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After 28 Dental Crowns, My Bite Is Off, and My Mouth Is Dry

In February 2021, I got crowns on all my upper and lower teeth. I have battled with dry mouth since then. My smile is broader because my dentist opened my bite, so I try to smile with my mouth closed. My dentist said he could lower the crowns, but the thought seems overwhelming—lower the crowns on all my teeth? I am not confident that my dentist’s solution is the correct answer or the only answer. Any suggestions? Thanks. Kendrick from Michigan

 

Kendrick,

Unfortunately, your dentist opened your bite and made your crowns higher than your natural teeth, so you are experiencing lip incompetence and dry mouth.

What Is Lip Incompetence?

Lip incompetence is a condition that occurs when you are unable to close your teeth naturally after getting dental crowns. But the long-term effects are more severe than being uncomfortable or annoying. Persistent dry mouth leads to reduced saliva production and overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can creep into the crown margin and cause gum disease.

Your dentist should accept responsibility for his mistake of seating 28 crowns too high. He should refund you so you can find a skilled dentist who can address all your concerns.

Most dentists do not have enough training on full-mouth reconstruction. The procedure is complex and requires advanced training and experience in occlusion and bite and cosmetic dentistry.

Opening Your Bite

Temporary crowns or composite can open your bite for you to experience the look and feel and how it affects how your lips close and how you chew. A dentist trained in occlusion and bite opens your bite temporarily to ensure you are comfortable with it. A ceramist can custom make your permanent crowns when the test is complete.

What Can You Do Now?

We recommend finding a skilled dentist with experience and training in cosmetic dentistry, occlusion, and bite. Schedule a second-opinion appointment. If the new dentist feels that your teeth issues result from your current dentist’s work, ask them to help you get a refund from your current dentist.

If your dentist is unwilling to refund you, other options are to report the issue to the state dental board or seek legal advice.

Dr. Heng Lim, an Owasso, Oklahoma dentist, sponsors this post.

Before-and-after dental crowns
Before and after photos of Dr. Lim’s patient with a beautifully restored smile