Hello Doctor Hall:
I have ten zirconia crowns and they have all been burred down trying to fix my occlusion – after the first adjustments I developed hives on the inside of my lips and gums, and no dentist seems to be able to figure out where these hives came from or how to deal with them. Is it possible that shaving the crowns may have released something that now is irritating my mouth? This has been going on for eight months, the entire case has been a mess, my bite is off, etc. But the thing that no one can tackle is why I have hives now? Is it possible that burring through the finished surface of the zirconia has made my mouth react like this? – Richard
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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Zirconia is a very tough material, and this would be a difficult appointment, having them ground down to fix your occlusion.
Let me deal with your question directly, first, and then offer some other comments about your case.
Yes, theoretically you could have had an allergic reaction to all the zirconia dust, but that would go away once the dust had cleared out of your system. I wrote in an earlier post that we have no confirmed cases of zirconia allergy reported. If you were truly allergic to zirconia, you would have had a reaction before any of the grinding. Yours seems to be another case of burning mouth syndrome, which appears to be triggered by stressful dental experiences.
About your ten crowns that have apparently disrupted your bite. And you say that your bite is still off. It’s a nice feeling when your teeth all mesh together harmoniously and you can chew normally. When your bite is off, that can throw your jaw muscles into spasm and can lead to headaches and various other problems, associated with TMJ disorder. I would recommend that you get a second opinion, because I’m worried that your dentist is in over his or her head.
Training in the complexities of how the teeth meet together and mesh to provide a harmonious bite—this isn’t part of the regular dental curriculum. To study this in depth, dentists attend one of several post-graduate institutes. Four of those are:
- The L.D. Pankey Institute in Florida
- The Dawson Academy in Florida
- Spear Education in Arizona
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies in Nevada
I would find a dentist who has graduated from one of these institutes and get a second opinion on your case. I’m just guessing that the lack of harmony in your bite is an ongoing source of stress, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that is the cause of your hives.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.