Young man holding the side of his face portraying pain from a dental crown causing TMJ symptoms

My Dental Crown Is Crowding Other Teeth

One of my bottom left molars was hurting. My dentist covered it with a crown because she said it could be fractured. The tooth feels fine now, but the two teeth in front of it hurt when I bite down, even on food as soft as rice.

I asked my dentist to adjust the crown because I thought that it could be crowding the two teeth in front of it. She adjusted the crown, but the teeth still hurt. The pain decreases if I put pressure on the teeth with my fingers, but the pain quickly returns. My dentist said she has never had a patient case like mine. I have two other crowns, and I do not have problems with them. I think that something is still wrong with my bite. What could be causing my tooth pain? – Thanks. Tomas from Santa Fe, NM


Thank you for your question.

Your description sounds like your bite is still off.

Pain from decay or infection in your teeth will not improve if you push down on them, so decay or infection is not the problem. Either your gums or the crown is causing your symptoms. A poorly placed crown can push your teeth out of alignment and cause pain.

If your dentist adjusts your bite correctly, you can clench your teeth and put pressure on them without feeling any discomfort. Your dentist might need to adjust other teeth, too. She may be hesitant about adjusting your teeth if she only worked on the tooth that has the crown. Sometimes small shifts in one tooth affect others, and adjusting adjacent teeth is the only way to align your bite correctly.

A misaligned bite can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • TMJ disorder
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Nighttime teeth grinding
  • Jaw pain

Get a second opinion if your dentist is unable to correct your bite. You can look for a dentist with advanced training in occlusion and bite.

The Salem, Massachusetts dentists at Burba Dental Partners sponsor this post.