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Why Do I have Jaw Tightness and Speech Issues?

Posted by AllSmiles

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.