Is my bite still off? One of my bottom left molars was hurting. My dentist covered it with a crown in August because she said it could be fractured. The tooth feels fine now, but the two teeth in front of it hurt when I bite down, even on food as soft as rice.
I asked my dentist to adjust the crown because I thought it could crowd the two teeth before it. She adjusted the crown, but the teeth still hurt. The pain decreases if I put pressure on the teeth with my fingers, but the pain quickly returns. My dentist said she has never had a patient case like mine. I have two other crowns, and I do not have problems with them. I think that something is still wrong with my bite. What could be causing my tooth pain? Am I going to need an extraction and implant? – Thanks. Jason from Memphis, TN
Your description sounds like your bite is still off.
Pain from decay or infection in your teeth will not improve if you push down on them, so decay or infection is not the problem. A poorly placed crown can push your teeth out of alignment and cause pain.
If your dentist adjusts your bite correctly, you can clench your teeth and put pressure on them without discomfort. Your dentist might need to adjust other teeth, too. She may be hesitant about adjusting your teeth if she only worked on the tooth that has the crown. Sometimes, small shifts in one tooth affect others, and adjusting adjacent teeth is the only way to align your bite correctly.
A misaligned bite can cause a variety of problems, including:
- TMJ disorder
- Neck pain
- Nighttime teeth grinding
- Jaw pain
Nothing you have described indicates that you may need an extraction and dental implant. Get a second opinion from a dentist with advanced training in occlusion and bite if your dentist cannot resolve your concerns.
Atlanta periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey sponsors this post.