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FAQ:  Altered Bite - Occlusal Relationship

Crowns and bite: I recently have had a lot of dental work done (six crowns and a bridge). Since my dental work has started and even more so lately, my jaws muscles seem to ache almost constantly.

My rear teeth were worn down from decay but enough was left for the dentist to give me crowns for my rear teeth. Could my pain be caused by a readjustment of my bite due to having new teeth (crowns) as opposed to old bite which was different for years due to my teeth being decayed and worn down?

I have pain every day and my dentist has not been much help. .... Visitor from TX

Thank you for an excellent question. My answer might differ if I knew exactly which teeth were worked on, however some basic thoughts always apply.

The very first thing that comes to mind is the possibility of you having a coincidental period of stress in your life. Sore muscles are almost always a sign of clenching or grinding your teeth also known as bruxism.

The next most likely scenario is there is a minor discrepancy in your bite that has helped trigger this response. Clearly your muscles are hyperactive as a result of increased movement. If the situation does not resolve itself, go back to your dentist and ask him to check if there might be some bite adjustment he can make.

Additionally, a night guard - which is a nighttime appliance used to prevent your symptoms - might be in the cards for you. If everything fails, go see either a periodontist or prosthodontist. Both are specialists that should be able to help you resolve your issues. Sometimes just another set of eyes can resolve an issue very easily.

Editorial Staff

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