wisdom teeth success story - cure for TMJ?
Hi - a couple months ago I posted an inquiry to this board about whether anyone had been advised to have their wisdom teeth removed as a TREATMENT for their TMJ. (at that time I was using a different login name, "anomie"). Some of you were curious so I thought I'd post a follow up.
I am 44 and have resisted getting my wisdom teeth out for years since the only problem they've ever had was some tooth decay. But the bite specialist who's treating me for TMJ advised I get the wisdom teeth removed. (Back story - I injured myself biting into a bagel in January, and have been wearing a MAGO splint 24/7 since August, my doctor is a "bioesthetic" dentist). He said that my wisdom teeth interfered with my mouth closure, and that the muscles have been keeping my bite in place at the expense of my jaw joint. In his words I was "an accident waiting to happen."
My concerns about removing the teeth were (a) they weren't bothering me; (b) I was afraid the surgery would make my TMJ worse, after hearing some of the horror stories; and (c) I wasn't sure I believed my doctor.
Well, I'm happy to report the surgery went off without a hitch - an easy extraction, virtually no pain or swelling, the only problem being the painkiller made me sick to my stomach. That was 3 days ago. My oral surgeon is great and was careful not to hurt my jaw when he did the surgery.
But most of all, my bite feels significantly better - so I guess my doctor was right that the wisdom teeth were obstructing it. This also makes me curious about things because my TMJ started back when I was 15 - around when my wisdom teeth probably first emerged.
It remains to be seen whether my jaw injury will ever get better - I've dislocated the disk pretty badly and the months in the splint have only led to minimal improvements in my mouth opening. My bite specialist thinks I may need further work done - I'm not sure if hes talking surgery or crowns or what. I still have my doubts about the treatment, and in about a month I'll have him write up a diagnosis and then try and get a second opinion. But I thought I'd share this experience with the people on this health board who were so generous with me back when I first posted my inquiry.