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Dentistry/crown to bite change


To summarize, I bite so hard that I wear down my teeth. My back teeth have been refilled with fillings more than 4 times each (in the last 8 years), I just keep wasting them away. I have used a bite guard for years and that only seems to slow the process down a little. The more concerning thing is that my front teeth are nearly down to the dentin as well. I want to do something before I need major care.

So my dentist is suggesting that she takes the crowns  (one on each side) that I have and replaces them (just a year or two from needing replacement anyway) and she will raise my bite by replacing them higher than they currently are.

Do you know anything about this idea or have some thoughts about this approach?

Hi Chris,

One of the most frustrating things about being an AllExperts Volunteer, is writing a long wordy answer, sending it, and then something goes wrong, and it needs to be re-sent.  In your case, it is actually a blessing, because it has given me a chance to re-think your question and reply in a more concise way.

Your letter concerns me.  The rate at which your Bruxism is wearing down your teeth is obviously something that needs to be addressed rather quickly.  And yes, I have heard of the term "raising your bite."

Now comes the more "concise" answer for you......IF IT WERE ME......I would find a Oral and Maxillofacial Dentist or Surgeon who does TMJ cases on a ongoing bases to review my case.  This would be preferable to a general Dentist who cleans teeth one day, fills a cavity the next, and then maybe does a crown or two the day after that.

The reason I want you to see a "TMJ Expert" is that from my experience as a PATIENT, one of the things they need to be really good at is fabricating bite/night guards.  Any Dentist, can take impressions, send it off to the lab, and make you a night guard.  That is easy.  But I have found that fitting a Night Guard for a Patient, is also an art form.  When the lab returns that piece of acrylic to your dentist to do the fitting, I would prefer the person who does this task as part of their primary work.  When the Dentist uses that buzzing tool (not sure of the real name) to shape and fit your new appliance, it is a challenge to get the balance just right.....and sometimes requires follow-up visits for additional adjustments.  And again.....if it were me, I want the person whose primary job is working with TMJ patients.

"Raising your bite" can also have other unexpected consequences.  When you change the symmetry of your bite, it can affect your TMJ Joints, or even cause a shift in the delicate balance of your facial muscles.  I don't know your dentist, and for all I know, she is probably well aware of all of these issues, but these are just some things to think about.  Talk to your Dentist.  She may even know a specialist that you can talk to that can do the actual work.

I wish you well in finding a solution to prevent your Bruxism and preserve the health of your original teeth.

Best Regards,
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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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