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Open bite / TMJ

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: thaparsr  (7 years ago)
I have had a lot of dental treatments mainly on my molar teeth; root canals, 3 crowns, 3 molar teeth removal, bridges, et al. After I had a major treatment in 2003 which involved placing two bridges on my molar and two crowns I landed up with an open bite about 5mm which was reduced by the dentist to a 3mm gap by some grinding of my teeth. This gap has ever since been there. During my last treatment about a year back I needed to extract my wisdom tooth and ever since I am having a slight pain in my Temporomandibular joint area, pain in the neck area, frequent headaches and my bite size has reduced. What could be the cause and what do I need to do to treat my open bite and possible TMJ? Thanks
User Level:
Dentist
I have had a lot of dental treatments mainly on my molar teeth; root canals, 3 crowns, 3 molar teeth removal, bridges, et al. After I had a major treatment in 2003 which involved placing two bridges on my molar and two crowns I landed up with an open bite about 5mm which was reduced by the dentist to a 3mm gap by some grinding of my teeth. This gap has ever since been there. During my last treatment about a year back I needed to extract my wisdom tooth and ever since I am having a slight pain in my Temporomandibular joint area, pain in the neck area, frequent headaches and my bite size has reduced. What could be the cause and what do I need to do to treat my open bite and possible TMJ? Thanks

You are describing two separate and unrelated events.

It is a grevious error to fabricate crowns and bridges that leave the incisor bite open. Are you sure you did not have open bite of this magnitude before the crowns and bridges? Usually people will not tolerate having their bite opened this much. It may be stressing your jaw joing.

The wisdom tooth extractions may have stretched your jaw joint and triggered muscle spasm. Your general dentist might treat this with muscle relaxants, or you might ask for a referral to a physical therapist.
Posted 7 years ago
User Level:
Dentist
Open bites are notoriously associated with TMJ problems. Unfortunately, treatment of open bites is also often associated with relapse, unless an appropriate diagnosis is made and stable treatment performed. You should see a good adult orthodontist who is comfortable treating TMJ patients. Open bite treatment may be successful with orthodontics alone, but also may require orthognathic, or reconstructive jaw, surgery. You may also need to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in consultation.
Posted 7 years ago
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