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FAQ:  Jaw Pain

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Jaw Pain Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
Corrected underbite related to chronic jaw pain: I am currently 25 years old.

Between the ages of 8-13, I had orthodontia to correct a (paternally inherited) underbite. I had six teeth removed, use of a headgear, as well as full-mouth braces. My bite was corrected and has been maintained through the use of a permanent lower retainer (still in place).

However, I have subsequently had chronic jaw pain, including clicking. The condition has worsened in the past year, to the point where there are many foods I cannot eat. I also experience daily headaches and jaw pain.

My question is: Would orthognathic surgery be implicated for this condition, since I have already had my bite corrected? ...Visitor from MN

I suspect that you are grinding your teeth at night. You could be totally unaware of this.

It sounds to me like you had Phase I orthodontic treatment, but not Phase II, which would have taken place after all of your permanent teeth were erupted.

The dentist can evaluate your problems and help you with a plan for necessary treatment. He may recommend a hard night guard, NTI appliance, or orthotic. It sounds like a referral to an orthodontist may also be helpful, but see one who works with this dentist so they can plan together.

I would look to treat the TMJ problems and perhaps more orthodontic treatment before considering orthognathic surgery.

Whatever you need, I strongly suggest a good general dentist who is really interested in your situation as the place to start.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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