaller, center teeth and one canine, L,  now touched or rubbed together and  then became numb. I went back. The dentsist said the crown was high, she adjusted, it helped a bit, but the issue  continued and then my jaw started to ach under my ears, so I went back again yesterday. My dentist seemd unsure and agitated about this. She did adjust the crown again in two places that were still high when she used the color paper,but it did not help with the front teet touching  or rubbing, so she talked me into shaving odd just a little from the front, lower teeth. It seemed to help, but this morning the center, lower front teeth now  seem to touch the upper, center,  big teeth now, as well as one lower on the left, and the lower center teeth ache at the gum line.. I am at a loss. What has happened?  my bite was fin before this crown. i have had many crowns done over the years with no issues. My dentist insists the crown fits  fine, however, i think it very logical it is causing these issues. I now see the domino effect of even slightky shaving other, healthy teeth off to "fix" this.  I do not want to take this risk again. What would you recommend? Dentist is paid in full.  Can she fix this? I am in pain and worried.
 Sent from my ipad, please  forgive typos.

Hello Adrienne,

I think you are correct in guessing that the crown is the probable cause of all these issues.

You mentioned that your dentist also shaved the front lower teeth.  I am not a dentist, so what I am about to say, please keep in mind that this is just from a "patient's point of view."  I don't think I would have anyone start shaving my teeth, especially since you are early on in the discovery process.  Another reason I would not start shaving teeth, is that those adjustments are defacing your natural born teeth, which are probably not the original cause of the problem.

I have answered many letters where people talk about filing of teeth.  I am very stubborn when it comes to reasons for filing away teeth.  No matter what the stories are, I always have some rationale not to shave teeth away.  Especially in your case where if we retrace the steps backwards, the likely culprit is that molar.

And just one more thing about the teeth is a slippery slope.  Once you begin shaving, then the delicate balance of your teeth and facial muscles begin to change.  This then only leads to more shaving of other teeth with no guarantees that this method will work, or that there won't be more filing or shaving. You don't want to create a new problem that was not there before.

Now I am just "thinking out loud" here.  I wonder what would happen if you had that crown removed and went a week or so with nothing there at all.  Would your bite at least return to where it was before?  It is very important at this point to grab this opportunity, to try and get your bite back to where it felt "normal."  The longer your bite feels misplaced, the harder it will be to get back to where you were before and feel comfortable.

So here are a few things I would do if it were me.  First, I would NOT be filing or shaving my teeth at this point.  Second, ask your dentist what she thinks about going without a crown for a week or so.  My reason is that maybe your bite will revert back to it's normal position.  Third, during that week where you have no molar there, ask your dentist if she could just remake that crown.  Who knows, maybe making a new one and resetting it back in there could do the trick.

Hopefully the little bit of shaving that was already done in your mouth, has not been extensive.

If the problem still persists after additional troubleshooting, you may want to go for a second opinion from a different Board Certified Dentist. Second opinions happen all the time, and good dentists and doctors should recognize the value in having a second pair of eyes look at the problem.

Don't be afraid to be vocal about any method or procedure you do not feel comfortable with.  If you agree with me that shaving teeth does not sit right with you, then speak up and say so at your appointment.

Good luck and I hope you are able to get that molar and your bite feeling comfortable.

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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my bite problem. I am not a doctor, but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. ////// I come from a family of dentists. My first house growing up was one of those residential/dentist combination homes and I was around the dental practice all the time. My teeth had always been perfect, and in many respects they still are. I have never had a cavity and my teeth are straight. About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." I have learned a lot over the years as I tried to figure out my problem from the Dentists, Speech Pathologists and assorted doctors that I have visited. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


Twenty-Five years ago after my wisdom teeth were removed, my bite did not feel right and then had trouble speaking. For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. The years of searching for proper treatment has underscored the importance of understanding the relationship between dental and speech methodologies.///// To this end, and to further my research, I recently attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Atlanta. At ASHA I learned about a specialty within Speech Pathology termed “Orofacial Myology”. In laymen's terms Orofacial Myology Disorder (OMD) deals with the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw. OMD is a motor speech disorder that impacts the normal flow of speech, chewing or swallowing.///// If you believe that your struggles with your teeth also present speech, chewing or swallowing challenges, you may want to seek out a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.....preferably one that has training with Orofacial Myology Disorder.

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Abridged Version of a Letter I Sent to a Health Care Professional (3/14/13): "..In my early 20's I had my wisdom teeth out. Almost immediately within a few days, something did not feel right in my mouth. I had trouble speaking. When I raised my tongue to try and touch my palate, I felt mostly just teeth. It is very cumbersome to talk and my bite also became a little bit off. If feels almost as if someone put a fork in my mouth and said "now try and speak." Very difficult. My articulation is fine, so to an observer I sound normal. But it takes a monumental effort, so I hate situations like talking on the phone or when somebody asks me to "tell them a story." ..I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. They just automatically gravitate to what they have heard about TMJ and assume I am either stressed, or just imagining it. Years later, I look back at all those dentists and doctors and I am amazed at how little they really knew about my condition. I have seen the best dentists, including my dad who is a Orthodontist in New York, to TMJ Dentists in Atlanta and Florida. No one ever suggested that Speech Pathology may be a direction I should explore. ..And I was frustrated by the fact that several MRI's over the years, showed nothing. How could the MRI’s show nothing, and at the same time, I know something does not feel right? I do wear a night guard to sleep in, but it does not fix the trouble that I have when I try to talk. ..I went with a Speech Pathologist friend of mine to the American Speech Language Hearing (ASHA) Convention last October in Atlanta...There was a Speech Pathologist at ASHA who was saying that sometimes when you have your Wisdom Teeth taken out "late" that it could possibly cause damage to the Trigeminal Nerve and surrounding muscles.” POSTSCRIPT: At ASHA, I discovered OROFACIAL MYOLOGY (OMD) which is a specialty in Speech Pathology that addresses Oral Muscular Issues.

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