After years of grinding my genetically small teeth, I finally had to have a crown put in on a tooth I had worn completly down - about a year and a half ago. Afterwards, my bite changed so that my teeth no longer closed properly, and the wearing down of my teeth accelerated so that I had to have two additional crowns done within the past year. My bite is now so misaligned that my jaw pops upon every open and close, and my lower teeth are pushing through my uppers - I have completely worn down the backs of my front upper teeth.
I can get replacement teeth - but the issue with my jaw has intensified to constant discomfort. I cannot chew with out loud popping, and it now is affecting my speech. My jaw will actually lock out of position when I am talking! There is the soreness in the joint next to my ear, but there is constant soreness and pressure in the muscles in my lower jaw below my ear.
Before the dental work, I never had any issues with my jaw - despite my grinding. I feel like my jaw "overcloses" which makes sense if I have worn down my teeth from grinding.
I saw an oral surgeon who advised I do have TMJ, and he could prescribe muscle relaxors - which I tried, and they made me feel lethargic. I do not want to take drugs for the next 40 years (I am 35). My dentist is more than willing to do more root canals and crowns, but he looks at me with a blank stare when I ask him about treating the cause and not the symptoms. I have been wearing a night guard for years and that had helped halt the damage from the grinding.
Where do I go from here? What doctor should I be seeing - the dentist, the oral surgeon, or someone else?