Is it crazy to think that I got TMJ from a crown? I never had any issues before I had the crown done a couple months ago. It seemed to me that the dentist had a hard time cementing the crown because the appointment took hours. When I left the appointment, the dentist said everything looked good. But I feel like my bite has changed after having it done. I wake up with terrible headaches, my jaw hurts so bad that it makes my whole face hurt, and sometimes I feel like my jaw won’t open. Do you know if this could have triggered TMJ disorder? I know they say don’t self-diagnose yourself on the internet. But when I googled these symptoms, it sure sounds like TMJ to me.
– Jeannie in Florida
If a crown is not fitted properly it can cause a bunch of problems. That said, even if the crown was done perfectly, when you get a dental restoration done it feels different to your body which can alter your bite and contribute to TMJ disorder.
Misaligned teeth or what is called malocclusion can cause TMJ. Call your dentist and have him or her do a bite evaluation. It sounds like the crown should be adjusted. A proper adjustment should help correct your bite. It may take a couple adjustments to help alleviate your discomfort. So if you continue waking with TMJ headaches and jaw or face pain, keep going back in to have it checked out and adjusted as needed. Both sides of your bite may require adjustment to help the disc of the joint be placed in a comfortable position.
In some cases, it may not be the restoration that is causing the symptoms. You mentioned that the appointment was long which may have been a trigger when you had to keep your mouth open for that amount of time. That type of position can strain the TMJ supporting muscles and the joint.
TMJ is serious and can be debilitating if left untreated. So don’t settle. If your dentist doesn’t remedy the situation, you may want to look up a “TMJ specialist” in your area.
Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS