My jaw keeps cracking

Since I was little my jaw has always popped and cracked. Now that I’m an adult, it is doing it constantly. Sometimes it feels like my jaw is locking up. It has been recommended that i have my jaw broken to fix it, but that seems a little extreme. Do you have any other suggestion or is that the only course of action?

Caroline from Texas

Caroline,

No, I tend to agree with you and think that is a little too aggressive of a treatment. You have some classic symptoms of TMJ. ¬†There is a small disc between your lower jawbone and the socket where it fits that slides along with the joint. If it gets out of place, or gets damaged, it can click or pop and sometimes it can interfere with you closing your jaw.I’d recommend that you go see a TMJ dentist. They’ll be able to prescribe a course of action that can repair this problem without breaking your jaw.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA TMJ Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Mismatched front teeth

I don’t know how this happened, but I have one normal tooth and one opaque tooth on my two front teeth. They haven’t always been like this. Would teeth whitening work to fix them?

Phillip M. from Phoenix, AZ.

Phillip,

Teeth whitening is not a solution for uneven tooth color. Because it whitens uniformly, it will accentuate the differences in the two teeth. I think you’d be very unhappy with the results.

My suggestion would be for you to get porcelain veneers. You can get one veneer, an entire set, or anything in between. These are permanently bonded onto your teeth and can change not only the color of your teeth, but their shape as well, if you so desire.

One word of caution though. Creating a veneer for an opaque tooth is a very advanced technique. The veneer needs to mimic the natural translucency of your adjacent teeth, without actually being translucent and showing the opaqueness of the tooth. Very few dentists are capable of this, so don’t just use your family doctor who does some cosmetic ¬†work. You’ll want to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.