7 doctors weighed in:

The right side of my jaw gets stiff and there is a clicking sound similar to a back being cracked when i try to open my mouth i suffer from severe tooth decay due to prior drug abuse. I've had all my molars, top and bottom, on both sides pulled about 5 ye

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Felicia Mata
Dentistry - Cosmetic
2 doctors agree

In brief: You

You are right - your jaw is shifting due to the loss of molars.
Loss of teeth especially molars can affect the stability of temporomandibular joint. It is important to replace your missing teeth because shifting that is not within normal limits can cause tearing of fibers. It can also cause deep bite on the front teeth- that can result to chipping and cracking (worse if there was a malocclusion or bad bite from the beginning), .. These are merely few of the effects of missing teeth esp molars. Implant is a better choice than a denture.

In brief: You

You are right - your jaw is shifting due to the loss of molars.
Loss of teeth especially molars can affect the stability of temporomandibular joint. It is important to replace your missing teeth because shifting that is not within normal limits can cause tearing of fibers. It can also cause deep bite on the front teeth- that can result to chipping and cracking (worse if there was a malocclusion or bad bite from the beginning), .. These are merely few of the effects of missing teeth esp molars. Implant is a better choice than a denture.
Dr. Felicia Mata
Dr. Felicia Mata
Thank
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dentistry - Cosmetic
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It

It sounds as though your jaw discomfort is related to the loss of your back teeth and an altered relaionship in you 'tmj".
The jaw joint is very sensitive to changes in position of the jaw when your bite changes and your tooth loss can certainly be the culprit. If teeth can be saved then some sort of partial denture could be made, but if your remaining teeth have shifted and this would contribute further to an altered bite, or if they are truly beyond repair, it might be better to think about complete replacement. With newer technology, implant supported dentures and other sophisticated "permanent" restorations can eliminate the problems traditionally associated with full dentures. Although these treatments can be expensive, they can be life changing for folks in your situation. Seek out a qualified prosthodontist for an evaluation, as this is the only way that you will know for sure what options are appropriate for you. Best of luck!

In brief: It

It sounds as though your jaw discomfort is related to the loss of your back teeth and an altered relaionship in you 'tmj".
The jaw joint is very sensitive to changes in position of the jaw when your bite changes and your tooth loss can certainly be the culprit. If teeth can be saved then some sort of partial denture could be made, but if your remaining teeth have shifted and this would contribute further to an altered bite, or if they are truly beyond repair, it might be better to think about complete replacement. With newer technology, implant supported dentures and other sophisticated "permanent" restorations can eliminate the problems traditionally associated with full dentures. Although these treatments can be expensive, they can be life changing for folks in your situation. Seek out a qualified prosthodontist for an evaluation, as this is the only way that you will know for sure what options are appropriate for you. Best of luck!
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Dr. Jonathan Scharf
Thank
Dr. Alan Zweig
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: The

The pain in your jaws is due to the collapse of your chewing system (occlusion).
Your teeth help to stabilize your lower jaw as well as provide a means for chewing, speaking and smiling. Whatever the end goal of restoring your teeth, you need to remove disease from your mouth. Maintain the teeth that are maintainable, remove the others and have your mouth restored to function. Once you get stable your jaw problems can be addressed, and you can begin to get out of pain.

In brief: The

The pain in your jaws is due to the collapse of your chewing system (occlusion).
Your teeth help to stabilize your lower jaw as well as provide a means for chewing, speaking and smiling. Whatever the end goal of restoring your teeth, you need to remove disease from your mouth. Maintain the teeth that are maintainable, remove the others and have your mouth restored to function. Once you get stable your jaw problems can be addressed, and you can begin to get out of pain.
Dr. Alan Zweig
Dr. Alan Zweig
Thank
Dr. Neil McLeod
Dentistry - Prosthodontics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear of your discomfort and concern.
You certainly do need good dental care now. If it is at all possible to save remaining teeth that still have good boney support i always try to encourage a patient to do so, and design the removable partial denture around them. This way you have a more stable appliance in your mouth. The problem there might be that to save teeth will involve repairing them which does cost something. Now to your primary concern, that stiff jaw that clicks. These are symptoms of a damaged jaw joint that is not in a stable relationship with the surrounding tissues. I suspect that you have lost vertical height between the jaws having lost teeth, and that an uneven pressure is being placed on the clicking jaw joint by trying to close the teeth on the remaining teeth. I recommend that you see a dentist who specializes in the kind of treatment, a prosthodontist. I have posted alik that might be of use to you.

In brief: I

I am sorry to hear of your discomfort and concern.
You certainly do need good dental care now. If it is at all possible to save remaining teeth that still have good boney support i always try to encourage a patient to do so, and design the removable partial denture around them. This way you have a more stable appliance in your mouth. The problem there might be that to save teeth will involve repairing them which does cost something. Now to your primary concern, that stiff jaw that clicks. These are symptoms of a damaged jaw joint that is not in a stable relationship with the surrounding tissues. I suspect that you have lost vertical height between the jaws having lost teeth, and that an uneven pressure is being placed on the clicking jaw joint by trying to close the teeth on the remaining teeth. I recommend that you see a dentist who specializes in the kind of treatment, a prosthodontist. I have posted alik that might be of use to you.
Dr. Neil McLeod
Dr. Neil McLeod
Thank
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management

In brief: See a dentist

for evaluation, imaging and tooth decay and TMJ syndrome treatment.
The good news is that both conditions are treatable.

In brief: See a dentist

for evaluation, imaging and tooth decay and TMJ syndrome treatment.
The good news is that both conditions are treatable.
Dr. Paul Grin
Dr. Paul Grin
Thank
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial

In brief: Serious problem

Serious problem with jaw joint and overall dentition.
I'd see your dentist and have him work with a TMJ expert. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals.

In brief: Serious problem

Serious problem with jaw joint and overall dentition.
I'd see your dentist and have him work with a TMJ expert. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Dr. Louis Gallia
Thank
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