Dental problem
May 7, 2012 11:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm guessing this one is unusual, and maybe only answered by an advanced dental pro, but here goes: I have an under-bite, in that my front-most lower teeth actually make contact with the roof of my mouth. I tend to grind my teeth at night and so end up with a sore spot just behind my front upper teeth. I've gone to a orthodontist/dentist and he created a bite plate for me but I hate to use it. It tastes like plastic and feels bulky and uncomfortable in my mouth. Is there another way to fix this problem?

thanks in advance!
posted by ConnieL to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've used the "Doctor's Night Guard" for teeth grinding. It's a lot cheaper than a customized one from the dentist and you can get it at a pharmacy. It's probably similar in terms of feeling bulky in your mouth, but it didn't taste plasticky to me.

The only other thing I can think of are things like braces and Invisalign, which are super expensive and time-intensive to do.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:27 AM on May 7, 2012

Sounds like you have an over-bite. This is an under-bite.
Braces might work to bring your front teeth forward so your lower jaw can move out into a more comfortable, natural position.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:40 AM on May 7, 2012

Best answer: You could try getting a Protech Dent child-size mouth guard and using it on your lower teeth. I wear one (on my upper teeth) while playing sports and it's very comfortable and thin and easy to breathe through and talk with and whatnot.
posted by Lucinda at 11:42 AM on May 7, 2012

I would advise that wearing any dental appliance takes some time to get used to. You didn't indicate how long you wore it before you determined it was too uncomfortable for you, but if it wasn't a prolonged period of time, you might want to tough it out for a while and see if you get used to it.
posted by HuronBob at 12:22 PM on May 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Seconding that it sounds like you have an overbite, not an underbite (and a fairly severe one, from your description). Are you interested in correcting your bad bite itself?

If not, then I would guess a night guard is likely your only option. How long did you try it? (They can take awhile to get used to.) Did you follow up with your dentist to make sure it was fitted properly? Are there other styles your dentist might be able to recommend?
posted by scody at 12:39 PM on May 7, 2012

Your dentist may even take a tiny amount from your lower teeth if you're biting 'up' into your palate. Given the tight tolerances you don't need much. I have a similar problem.
posted by fingerbang at 12:53 PM on May 7, 2012

IAMYD: but, it sounds like you may be a candidate for orthognathic surgery. You would need to see an oral surgeon for such a procedure, and it should not be taken lightly; think jaw wired shut for weeks following the procedure, extensive hygiene, and pain. If your issue is more of an annoyance, getting used to the bite guard may be the best option as these types of procedures will make a $500 price tag seem minuscule.
posted by Stan Grossman at 2:20 PM on May 7, 2012

I would find out if there are any other options other than the bulky, hard bite plate. I don't have your bite issues but I do grind my teeth at night. My first bite guard was horrible and bulky and I would actually take it out in my sleep. I now have a softer one that is much less intrusive and I can actually talk in it, and it's so much better. I do bite through them eventually and have to get a replacement every few years but it's much better than the old kind.
posted by radioamy at 5:16 PM on May 7, 2012

My teeth used to do that when I was a kid. I wore braces to fix it.
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:27 PM on May 7, 2012

The bite plate could have a dual purpose of both stopping the grinding or the bead effects of grinding, and it could be part of orthodontia to correct your bite. I would bear with it for at least 6 months or more before I abandoned ship.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:40 PM on May 7, 2012

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