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.

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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