I have never had a crown done until about a month ago. I didn’t realize how invasive the treatment was going to be. Anyway, ever since I had it placed, my teeth hurt every time I chew or bite down. The pain is only on that side. When I contacted the dentist, they basically told me that I’d get used to it. Is this normal? You’d think they would have told me I would have pain afterwards if that was normal and I am just supposed to get used to it.
– Kendra in Arizona
From what you are describing, it sounds like your bite needs to be readjusted. Occlusion, or the way your teeth come together is quite complex. If your bite is even off by the tiniest of margins, it can cause great pain. Just getting used to it is not an acceptable response. If left untreated the pain will become worse and may lead to TMJ disorder. The temporo-mandibular joint functions like a ball and socket. If your bite is off, it could mess up your TMJ joint and cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.
If the teeth do not come together properly, the muscles become increasingly irritated and inflamed because they are screaming out to get your bite back to normal. You may also not realize it but you may end up grinding or clenching your teeth at night as your body subconsciously tries to remedy the problem as well.
All that to be said, you need to insist that your bite be checked. It may only require a small adjustment, but it will be so worth it in the long run. After the adjustment, give it a few days to see how it feels. If the pain doesn’t improve, call back in get it done again until it is right. You do not want to continue just dealing with it or getting used to it. This could end up causing your permanent damage to the TMJ joint. TMJ patients complain of severe headaches, pain in the jaw, popping or locking of the jaw, neck pain, ringing in the ears, to name a few.
Ibuprofen may help in the short term for swelling or inflammation that is a result of the incorrect bite. Also, you can use a hot and cold pack as needed.
Thank you for your question. Bottom line – you should not have pain a month after getting a new crown, a filling, or a porcelain inlay or onlay or any kind of dental work for that matter.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS