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What’s the Solution for My Jaw Stiffness and Weird Smile?

Woman holding the side of her face portraying jaw stiffness and TMJ problemsWhat’s the solution for my jaw stiffness and weird smile? My upper teeth don’t show when I smile unless I force my lips up. I am very self-conscious about it. I don’t know if my jaw, teeth, or lips are unbalanced because I have jaw pain even throughout the day. I wear a nightguard, which makes my mouth and lips feel better, but I can’t wear it all day. P and T words are particularly difficult to pronounce during cold weather because my jaw seems tight, and I can open it enough to enunciate. Is this something dental veneers would, correct? Are they my only option? – Thank you. Iris from Long Island


Please find another dentist if your current one recommends porcelain veneers to resolve your concerns. Although porcelain veneers might improve your smile, they could worsen your jaw pain and pronunciation problems.

It sounds like your teeth are worn, resulting in an overclosed bite. This could cause jaw pain, tightness, and other symptoms related to TMJ disorder. Feeling better when you wear a nightguard further indicates that you might have an overclosed bite. However, a dentist trained in TMJ diagnosis and training can confirm it.

What’s the Treatment for an Overclosed Bite?

Instead of porcelain veneers to correct an overclosed bite, a dentist with advanced TMJ training will probably recommend full-mouth reconstruction. A skilled dentist may recommend combining treatments, such as dental crowns or implants.

Schedule Consultations

Finding a dentist with adequate training and experience can be tricky, so look for dentists with advanced training from one of these institutes:

  • The Pankey Institute in Florida
  • The Dawson Academy, also in Florida
  • The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies

If you find more than one dentist with the desired training, you can schedule consultations with at least two dentists to compare your options.

Rocky Hill, CT, dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski sponsors this post.

How Can I Find an Emergency Dentist Near Me for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

I’ve been looking for an emergency dentist near me to manage a wisdom tooth that aches occasionally. I’m 32 and have all my wisdom teeth. Only one began to ache early last year. I had a wisdom teeth evaluation from an oral surgeon who says that three wisdom teeth are impacted, although I don’t have symptoms. The roots of one tooth are near a nerve, but the surgeon said nerve damage risk is low. He may leave the root.  I’m not ready to have the teeth removed, though. All the dentists I called said they don’t do emergency wisdom teeth extraction. Can I wait until the tooth is really bothering me? I’m anxious and don’t want to sit through tooth extractions before I need them. I just need to find a dentist who will pull the wisdom teeth when I’m ready. – Thanks. Xander from IL



As you age, wisdom teeth roots thicken, and your jawbone around them hardens. The longer you wait, the more challenging it is to remove wisdom teeth. The risks of complications or nerve damage increase as you age.

How Can You Find an Emergency Dentist Near You for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

You probably won’t find an emergency dentist near you willing to assume the risks of impacted wisdom teeth removal. Most general dentists will not remove impacted wisdom teeth. Also, a dentist would need to complete an evaluation of your wisdom teeth and review your digital X-rays to see the location of tooth roots near the nerves. The dentist would likely refer you to an oral surgeon.

What Can an Emergency Dentist Near Me Help With?

An emergency dentist near you can help if you have a toothache infection, trauma to a tooth, a broken tooth, or a lost dental restoration, such as a crown or filling. Scheduling an emergency visit with a dentist can prevent an infection from getting worse or save a traumatized tooth before it’s too late.

Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted third molar for which a patient wants to see an emergency dentist near me
Impacted third molar (wisdom tooth)

An oral surgeon can anticipate the best way to remove your impacted wisdom teeth. Sometimes, a surgeon may dissect a tooth in pieces to make removal easier. We advise you to allow a surgeon to remove your wisdom teeth before they become problematic.

When a wisdom tooth’s root is near a nerve, a surgeon may wait until performing surgery to determine whether to leave the root or a root tip. Usually, leaving a small root tip in the socket does not present problems later.

Regarding your anxiety, a skilled oral surgeon will numb the surgical sites and remove all four wisdom teeth in minutes. Additionally, dentists and oral surgeons explain sedation options to relax you during dental procedures.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist, sponsors this post.