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FAQ:  Jaw Pain

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Jaw Pain Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Teeth / Jaw pain: 4 months ago I got a crown on my bottom right eye tooth.

It felt a little low but my bite hit ok. A few weeks later it felt odd and it continued to feel like my teeth were subtly shifting.

I noticed I was grinding my teeth side to side because it felt odd. A couple weeks ago I got a sharp pain on my bottom left side (rear molar - gold crown). I feel pain under my jaw too (although not directly under sore area).

Dentist x-rayed and thinks maybe it's an old root canal that shows a faint root and wants me to see an endodontist. Motrin and eating soft foods help. I worry it's my bite since it already felt odd but my dentist says no.

My left side feels swollen so it's hard to tell now. I'm not sure who to see now. ...Visitor from TX

I agree that it may be your bite.

The eye tooth is a really important tooth in guiding the rest of the teeth to chew and occlude properly. Since you started grinding soon after the crown was placed, I would have that looked at.

I would advise you to go ahead and see the endodontist for the lower left tooth. Your pain may be from the tooth or from your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Also, the nerve of a tooth can die from pressure or grinding, which may be a factor if you need a root canal.

If your dentist doesn't show much interest in exploring your bite problems, you may want a second opinion on that after you see the endodontist.

Remember that the endodontist has general dentistry training and usually lots of diagnostic experience in finding the source of pain, so he may be able to help you.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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