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Why Do I have Jaw Tightness and Speech Issues?

My lips, teeth, mouth, and jaw feel most comfortable when I wear a night guard. I wonder if I may need braces. I do not like my smile because my upper teeth barely show when I smile. My jaw is tight, so some words are more difficult to pronounce.  Other than braces, what might be my treatment options? What should I ask for when I find a dentist? – Thank you. Doug from Salem, OR


Thank you for your questions. We are glad that you contacted Dr. Michalski’s office. Although he would need to examine your teeth and take x-rays, it sounds like you may have a collapsed bite, TMJ disorder, or both.

What Is Causing Your Jaw Tightness and Speech Issues?

Diagram of the side of a skull with the TMJ jaw joint and ligament, dsik, condyle highlighted
TMJ disorder may cause jaw tightness

You may have TMJ disorder when you experience jaw tightness and speech complications. A collapsed bite can cause some of your symptoms. You may require a combination of dental procedures to resolve the symptoms. We recommend scheduling an appointment with a dentist experienced in full-mouth reconstruction. After a comprehensive exam, your dentist will determine whether your discomfort is only TMJ-related or if other factors are involved.

Resolving your dental problems requires complex restorative dentistry, but a dentist with advanced training can do it. The dentist’s adjustments to your bite should relieve your pain, improve your smile, and resolve your concerns with your speech. Opening your bite may require provisional restorations until a dentist achieves success in restoring your dental health. Afterward, the dentist will use a ceramist to make your final restorations. Your treatment options may include:

  • Orthodontics
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental implants if you have missing teeth

We emphasize the importance of finding two dentists with advanced training in consultation, checking their reviews, and ensuring they do not have disciplinary actions from the state dental board. You will require complex, intricate dental work that requires great skill. Schedule a consultation with each dentist to discuss your concerns and treatment options.


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

Do I Need a TMJ Dentist to Fix My Crown?

I think I need to see a TMJ dentist or specialist about my crown. I got the crown in late February, and I’ve had problems ever since. My dentist has made “adjustments” five times, but my bite is off, and I have jaw and neck pain. I didn’t have these problems in the past, so I know it must be the crown. My dentist said he did everything that he could and that the bite paper looks like everything is even. So why am I still having pain? Should I see a TMJ specialist even though I know the crown is really the problem? Thanks. Amanda from Fairfax, VA


Thank you for your question.

A dentist with advanced training and skill can ensure your bite is aligned correctly. A dentist needs to understand jaw anatomy and how it affects your bite. A poor-fitting crown can cause or worsen TMJ symptoms. A dentist trained to diagnose and treat TMJ can help.

Your dentist may lack the additional training required to ensure your bite is correctly aligned. Repeated adjustments sometimes work, but they can also make things worse. If a dentist adjusts a crown too much, it will not connect with the opposite tooth.

Why See a TMJ Dentist?

Diagram of the side of a skull with the TMJ jaw joint and ligament, dsik, condyle highlighted
A dental crown that does not fit well can cause TMJ symptoms

If you see a TMJ dentist, they will examine your crown and jaw joint to determine the optimum crown position.

  • After five attempts to adjust your bite, you need a second opinion if your dentist still has not resolved the problem.
  • You may be biting incorrectly or moving your mouth in a way that compensates for the poor bite. If so, it can stress your jaw muscles and joints. Your TMJ problems will continue to progress until a dentist corrects your bite.
  • Depending on what your dentist did to adjust your bite, you might need a new crown. But a correctly aligned bite will save you discomfort, pain, and money for the long term.

Schedule an appointment for a consultation with a least two different TMJ dentists. Check their training and credentials before you make the appointments.

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

Non Invasive TMJ Disorder Treatment for Rocky Hill, CT

Untreated TMJ disorder can significantly diminish your quality of life. The constant pain, soreness, and discomfort can keep you from having the foods you love or participating in the activities you enjoy the most. But there is hope. Dr. Michalski can help you get immediate TMJ disorder pain relief with customized stabilization splints. These biteplates or nightguards can block pain and discomfort, and prevent further joint damage. You can make an immediate appointment with Dr. Michalski for the non invasive TMJ disorder treatment you want. Dr. Michalski is an experienced family and general dentist. Dr. Michalski proudly restores smiles daily throughout Ricky Hill, CT, Hartford, Wethersfield, Cromwell, Newington, Berlin, and nearby communities.

What is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders are a group of degenerative conditions that affect tens of millions of Americans every year. These disorders are characterized by pain in and around the jaw joint (Temporomandibular Joint) and the surrounding muscles. The joints are located on either side of the face just in front of the ears. TMJ disorder can affect your ability to speak, eat, chew, swallow, make facial expressions, or even breathe.

Do You Have TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder can vary in severity, but there are common symptoms that affect everyone with the disorder at some point. These may include: headaches, radiating pain in the face, jaw, or neck, jaw muscle stiffness, limited jaw movement, locked jaw, painful clicking noises, popping or clicking of the jaw joint when opening or closing your mouth, or a change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together.

TMJ Disorder Appointments in Rocky Hill, CT

Don’t put up with the pain and inconvenience of TMJ disorder a second longer. Make an appointment with Dr. Michalski today. Dr. Michalski has helped scores of Rocky Hill patients find relief from TMJ pain and he can help you too. Dr. Michalski is available for immediate consultations and proudly serves patients throughout Ricky Hill, CT, Hartford, Wethersfield, Cromwell, Newington, Berlin, and the surrounding areas.