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Dentistry/Jaw pain and anxiety a year after dental work


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.


Veronica - It is a little difficult for me to tell you the actual cause of your feeling that your bite is off.  Is it the crown, the filling or is the problem just due to an imbalance of the jaw muscles after the treatments you had.  I, of course, cannot be sure, but it is important that you have your bite properly evaluated to come up with a cause.  I think, if your dentist is not sure of the cause, you should probably be evaluated by a prosthodontist.  That is a dentist who is skilled in diagnosing and determining the appropriate bite.  

I wish I could come up with a simple cure, but you need to see a specialist in bite relationships.  For that reason, you need to find a prosthodontist near where you live evaluate your bite.  An orthodontist also might know, but rather than moving the teeth, it might be good to discover the changes that occurred with the dental work you recently had that changed the bite.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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