Can a Bad Dental Crown Cause TMJ? Is it Permanent?

In Nov I got crown for tooth #30,was broken and doesn't have any infection(#30 was impacted by #31 now removd) I crown altered my bite and caused some pain and mild headaches which started to build up, also started to have stiff jaw. After two months I went to replace the crown. Now I'm waiting for my permanent crown but for last few days I had stiff jaw, weird feeling in my ear and can't close my jaw properly without effort. Is this TMJ? Is this going to be permanent? Please advise. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Can new crown cause a TMJ problem?

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A poorly fitting crown can certainly create a variety of joint/muscle symptoms called TMD (temporomandibular joint dysfunction). It is also possible to have a sub clinical problem (no symptoms felt) and precipitate symptoms by simply holding open for the crown procedure. Regardless, this is all treatable by a dentist trained in TMD and Myofascial Pain issues.

Memphis Dentist

Can a new crown cause TMJ Dysfunction?

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If the new crown was too high and interfered with the biting cycle it would result in the tooth hitting prematurely.  Sensory feedback to the brain would alter the way in which you closed with the potential of subsequent muscle strain leading to headaches as well as other problems (TMJ Dysfunction).  Proper adjustment of the biting surface of the crown which takes into account the full biting cycle should alleviate the TMJ symptoms.

Daniel Melnick, DDS
Laurel Dentist

Extraction and changing the bite can cause TMJ disorder

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Extraction whether undergoing the trauma of extraction, holding mouth too wide, too long, or pressing the nerve  , tooth loss,  and changing the bite all can cause TMJ disorder . Any bite change due to restorations ( filling, crown, bridge....can also do the same. 

Please ask your dentist to do a complete occlusal ( bite)  evaluation and adjustment, and almost always when the cause is removed so is the symptoms.  

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

TMJ problem...

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TMJ is usually the result of malocclusion … This can be caused by many factors… most common is tooth loss. It can also be the result of new fillings and/or placement of  crowns or bridges…  It would be advised to have your dentist check bite in all quadrants.. and adjust areas as needed. Once your bite is correct this may solve your issue.. 


Bernard Ian Krupp, DDS
Baltimore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

"Bad Crowns" and TMJ problems

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If you already have some risk factors for a TMJ problem, something as seemingly simple as a new crown or even a filling can move you into a painful situation. Sometimes, it's not the new restoration, but rather the length of time your mouth was open that causes the problem. But, if the bite is changed in any way, that can be enough to cause a downward spiral. So, like the story of the 3 bears, your bite can't be too high or too low. It has to be JUST right!

Dr. Sue Wendling

Sue Wendling, DMD
Portland Dentist

TMJ caused by a crown

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Whenever you receive dental work of any kind, it is important to make that restoration at least even with your current bite.  If left at a different amount of force from your bite, it can cause problems with your jaw.  Many times, your jaw is already at a position that is not ideal, so adding just a small amount of difference can cause it to be a problem.  But this may have occurred later in life, even if a perfect fitting crown was placed. 

For some, the bite is so much off from where the jaw wants it to be, that things like this will happen.  Unless your bite is equilibrated (evened) on both sides and when you move your teeth left and right.  Doing so will help keep the disc of the jaw joint in a comfortable, natural position. 

It sounds like your jaw has been sore for some time now, and a new crown is a relief but may need some time to heal.  Or that tooth could have been infected during the entire time (even with the previous crown) and your problem this whole time has been a bad nerve, needing a root canal.  Good luck.


These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.