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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

Answer:
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
Bee Cave Dental
3900 RR 620 South
Austin, Texas TX 78738
(512) 263-3330

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