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My problem I feel is that one of my front teeth is slightly larger than the other and slightly further out messing with my embouchure, forcing me to have my embouchure sideways. I'm not sure if this is alright and if two teeth are better for tone production rather than 1 1/2. Has anyone ever had a dentist smooth a tooth out to make even with the other, or would that effect my tone or mess up my embouchure. I don't want to meddle to much, just be comfortable with where my teeth are. I've heard things about sax playing dentists but i'm not sure of any in the New York City area. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Forum Contributor 2016, The official SOTW Little S
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My front teeth had ridges, and to even them, my dentist grinded them down. It didn't hurt at all and took about a minute. You could probably ask your dentist to do that to one of your teeth for you.
I don't think it would do anything but improve your embouchure.
But if it doesn't effect your sax playing (unless you want it for cosmetic purposes), leave it alone.
 

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One of my two top front teeth is slightly longer. I never really noticed it until I studied the tooth marks on my HR mouthpiece as a teenager. The mouthpiece is aligned straight with my mouth, but because of the curve of the top surface of the mouthpiece, any mouthpiece will sit slightly off center. Unless the difference in tooth length is significant, I think it is unlikely that the uneven length will matter.

What do you mean when you say that one of your teeth is "slightly futher out"?
 

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There are an awful lot of fine players of all instruments that have accommodated a less than perfect oral cavity. I'm sure you could have your mouth fixed with enough determination and money, but I don't think I would see this as a personal obstacle. Don't be afraid to play "differently" than the crowd. Louie Armstrong didn't play by the books either.
 

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There are an awful lot of fine players of all instruments that have accommodated a less than perfect oral cavity. I'm sure you could have your mouth fixed with enough determination and money, but I don't think I would see this as a personal obstacle. Don't be afraid to play "differently" than the crowd. Louie Armstrong didn't play by the books either.
Yeah, and if you've seen his smashed up chops you know he must have suffered for it.



I had "buck" teeth as a kid. One of them got partially broken off. Over the years dentists have gussied my top teeth up so they are even and not so long. They look better and play better.

I also had sharp lower teeth and had a dentist round them off so that they wouldn't tear up my lower lip. It was a quick, inexpensive, painless operation. Again, the results were well worth it.

I would suggest it would be worth it to remove this confounding issue from your embouchure, but it is obviously your call.
 

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I have this condition. In the end, I dig a divot in one side of my mouthpiece with the longer of my two front teeth. I live with it. I think playing has actually pushed my front teeth in a little, too. You may want to try tilting your mouthpiece to accomodate the length difference. I tried this but it felt odd. You may also want to try a cushion, this way the longer tooth can sink in a bit to allow the shorter one to lie on the mouthpiece.
 

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I have the same thing but I hardly bite down and I use a tooth patch so I don't notice any wear on my mouthpiece. Heck, a tooth patch will last me a year or more...the benefit of not biting! :)

One thing I do is tilt my mouthpiece slightly. This way, my head isn't compensating for the imperfections in my teeth.
 

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Same here. I don't think it's been a problem as far as playing is concerned, but it annoyed me that I was starting to dig a hole on one side of my HR mouthpiece. Mouthpiece patches have fixed that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ahh, thanks for the input everyone. Reason is that it seemed to bother me just seeing that My other tooth was hanging off the mouthpiece slightly and leaving an indent in the pad. It seems it might affect my tone a little bit but perhaps not, i tried turning it sideways but type of saxophone I play [Borgani] has a queer twist to it to begin with so that was a little annoying to get used to. Thing is luckily my mother works in a dentist office and I could probably get the one tooth shaved down a little bit, hoping that it won't change my sound.

Hey I mean it could be a genuine thing and be beneficial too me but it's something that I always have on my mind when playing and I just want to have my embouchure set and not always sketchy. Thanks fellas!:D
 

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Wow! I thought I was the only one! I know exactly what you mean about one tooth being a bit longer and slightly further out than the other. When I was a kid, the dentist told my mom I needed braces. My single mother working two jobs to pay our bills looked at my teeth and said, "No, he doesn't." And that was that. Anyway, for awhile I played with only the longer tooth resting on the bite plate. But over time, I unconsciously developed an accomodation. I think I have a slight head tilt to the left, and a slight rotation of the mouthpiece to the right. I also think my teeth rest on the mouthpiece a little to the right side so that the longer tooth rests more on the downward curve instead of the flat top. Don't have the dentist grind your teeth unless he or she really believes it's a nonissue as far as nerves being exposed or your teeth weakening as a result. You don't want overly sensitive teeth, if you can avoid it. Your body will adjust in a unique way that works for you to accomodate your tooth "disability."
 

