I’m 38 years old and had crowns placed on all of my teeth because of a rather bad teeth grinding habit. They put my teeth at a slant, but my dentist told me that’s how they’re supposed to go I just didn’t realize that because of how ground down mine were. But, I’m not sure that is true. I’ve got serious jaw pain and now there is clicking every time I use my mouth. I haven’t even started talking about how bad they look. I read that this could be a sign of TMJ disorder so I went to a dentist who said he was a TMJ Specialist. He put me in an orthotic device but I think he had me in it too long because my mouth feels weird like it’s been opened up too much. On top of that, all those badly done crowns are now worn down because of my teeth grinding habit.
What do I do?
You have been put through the ringer with dentists who are in over their head. The first thing you should know is there isn’t a recognized specialty in TMJ. Any general dentist can treat TMJ regardless of the amount of training they’ve received. A case such as yours is very complicated and needs a dentist with a great deal of experience and post-doctoral training.
I’m a little surprised your dentist never suggested that you wear a night guard in order to protect your teeth and then your dental crowns from your teeth grinding. That one suggestion could have saved you thousands of dollars. However, that is water under the bridge and you need to go from here.
The first thing you are going to need is a TMJ Dentist who has done real training in TMJ Disorder. They will need to re-do your crowns as they have been ground down along with your teeth. Here is where the training and experience of the dentist will be important, so they can find where your natural bite is supposed to be.
Some things that will be important as you move forward are as follows:
- They need to fit you in temporaries first. Working from provisionals will save you a lot of grief.
- Those temporaries need to feel completely comfortable and natural to you. You should have no jaw pain at all and the crowns need to come together comfortably both when your mouth is in repose and when you bite down.
- You need to like how the temporaries look. Don’t let them tell you the permanent ones will look or feel better than the temps. That is not true. The permanent results are built completely off the provisionals. Everything should be just how you want it.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo TMJ Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.