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I Didn’t Have TMJ Until I Went to the Dentist

Posted by AllSmiles

Although my teeth were in bad shape because I hadn’t been to a dentist in three years, I didn’t have TMJ until after my dental appointment. I saw a new dentist in September 2022. After an exam and x-rays, I agreed to gum disease treatment, fillings for a few teeth, and four dental crowns. I got the crowns in early December and have had trouble with them since then. The dentist keeps adjusting my bite but can’t seem to get it right. I have jaw pain on the right side of my mouth, and chewing on that side is uncomfortable. I think this dentist created a new problem and asking me to wear a mouthguard at night is an insult. I am worried that my bite will be off forever. I took a break from the dentist to think about what to do next. Can my TMJ problems be reversed? Thanks. Kenneth from Spokane, WA


You had a lot of work on your teeth, so we understand your concerns.

Did Dental Treatment Cause TMJ?

Dental treatment does not usually cause TMJ. If you have long dental appointments, your jaw muscles can get sore from being open. If you feel muscle soreness only, applying warm towels on your face will relieve your temporary discomfort.

Jaw Muscle Soreness from Dental Crowns

Diagram of the side of a skull with the TMJ jaw joint and ligament, dsik, condyle highlighted
Consult with a dentist with advanced TMJ training for a second opinion on dental crowns

If your jaw muscles are sore from dental crowns, your bite is off. It takes skill and advanced training in occlusion and bite (the way your upper and lower teeth meet.) Your soreness and other symptoms will persist until you find a dentist to correct your bite.

If a dentist cannot adjust your bite with crowns, the problem may be related to one or more of these factors:

  • Inaccurate impressions of your teeth
  • Aggressively preparing your teeth for crowns
  • Faulty bonding techniques with the crowns
  • Poorly constructed crowns

We recommend scheduling a consultation with an advanced cosmetic dentist with TMJ training to examine your teeth and crowns and identify the source of your discomfort.


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