My teeth were in horrible shape, so my dentist placed eight temporary crowns on my lower almost two weeks ago, and since that time, I have had terrible jaw pain. I am scheduled for four porcelain veneers in a month. Although I do not like taking pain meds, I take ibuprofen twice daily. I deal with the pain the rest of the time. My dentist is out of town through next week due to a death in his family. Is my pain normal, or should I schedule an appointment with another dentist? I am worried that my bite is off and causing me to develop what feels like TMJ. – Thank you, Karla, from KY
Thank you for your question.
You have had extensive dental work on your lower teeth, so we understand that you are pretty uncomfortable. What you describe does not sound unreasonable for reconstructing your teeth. Preparing eight teeth for crowns requires keeping your mouth open for an extending period.
Did Dental Treatment Cause TMJ?
Your jaw muscles can become sore and stiff during and after long dental sessions. Other than taking ibuprofen, you can apply moist warm towels to the sides of your face. Continue to rest your jaw and avoid foods that are chewy or sticky. Rest your jaw as much as possible. The symptoms you describe should be only temporary and not require TMJ treatment. Not all jaw pain is related to TMJ.
Other TMJ symptoms include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Neck pain
- Jaw locking, popping, or clicking
Your dentist has probably arranged another dentist for on-call emergencies. If your pain worsens or lingers, call the dental office, and ask about arrangements your dentist may have for follow-up care.
Duane Delaune, DDS, a cosmetic dentist of Metairie, New Orleans, sponsors this post.