(Continued from the previous post:)
Be careful when you have your amalgam filling(s) removed; for several hours the numbness in your face will hinder good judgment on whether your bite feels normal again (when your teeth fit together as you clench down, like normal chewing).
When Dr. Sperbeck refills your teeth, a tiny bit of extra filling will stick out above the tooth, and you’ll be able to feel it. He will sand it down to match the rest of your natural tooth’s shape, and check your bite on a piece of film to get rid of any good-bite-blockage. I thought I was good to go, but as “Mrs. Marshmallow Face”, I should have been more careful in determining the status of my bite! Ever so subtly, I can feel just something there that makes my bite go just a bit crooked and it’s not how I remember it. My jaw muscles have also been feeling slightly more tired. Then occasionally I will find myself subconsciously clenching — almost grinding, like my jaw wants to go back to the old way of chewing but can’t find a way. The funny thing is, is that it hardly bothers me at all, but in reality this must be fixed quickly. Even minor adjustments such as this grow into bigger problems. I read and hear about TMJ a lot now, and I’m realizing that this is a way it can start, and I’m thankful I’ve recognized it early! I am going back to the office in a few days to shave off some more of the fillings so my normal bite will return.
If this has ever been your case (maybe you had your fillings removed a long time ago, and you remember not feeling quite normal, but you ignored it and it became the new “normal”), do not wait to have that fixed or at least examined by a dentist! Straying from the natural way your teeth should fit together is terrible for your jaw in the long run. TMJ disorders develop from those “insignificant” bothers, and it’s so important to communicate with your dentist of ANYTHING that wasn’t the way it was before. Granted, it may not always be a negative result, but it is still important to speak up, because the dentist knows a whole lot more about what’s right/wrong in our mouths.