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My Top Teeth Don’t Show When I Smile

Man portraying jaw pain from teeth issuesWhen I smile, you can barely see my upper teeth. Sometimes when the weather is cold, my jaw feels tight, and I cannot pronounce certain words. I am self-conscious about it. I want to do something about it. I wear a night guard for teeth grinding and jaw and neck pain. I saw a dentist who recommended crowns, but I would like to know if that is the only option. – Andre from CT

Andre,

Thank you for choosing our office for your question.

Although Dr. Lim would need to examine and x-ray your teeth, your description sounds like your bite collapsed and you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. A dentist may be able to open your bit with crowns, but you need an experienced dentist for an accurate diagnosis.

Opening Your Bite and Restoring Your Smile

Skilled dentists open your bit with a temporary restoration. If successful, they will duplicate the temporary crowns with the final crowns. What determines is your temporary restorations’ success?

  • You no longer have teeth or jaw pain.
  • You love your smile and how it affects your facial appearance.
  • Your upper teeth show when you smile.
  • The restoration resolves issues with your speech.

Choosing a Dentist for TMJ and Bite Issues

A general or family dentist without advanced training in full-mouth reconstruction cannot resolve all the issues with your teeth, bite, and jaw.

In the United States, several high-quality institutes offer advanced training to dentists on occlusion and bite, so your jaw, teeth, and bite are in harmony. Look for dentists with advanced training from one or more of these training facilities:

  • Dawson Academy, Florida
  • D. Pankey Institute, Florida
  • Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Nevada

We recommend scheduling consultations with at least two dentists with advanced training and experience in full-mouth reconstruction. List your questions and prepare to take notes to compare your options from each dentist.

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