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Neuromuscular Dentistry - TMJ FAQ

Everything was fine one week ago, I went to my dentist for a crown to be put on on my far back molar. Well he gave me three shots of novicane because the tooth just would not freeze (everything else did but the tooth). Well even after all the shots I felt most of the grinding.

A week later I am in pain everyday from this. Before the visit I was not. My dentist blames it on TMJ that I have not had in about ten years. It is a pain sometimes on the tooth. But mostly it goes up in my cheek and down in my jaw. Where the two jaws meet it is inflammed.

Before there was no, maybe little decay in this tooth for it is an old big filling. For the reason for the crown was for a gap not decay. Do you think this is an absessed tooth or TMJ? Visitor from WI

Most of it sounds like TMJ, but when you have an old filling that needs a crown you have at least a 50% chance of ending up with an infection. This usually happens simply from the bacteria being irritated and traveling into the tooth and/or the irritation caused by the drill. It's common and it is impossible to avoid.

Your dentist did not cause your TMJ or your tooth to be bad. You had those two conditions to begin with, and he's just trying to help you... unfortunately there are complications more often than not. Most likely you may need a root canal; have your dentist or endodontist re-evaluate the tooth for a root canal possibility.

If you do not get numb easily: you obviously have a compressed jaw joint, which needs to be treated with functional orthodontics and decompression strategies. Find a specialist who can treat you with this problem or you will end up with migraine headaches as you get older, not to mention other facial pain and neck pain problems. I bet you also have some shoulder and back pain problems. Most people with your symptoms do!

John Halmaghi, DDS

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