I’m wondering if some cosmetic bonding I recently had done could be contributing to my jaw pain. I’m 34 and have had pretty good luck with my teeth so far, though I occasionally suffer from jaw pain. It’s not anything too severe. However, I wake up some mornings and my jaw is a little tender until about the time I get to work, then it’s business as usual. About two months ago, I went ahead and had the dentist do a little cosmetic bonding on a couple teeth to correct a gap and a chip. Nothing happened after, but about a week later, my jaw started flaring up again. However, this time it stuck around. It’s sore most of the time and has been sore since. I contacted my dental office yesterday and the woman told me it couldn’t possibly be the dental work because I had it done so long ago. I tried to explain that this has been going on almost since I was in last, but she was really dismissive and told me to “give it some time.” I’ve already tried to give it time and it isn’t getting better. I have a hunch something is wrong with the work, but before I get pushy, I want to know if I’m on the right track.
The short answer is that, yes, your cosmetic bonding could be causing your jaw pain, and your dentist should be checking into it. However, you seem to be having a bit more going on than that.
Jaw Pain in the Morning is Usually Caused by Nighttime Grinding
While this isn’t always a definitive answer, most people who wake up with a sore jaw that gets better as the day progresses are nighttime grinders. This is something that needs to be addressed or it can get worse, cause more pain, wear down your teeth, and cause jaw and/or tooth complications. The good news is that it’s easily fixed with a nightguard. Mention your symptoms to your dentist and have him or her do an exam so you can have nightguard made if this is the case for you.
Jaw Pain Can Be Caused by Poorly-Shaped Cosmetic Bonding
You’ve probably noticed that after you’ve had a filling done, the dentist has you bite down on a colored slip of paper. That paper actually marks your teeth if any areas are “too high,” so the dentist can smooth out excess material to ensure your teeth come together properly. He or she may even ask you if it feels like you’re biting on a specific area first or if your bite feels good. If those high spots are left, they can work like hammers, injuring the tooth they’re on and the teeth they’re connecting with. Usually, people notice discomfort in that tooth first, so they’ll call the dentist and he or she will adjust the filling, and then the discomfort goes away. However, sometimes the bite is dramatically changed by a poorly-shaped filling or a person intentionally bites wrong to avoid the discomfort of biting on the high spot. Either of these things can result in jaw pain. People who do things that exacerbate the condition (like grinding at night) will have worse symptoms. Excess filling material won’t smooth out on its own, so if that’s contributing to the problem, your dentist will need to smooth it out. It’s very easy for your dentist to check for this and only requires a couple minutes in the chair to correct. Call the office back and tell them you need the doctor to look at the work he or she just did, and don’t let the front office try to “diagnose” you over the phone. The only one who can do that is your dentist and it requires an in-person exam.
This blog is sponsored by Uveneer, a chairside veneer template system for dentists.