I had my teeth prepared for both crowns and porcelain veneers on my upper arch. I’m almost a week out and my jaw is still in massive pain. I ache constantly. My dentist suggested taking Ibuprofen, which I have been, but I feel like I’m living on the pills. Could my dentist have caused a TMJ problem? He’s going to be gone for a week. Do I need to see another dentist or can I wait until he gets back?
This sounds pretty normal for what you’ve been through. Your mouth had to be propped open for quite a while. Soreness in your jaw is to be expected. It may even go on for another week or so. In addition to the pain medicine, you can do hot and cold compresses to help give you some relief.
If your dentist is gone for a week, he should have made arrangements with another dentist to care for his patients in the case of a dental emergency. I don’t think this is one, but if things get worse you can call your office and there should be a number on their answering machine for the dentist he’s made arrangements with.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
While jaw pain is a symptom of TMJ, that in isolation isn’t usually a sign. There are generally other things which accompany jaw pain. Some examples would be:
- Popping or clicking of your jaw
- Migraines, especially in the morning
- A change in your bite
- Neck pain
If any of these symptoms develop, that would be when you should talk to a dentist about TMJ disorder. There are tests a dentist can run to help determine if this is an issue for you.
Don’t go to any dentist about this, though. You want a dentist who has invested time in TMJ training after dental school. You’ve had what sounds like a full-mouth reconstruction. When this is done properly, it can actually treat TMJ disorder. But, if it is done improperly it can make things worse. That’s why you should keep an eye on those other symptoms.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.