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Orthodontics/My jaw feels terrible

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Question
So I'm a 16 year old male and about a year ago I got braces put on because I had an underbite. I never had any problems with my jaw before except for a bad injury when I was like 9 but it was fine after the injury. Anyways after I got my braces put on I didn't really have problems for the first 6 months but once my jaw really started moving forward noticeably I started getting a ton of problems. My braces have broken off many times and that's not even the bad part, my jaw feels like it's been destroyed. If I move it the slightest amount my jaw makes these terrible crunching noises an popping noises. If I put my finger in my ear I feel my jaw moving around and it's very uncomfortable. It doesn't necessarily hurt bad, but it's extremely uncomfortable. I believe it all started because of the braces. I never had this problem before. I'm very upset about this and would have never agreed to getting braces if I knew this would happen. It's hard just eating without having to stop because of discomfort. I'm not even supposed to see my orthodontist for liken 8 more weeks. What does this sound like and what should I do?

Answer
I'm not an orthodontist (I provide resource information on braces) but I had braces both as a teen and an adult, and my three teens also had braces. So, I say call your orthodontist and tell them you have questions and need to be seen. You are the patient and you deserve answers. They may say that this is just a temporary part of your overall treatment, which may involve realigning your jaw while some teeth move, and then another stage when it's all brought together properly. Whatever the case, they should explain the goals and steps of the treatment - what's normal and what may not be, and what you can expect and how to feel better. Best wishes for having it all sort out.

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Pamela Waterman

Expertise

I can supply tips, hints, recipes and resources about a braces-friendly lifestyle, for parents of children and teens in braces as well as for adults in braces. Although I am not a medical/dental professional, I have colleagues in the field and will do my best to point you to additional resources.

Experience

I am the author of two specialty award-winning cookbooks of soft-food recipes and tips targeted to all ages of braces-wearers (including adults) and give workshops to dental hygienists to help them help their patients with this type of information. I have worn braces both as a teen and as an adult, and am from a family of three generations of braces patients. I regularly contribute information to the public website of the American Association of Orthodontists and Orthotown magazine.

Organizations
Women in Orthodontics, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, Independent Book Publishers Association, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Publications
Orthotown, Cricket, Family Fun, Highlights, Better Homes and Gardens Kids' Rooms, Chicago Tribune, East Valley Tribune (Phoenix AZ), Healthy Alternatives, Organic & Natural, Desktop Engineering, Machine Design

Education/Credentials
BS Astrophysics, MS Radio Astronomy/Electrical Engineering

Awards and Honors
Good Parenting Award from ParentalWisdom.com Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist - Next Generation Indie Books, Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

Past/Present Clients
American Association of Orthodontists, Smile for a Lifetime

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