Dentistry/Jaw pain


I had a crown (no rood-canal) on a second-to-back molar put in one side of my mouth and a filling on a second-to-back molar on the other side of my mouth a year ago.  I almost immediately noticed that my bite was off, and my dentist did several adjustments on my teeth since then.  Nothing has made my bite feel better.  My back teeth on both sides feel like they don't touch down correctly.  My bite has moved from sitting comfortably in the back of my mouth to where the front teeth are the ones that touch.  My jaw is sore every day now and I have never had jaw pain before.  I massage it daily, but it doesn't really help.  My dentist removed the crown and put a new one in with a temporary glue to see if it makes a difference.  It does not.  I need to decide if I want to get this crown put in permanently.  My dentist sees no problem with my bite and suggests it is an orthodontic problem now.  
I don't know what to do about this pain.  I also feel like I need to do something to help my bite feel more comfortable, but the dental advice now is that I need to get braces to get my bite to fit again.  
I use a night guard now, but when I wake up in the morning, it makes my bite feel really off all day.  
I didn't need braces or have jaw pain before this procedure.  I would love any advice on what is wrong with my mouth and how to get the help I need.  
I never had dental anxiety before, but now I need to take anxiety medication because I am so stressed out about my mouth and my jaw.


Hi Veronia,

I am sorry you have been having so much pain.

I would seek out another Board Certified Dentist to have a look at you immediately.  Go as soon as possible, so that no further imbalances happen to your bite.

Your question says that your bite has been off, "almost immediately" since you had a molar put back.  Remember.....I offer only an "Patient Point of View" opinion, but common sense would tell me, that the crown on your second to back molar started all this.

And what do you mean, your dentist has made "several adjustments" to your teeth?  If you are talking about filing or reshaping, I would be very reluctant to deface your natural born teeth.

Ideally, the teeth and facial muscles in a typical person are all working in harmony.  The more that this careful balance is tinkered with, the more challenging it will be to correct the problem.  It is a slippery slope.  If for example your crown was too high, then other teeth and facial muscles will start compensating to account for the difference.  Then when your other teeth are "adjusted" as you state in your letter, the balance of your teeth become even more difficult to treat, even for the best dentists.

I am hoping that no permanent problems have developed in your bite.  Remember....I am not a professional.....but IF IT WERE ME.....I would go to get a second opinion from a Board Certified Dentist and have him remove the crown.  Then, I would make returning your bite to it's comfortable position a first priority.   I would be weary of starting with orthodontia, before knowing if your bite is in the right place.

I also have very definite opinions about night guards, how they are made and who makes them.  Please go back and look at some of my responses to other questions to read more about this.

Remember that "Less is More" meaning that the less your mouth is tinkered with the better.  Start with the most obvious, which would be that second molar.  See if taking that molar out returns your bite to a more natural position.  Also, only YOU can truly tell if your bite feels right.  Don't let anyone tell you it is fine when it's not.

Good luck and please check back with me.  I want to know how your doing.

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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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