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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.

Patient Point of View  


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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/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 TMJ/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 TMJ/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 will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." 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. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

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