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Sensitive teeth, bite has changed, and TMJ pain



Junior member
Aug 23, 2019
I have been dealing with a lot of TMJ pain (mostly presenting as achy teeth, even though the teeth checked out okay in xrays). My dentist made me a mouth guard for clenching and that helped for a few weeks but now the TMJ pain is back and it feels like my bite is off on both sides. Eating anything chewy or crunchy flares up the TMJ pain and just isn’t comfortable at all. Is it possible for a guard to affect the bite?

Also, I have several sensitive teeth that bother me so much eating is very uncomfortable. I try to avoid anything cold or juicy, but that limits my options a lot and each meal is stressful. I am so tired of evaluating food by how much it will hurt to eat, and then forcing each bite down. :(

I’ve tried a couple different sensitive toothpastes but they seemed to only make things worse. What else might help? I am just so stressed about it and haven’t tried to scrape up nerve to go back to the dentist yet...just thinking of going there always makes me feel sick with fear, and the last time I asked about sensitivities they didn’t have any ideas of the cause or cure. I don’t want to deal with this forever! :(
I wish I had an answer for you, but I am wishing you the best in finding a solution that works for you!
I am dealing withba similar situation, but don't have any advice. I also recently got a nightguard and it feels like my bite is off, too. When I put my teeth together, it feels like I am having to push my lower jaw back, and the muscles feel tight. I also don't want to go back and address it, as I feel I have been in there way too often. I have two very sensitive teeth that the dentist thinks are cracked, but do not hurt when chewing or when doing the bite test at the dentist office.

My jaw muscles hurt constantly, so I can sympathize. I have anxiety over whether or not it is the teeth or the muscles.
I also wish I had an answer for you since I'm going through the exact same thing right now! My xrays looked fine, but TMJ pain is presenting itself as painful teeth. The specialist I went to said he's seen many patients have healthy teeth pulled because of the teeth pain associated with it, but that's doing nothing to help my fears either.
I wish I had advice for you! I have similar issues. My bite has become so off that literally only my right second molars touch. My teeth are super sensitive and in pain on one side of my mouth (opposite side from the molars that touch) and the dentists keep saying they don’t know why. I have had several root canals, tried sensitive toothpastes, wear a nightguard (that makes my teeth feel worse because it’s pressing on the sensitive teeth), and nothing helps. I constantly feel like someone missed diagnosing an abscess or even several! I, too, have to watch what I eat or drink and it’s overwhelming. Please keep us informed of anything that helps! I sure hope you feel better soon and something works for you!

Sorry to hear of your troubles. TMD can be a bit unpredictable to treat because there are so many factors that can influence it. These factors can be biological factors such as the teeth, muscles, jaw joints but can also be emotional factors such as stress and anxiety. These factors have been shown to influence how people experience TMD symptoms and indeed pain in general.

Because there are often so many factors there’s isn’t a simple solution that will fix everyone. It can often benefit from a more holistic approach which can sometimes involve dentists, TMD specialists, physiotherapy, doctors or even psychotherapy.

If these issues are affecting you daily and having an impact on your life (which it sounds like they are) I would strongly consider looking up someone with a real interest or specialty in this area. This would be a good starting point and they could call upon any necessary assistance from a there.

Unfortunately splints/ guards have the potential to change your bite- BUT a properly planned and adjusted stabilisation splint generally should not affect it detrimentally.

Sensitivity can be another tricky one and clenching or grinding can be a major player. Again other factors such a acid erosion, abrasion and the general condition of the teeth can influence this. I would assume that if you can effectively (and comfortably) protect the teeth from the excessive forces being applied, then the sensitivity will likely improve - or at least help things settle a bit!

Sorry it’s not a simple answer. There is help out there but do your research to choose someone who’s expertise, approach and personality appeals to you.

Hope things begin to move in the right direction soon.

All the best,