Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Jaw Joint Pain - Where Do I Go From Here?

Posted In: Medical Stories 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Dkendr02
  • July 15, 2007
  • 01:29 PM

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?

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  • I, too, have suffered for years with clicking in my jaw and teeth grinding when I sleep. My dentist told me I was born with a narrow jaw line and it was something I would just have to live with. They gave me a mouth guard to wear which only made the pain worse. The grinding was still there. I have several back teeth that are nearly ground down to the bone. I was told I would eventually have to have a very costly oral surgery to replace the bone. I am so glad I didn't believe what the "experts" were telling me and that I found a simple solution to this problem before going through all the dental work that you have done. I saw a "chiropractor"! I routinely seek chiropractic care due to spinal cord damage from carbon monoxide poisoning. I mentioned to him about my jaw problem. He felt along my jawbone and told me my jaw was out of alignment. In under 30 seconds he fixed the problem! All it took was releasing the muscle up inside the mouth above my teeth. It was a virtually painless maneuver. I went home that night and had no more teeth grinding. I still have my jaw slip occassionally out of place, but very infrequently. When I start grinding again, I just go back to the chiropractor and for a $40 fee, he corrects the problem for months. I have also learned, that if any vertebras are out of alignment, they will pull and put stress on the muscles, even up into the neck and jaw. Our muscles are all interconnected and effect everything throughout the whole body. If something is out of alignment, it will put stress throughout the whole body. You may want to seek out a reputable chiropractor. Re-aligning the jaw is a very quick, simple procedure. I wouldn't know what to do without mine! Hope this information is useful.
    Sherryse 9 Replies Flag this Response
  • 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?I have had the same symptons and been diagnoised with TMJ. My orthodontist suggested he put me in braces for 2 years to be able to take some pressure off the side I was grinding on, and hurting on I had pretty straight teeth and still do. But with check ups and him tightening the braces, it helped relieve the symptons. I too wear a guard at night to help with the grinding. My jaw still pops sometimes but the pain is gone. This has been for about 15 years now. Hope this helps
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 4, 2011
    • 04:42 AM
    • 0
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