I received crowns on my upper front six teeth to close a gap between my center front teeth. The crowns don’t fit my teeth correctly, so I can’t speak clearly. I try to force my words to come out correctly, and it’s making my jaw and neck hurt. My lips don’t close properly, so they are numb, and my mouth is dry. I think it would be easier to go back to the way my teeth were with the gap. Thanks. Luke from Cheyenne, WY
It sounds like the problem with your crowns is causing some serious issues with your bite. The symptoms you’re feeling can lead to TMJ disorder.
Although Dr. Rota would need to examine your teeth, bite, and crowns, it seems that most of the problems are related to the crowns. And your dentist probably doesn’t have the training and experience to correct it. Getting new crowns should not cause speech problems, jaw and neck pain, or dry mouth. It sounds like your dentist opened your bite too far.
Why Are Your Crowns Causing Neck and Jaw Pain?
Crowns can cause neck and jaw pain if they are too thick, too long, or both. Lip incompetence can result. Lip incompetence means that your lips won’t close naturally without effort. When your bite is correct, your lips should naturally close without effort. Dry mouth and numb lips are symptoms of lip incompetence.
Overly thick crowns can cause a misaligned bite and lead to neck pain, jaw pain, and speech problems, and you shouldn’t ignore it.
- Neck and jaw pain – A misaligned bite causes tension in your neck, face, and jaw. It can cause you to clench or grind your teeth and lead to other TMJ problems, including earaches and headaches.
- Dry mouth – Breeds bacteria and leads to progressive tooth decay. Saliva contains antibodies that fight tooth decay, but bacteria will thrive when your mouth is dry and so will decay.
When your dentist prepared your teeth for crowns, he tapered them all around. You can’t go back to the way your teeth were before crowns. Your teeth are smaller than usual. And without crowns, your small teeth would detract from your smile and be weak.
We recommend that you get a second opinion. It seems that your dentist finds it challenging to balance your bite after placing so many crowns at once. You can find an advanced cosmetic dentist and schedule a consultation or an appointment for an exam.
Joseph Rota, DDS, an AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) award-winning cosmetic dentist in Colorado Springs, sponsors this post.