Almost two years ago, I received four implant crowns. After getting the crowns, my teeth feel dry. And the way my upper teeth hit my lower teeth was uncomfortable. My bite was heavy in places, and I developed the habit of tapping my teeth together. I’ve seen my dentist repeatedly for adjustments. Now I think that I have burning mouth syndrome. By mid-morning each day, the backsides of my front teeth are burning. I chew gum all day to keep the saliva flow going. My dentist told me that I need a gum specialist because nothing is wrong with my crowns. Another dentist gave me a second opinion and said my crowns are well-positioned. If that’s the case, why can’t I stop clicking my teeth together? I don’t know what to do next. Stephen from CT
Your experience gives us the impression that your dentist doesn’t have the skill and expertise to place four implant crowns all at once on upper teeth. Although Dr. Szarek would need to examine your teeth for an accurate diagnosis, we will use your description to suggest what might be happening.
How crowns affect your bite
If your upper teeth are uncomfortably hitting your lower teeth, your crowns are disrupting your bite. When a dentist places crowns correctly, your bite will feel natural and comfortable without thinking about it. But your bite immediately felt awkward and is causing you to tap your teeth together.
Referral to a gum specialist
If your bite is off and your crowns are causing the problem, a gum specialist (periodontist) is not the answer.
Second opinion dentist
Although your crowns look perfect, your bite can still be off. When dentists place multiple crowns, they must follow occlusal principles. Your teeth must meet simultaneously and be positioned to ensure tooth function is not compromised. Although you had a second opinion, we recommend getting a third opinion.
Look for a dentist who has post-graduate training in occlusion and bite. Many dental schools don’t offer enough occlusion training for dentists to understand how to place multiple crowns at once. Find a dentist with post-graduate training in occlusion, bite, or full-mouth reconstruction from at least one of these training facilities:
- Pankey Institute
- Dawson Academy
- Spear Education Center
- Las Vegas Institute
Dry teeth and burning mouth
Burning mouth syndrome might be the cause of your dry teeth and burning sensation in your mouth. The stress from your bad dental experience might be the trigger for your symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress is a secondary trigger for burning mouth syndrome.
After you find an advanced cosmetic dentist with training in occlusion and bite, you can receive implant crowns that look beautiful and function correctly. And your quality of life will improve.
Michael Szarek, DMD, of Lowell, MA, sponsors this post.