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FAQ:  Bite Adjustment

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  • My bad occlusion: Who should I consult with to start some sort of treatment for my bad cclusion? At this point I've been told I have arthritis in both jaws and that they both fit poorly (different on each side, but still poor). I have a posterior open bite and little odd placement issues here and there that I'm not smart enough to describe like a professional. No huge amounts of crooked teeth and tooth/gum/mouth health is good. Other orthodontists and oral surgeons have looked confused at my situation. I just want to fix this problem so I don't have more issues. ...Visitor from Arizona     (answer)

  • Adjusting bite after implants: After recent major implant work the dentist had to `shave' bits of the crowns to get my bite right. If when my face settles down, and I find he has shaved too much, can a bit be added back to build the crown up again? ...Visitor from Australia     (answer)

  • Wisdom Tooth extraction: My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed 3 yrs. ago and since then has experienced shooting pain, almost like a nerve radiating from her jaw into her ear. Could this be directly related to the extraction procedure? It took a good 2 months for her to recover from the wisdom teeth surgery - had a very difficult time. Could it be nerve damage? ...Visitor from Canada     (answer)

  • Level Bite? I used to have a normal bite but had to get braces to correct some crowding. My teeth seem to be properly aligned now but when I try to close my mouth, my two upper middle incisors come down and land right on top of my lower incisors, preventing the rest of my upper teeth from coming into contact with their respective lower teeth. I can force myself into the correct bite but I feel a lot of pressure on the backs of my upper incisors when doing that. Since the upper incisors are supposed to be slightly in front of the lower incisors when the mouth is closed, I guess I have a slight underbite or "level" bite. I would appreciate any advice you can give. ...Visitor from NJ     (answer)

  • Peculiar feeling in upper jaw: Since having a crown replaced on a lower molar 8 months ago I have had a strange, very annoying feeling centering in the molar above which had a root canal and crown a few years ago. I have avoided chewing on this side ever since. X-rays of the upper tooth look normal although the roots are close to the sinuses. I have had no colds or reason to believe I have a sinus infection. I am not clenching or grinding. I've been back to have the teeth ground down 4 times with no improvement. Cold and tapping don't cause pain. Sometimes the ususual feeling seems to be in the gums at the back of the jaw. Lately, the upper incisors on that side sometimes bother me too. Where do I go from here? ...Visitor from WI     (answer)

  • Uncomfortable Bite: My teeth used to not touch on the back right when I bit down. I had tension in my jaw and stress headaches from this. I went to an orthodontist to correct my bite with working retainers. This has been corrected and I can bite down on both sides of my mouth, but I still feel that same tension. I've found that by massaging my jaw, my lower jaw naturally comes forward,and gives me an underbite. My chin recedes a bit and it actually evens out my profile when my lower jaw is farther forward. This is more comfortable for me, so is this where my lower jaw should be positioned? Is there a way to move all of my lower teeth back so the underbite is gone but my jaw is farther forward? ...Visitor from CA     (answer)

  • After Orthodontics - Back Teeth Don't Touch: Ever since I got my braces off 7 years ago, my back teeth didn't touch. I had bonding put on the back teeth a few times. That helped a lot but never lasted very long. Recently I went to a new dentist who decided to file my front teeth down to make the back touch better. I thought she was only going to file the back of my top canine teeth, but she ended up filing the front and top of some of my bottom teeth as well. She made one of my bottom canine teeth a lot smaller than the other side and shaped it into a point. My bite feels even worse than before because now not only do some of my back teeth still not touch, but my bite feels uneven. I no longer have what they call canine protected occlusion, at least not on one side. I keep accidently hitting my anterior teeth together when eating or talking. If I were to get braces, would it be possible to lift up that canine tooth a little to match the other side? Can that be done? I don't know what to do. One dentist said they couldn't bond it back on because it will just keep breaking off. ...Visitor from MA     (answer)

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