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Yea man, it somehow forced my head to tilt the way of the shorter tooth, leaning on it uneven. Somewhat of an annoyance but i have adjusted to it over time. I just don't know if it is a problem for me in the long run and if i am going to have to fix this later on. I should really just consult a dentist and see if what he would do would make my teeth ultra sensitive. Hard choice...
 

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I got my dentist to fix my problem, but since the tooth that was longer was dead from an injury years ago (had to have a root canal to save the tooth and they put a porcelain cover on it,) I felt no pain during the grinding.
 

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One of my front teeth was broken as a child. So I've always played with one tooth noticeably longer than the other (perhaps 1/16" although I never measured).

Didn't seem to hurt since I sat first chair in the all-state band every year I was in school and never got anything less than a Superior in any school competition PLUS I have made my living as a sax player for most of my life, been on MTV, CBS, ABC, and NBC, played cruise ships, 5 star hotels, and warmed up for headliners of the day (of course you don't need perfect tone for everything after the word PLUS in this paragraph <grin>).

On the other hand, the teeth do wear my mouthpieces unevenly, but that doesn't bother me any.

I once bit through the plastic mouthpiece that came with my Alto -- too bad as it was a nice sounding mouthpiece. I tried a hard rubber and it was too dull, and ended up with a brass Link, a little brighter. But I miss that old mpc.

Insights and incites by Notes
 

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This is a no brainer, have all your teeth removed to make more room for your MPCs.:shock::D:evil:
 

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Frankly, my front teeth look as if they survived the China earthquake. They're all over the place, both on top and down. That's the result of not having enough place in my mouth for all of them, and a dentist who noticed that at a time I couldn't get the braces paid back.

I can play. In fact, I hardly use my teeth. They don't cut in my lower lip, and they don't cut in my mouthpiece patches. The patches also correct a bit for the difference in height between my teeth.

I play with the mouthpiece in the middle, and an embouchure that holds the middle between Allard and Teal.
 

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One of my front teeth is a touch longer than the other, and one of them is chipped a bit, too. I stressed about it for about 2 seconds before throwing it in my box of stuff I can't do anything about. It's a heavy box... also in there are questions like "What happens after death," "What if nothing exists," "How can I know 'cogito,' or even 'sum'?" Nice thing about that box... I can accept and live around those issues. In the case of a slightly long tooth, I've decided that I can make it work just fine. I never even noticed any compensation.
 

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This is one of those things whereby if you don't do anything about it it, you'll never know if doing something about it improves the situation.

I suppose much depends on whether you think there can be any improvement, and of course there is always the possibility that if you have work done, either there is no improvement, or the improvement is all imaginary.

I can't say for sure my playing actually improved after (or directly because of) the dental work, but my confidence did in that I knew I was giving it my best shot and that made me feel better. If something was wrong with my playing I couldn't say "oh well, that's because of my tooth, that's the way it is", I would just have to get down to practising more instead and aim for the absolute best I could achieve.
 

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If my tooth was living, I'd still probably do it. Besides preventing the bitemarks on the mouthpiece, it allowed me to keep my head straight instead of slightly tilted. This has improved my confidence a bit, in the sense that I never think about this issue anymore. Ask the dentist for some good anesthetics, and maybe it won't be more painful than getting a cavity filled. If it does turn out to be horribly painful, then it is surely a testament to your devotion to sax. ;)
 

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We are all built with limitations and assets. It is part of what makes us all unique.

Whether we try to modify our limitations or deal with them (put them in that aforementioned box), it is a personal choice. There is no one right answer.

I could get my "long" tooth filed, or have some bonding done on my short tooth. It could help my sax playing, or it could hurt my sax playing.

I have a feeling that if I spend more time in the woodshed and less time typing on the Internet, it would do a lot more for my sax playing than having dental work (but that's me).

I play commercial music for a living in my duo http://www.s-cats.com and to most audiences, the finer nuances of tone AND technique are lost. How well you express yourself to connect with the audience is much more important.

And what is good tone anyway? Play an audio recording of Getz and 'Trane to a non-musician and I would guess that most people would think they are playing different instruments.

Of course we musicians know the difference, and we know the difference to our own ears. But as individuals, we have different musical priorities. Personally, even though I enjoy it when other musicians like my playing, that is not the most important thing to me. What the audience thinks is the most important thing to me. After all, they are who I am performing to.

I suppose I'm getting less idealistic as I get older. I know I'm never going to be a Getz or Brecker, but I'm very comfortable about where I am and where I am going.

There is an old saying; "You can play for yourself, you can play for other musicians, or you can play for the general public. In either case you will get the audience you asked for."

But to each his/her own.

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