I have an almost non-existent smile. Over the years, it seems my teeth have become less and less visible. It’s almost impossible to see my teeth, even when I smile. My jaw also aches all the time. I’ve noticed I feel the most comfortable at night when I’m wearing my night guard. When I talked to my dentist about my concerns, he suggested I get porcelain veneers. Before moving forward, I just wanted to get a second opinion.
I haven’t examined you so bear in mind I am only going based on your description. It sounds like you may be someone who struggles with either teeth grinding or clenching. This may be why your dentist has a night guard. The grinding can wear down your teeth to little nubs. It sounds like you’ve worn down your teeth to the point your mouth has become over closed.
Three things you mentioned lend credence to this. First, your teeth are less visible; second, your jaw aches; and third, you feel best when wearing the night guard.
What porcelain veneers will do is improve the appearance of your teeth. They will not solve the root issue of your mouth being over closed or the jaw pain.
One of the problems you will face is there isn’t a recognized TMJ Specialty, so any dentist can call themselves a TMJ Dentist. To make sure you are seeing a dentist who has the right training to help you, look for one who has done post-doctoral training at one of the following institutes:
- The Pankey Institute
- The Dawson Academy
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
A dentist with training from one of these reputable schools will be able to help.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.