Dental and TMJ problems

ripplyuk Posts: 2,891 Forumite
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edited 16 December 2020 at 4:15PM in Health & beauty MoneySaving
In July this year, I had a dentist appointment to repair my broken front tooth. Since that day, for some reason, my teeth don’t meet properly. None of them touch when I close my mouth, except for the edge of two back teeth on the right side. I went back to my dentist and he said it was probably a TMJ problem but couldn’t explain why this happened so suddenly. Since this is all during the pandemic, I didn’t want to keep going back to him as it’s not an emergency. I started losing weight as I can’t chew so I rang my GP. She said to stick to a liquid diet to allow my jaw to rest. 

Does anyone else have this problem or have any advice about things that have helped? I don’t even know what sort of specialist I should see. With the waiting lists now horrendous, I know I’ll have to pay privately and I don’t want to waste money seeing the wrong type of doctor/dentist. I’m really fed up with living on soup and milkshakes and with Christmas coming, it feels even worse. I’d love to be able to eat a proper dinner again! 


  • [Deleted User]
    Sorry it is not much help but certainly on the food front, when I went about 10 days after front teeth restoration and not being able to put top and bottom sets of teeth together, my favourite meal instead of shakes was lightly toasted bread with baked beans, sliced ham and grated cheese - the juice from the beans made it soggy enough to handle. Soft cheese on toast worked too. (You could try adding little bits to make it festive) I only had to endure couple of weeks so feel for you x
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,075 Forumite
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    I think you should go back to see your dentist again.

    TMJ problems can be very complex, and I'm not that impressed with your Dr's advice, as although you should take care not to keep over stressing a damaged jaw, gentle exercise is very important to keep it moving. I doubt your Dr will have thought you'd still be on liquids 5 months later though, without seeking further advice. Really, the Dr's advice should have been to go back to your dentist again.

    I don't want to pre-empt the dentist's advice, but I would think a first step would be to start using it properly, but gently again and maybe couple that with some jaw exercises to get some mobility back into it again, as it will only be when it's back to a more normal function that a diagnosis could be made properly.

    There are dentists around who specialise in TMJ problems, and I'm sure your dentist would know one in your vicinity who would be able to help if it doesn't go away by itself once gentle function has begun to be restored. 

    But definitely see your dentist again 
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • Treen
    Treen Posts: 143 Forumite
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    Hi ripplyyk I am having similar problems as you. I was referred to my local Dental hospital last February but as yet I am still on the waiting list. Recently I was recommended at Dentist who deals with TMJ problems. He is making me a splint which will stabilize the joint and said after that they will try to improve my bite. Try googling TMJ specialist in your area. You could at least find out what is causing the problem. Hope this helps. 

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