Thank you so much for replying to me. I am finally talking to someone who has tjmd like me!
So, you said in your post, that you are now in the process of having your bite (overbite?)corrected? What treatment are you now on, splint or braces? If you are wearing braces, what type are you wearing? Functional jaw orthodontic (down and forward forces) or a traditional type (up and back forces)? You said that your tmjd may have been caused by wearing orthodontic braces, and I assume that would be traditional braces?
I would appreciate any comments. Thanks in advance.
Have a good tmjd day!
[This message has been edited by sandra1 (edited 05-02-2003).]
Hi. I am wearing traditional braces. I had a deep bite, some teeth rotation and a curve in the lower arch from front to back - the teeth "dipped", with the middle teeth tops lower than the ones in the front and rear. (does that make sense?) Because of small mouth, he put the upper braces on first, then the lowers about six month later, and the TMJD symptoms started immediately after the lower braces went on. The TMJD is really connected to the orthodontic work since it gets worse any time he does an adjustment - not better as the bite gets better. This is contrary both to what he has said and what the TMJD specialist that I saw said. (I did not do any more with the TMJD specialist, as it was obvious to me that treating the bite was not the problem.) I did go to see to a functional orthodontist - the only one in the area. Their approach seems better. However, after talking to my orthodontist, the functional orthdontist sent back my molds and xrays to me. I know that my orthodontist has spent hours and hours of time with me and that because of EXTREME PAIN I have been difficult to work with. However, it has been obvious to me that the orthodontist doesn't have a clue. I have pretty much exhausted all of the local resources, and unless I drive 3 hours/150-200 miles I am stuck.
Hopefully you have some better people and more resources closer to where you are.
I really do like the idea that the functional orthodontics pay attention to the jaw function. It appears to me that my problem has been muscular as well as having the jaw pushed up and back by the orthodontic treatment. The chiropractor was able to help me because she (along with massage to loosen the muscles) was able to work the jaw back into position.
Hope this helps. It sounds like you are on top of things! You are getting lots of information and being a good advocate for yourself.
It must be terrible for you to be in a position of no return regarding the fact that you are still wearing the traditional braces!
I do agree with you that functional jaw orthodontic seems to be the way to go concerning getting tmjd under control by correcting the bite and reducing alot of pain. But, my main concern is that I can't seem to find out if the functional jaw treatment really has very good results with tjmd patients. I don't want to go with any treatment that is based on theory, but on actual facts. Wait now, I am wearing a night splint (8 years) which has helped somewhat to a more comforable pain level, but it's still there. I had a recent flareup or setback last fall and the pain is more at a discomfort level. My dentist, a tmj specialist, recommend braces, but I am going about this very cautiously. I am also looking elsewhere for another dentist who knows what he is really doing and knows everything about tmj and the disorder. I read alot on functional jaw and the other stuff about this most misunderstood disorder. I have located a functional jaw orthodontic in my city, but I have only been contacing him by email, so I am waiting to hear from him. As for my current dentist, he really doesn't have a clue what the heck is wrong with my joints. I asked him right out at my last visit for my bite adjustment, if he knows what is going on with my joint. You know what he said! I don't know. And he said that after he recommend braces to me! The nerve of him to poke a treatment to me and he knows nothing about my condition. As far as I am concered, he is just another salesman!
So, like I said, I am still searching for answers, to try to be on top of things for myself.
This site is a great place to find answers for everybody on the board and everybody who is reading.
I hope things are looking better for you with your treatment with your therapist. I wish you a good tmj day! And thanks again!
The best advice I have heard in this Board is to get the TMJ solved first, then look at the braces. Do you have an idea what has caused the TMJ?
It appears to me that the commonly accepted theory among dentists and orthodontists that it is the bite which causes the TMJD. However, this has not been scientifically proven, since people with bad bites (like me) don't necessarily have TMJD, and people with good bites can have it. This is why my dentist (two different ones) as well as the orthodontist insist that if my bite improves, the TMJD will improve also (has not been the case). Do NOT accept the theory that it is all due the bite! The TMJ organization provides information about causes.
It is certainly reasonable to ask the functional orthdontist for references.
Thanks for your input. I just wanted to tell you that my current dentist (just found out today from him)uses functional orthodontics. But I have not had any special tests done on my joints yet, but I am planning on it. My dentist told me that I had a overbite and I think that's why he recommended braces to me in the first place. Did you read the post on "Cheryl- whiplash caused your TMJD?" As I had said in that post, I think my whiplash, which I had for almost 20 years or less, could have contributed to my disorder. But the TMJD became full blown 15 years or so later after the whiplash. I don't know if the whiplash caused it or the overbite caused it. If you read my post with Cheryl, a pulled jaw muscle from yawning caused the full blown TMJD. With that information I have about myself regarding this disorder, I really don't know if I have just a muscular problem or a joint problem or both. That's why I am planning on getting more tests done to find out the condition of my joints before I go with any other treatment besides wearing a splint
My biggest question right now is how successful is functional jaw orthodonics for TMJD patients? Is there a high number of successes with this treatment? And if there is, on what kind of TMJD patients?
I have read alot on the net, that braces may causes more problems with TMJD patients, but I think they are talking about traditional braces and not functional jaw orthodontic? What is your understanding about this?
Any input would be greatly appreicate. Thanks again.
It's my understanding that it IS the traditional style braces that can cause the TMJ problems. I don't know anyone personally who has had the functional orthodontics (sorry), but I think it would have to be better since they take the jaw function into consideration. (This is why I went to see the functional orthodontist who declined to do any work in my case.) My orthodontist has never actually checked my jaw function, so if there was an existing problem when I went into treatment, he never caught it. He strictly deals with what he can see with his eyes when he looks into my mouth for 30 seconds. Oops venting again.
I am glad that you are doing more testing to determine the cause and condition of your joints - that is a good step.
An orthodontist should provide you with a written treatment plan specific to you, in language you can understand.
Try posting on functional orthodontics again - people come and go here, and maybe the right someone hasn't spotted it yet. I am sorry I can't be of more help on that subject.
You sound like you are being a good advocate for yourself - good luck!
You said that when you went to see the second orthodontic dentist ( the functional one), why couldn't he take your case? I understand that you are now wearing traditional type, and had tmjd as a result of it. So, are you saying that he would not take you because wait now you are wearing the traditional one? Or, when you do finish wearing your traditional braces, can't he fit you a functional one? Or, is it something else? Do you know what I mean?
I do not know why the functional ortho guy would not treat me. The letter he sent back with my molds and xrays was very vague, just saying that he declined treatment. I do know that he talked with my orthodontist (the guy who doesn't know much about TMJD)- without my permission - and then after that conversation avoided my phone calls. The orthdontist claimed not to know why the functional orthodontist called or what the f/o guy had planned for me - almost like the conversation hadn't happened.
I suspect that my lying orthodontist (I HAVE caught him in lies to me!), who is very personable and can explain anything away, even the mistakes he's made - told the f/o guy that I was trouble, litigious, that the orthodontist had bent over backwards for me and I still wasn't satisfied, etc. Well, yes, ortho guy has bent over backwards but the plain truth is that his work CAUSED the problem, he has no idea how to treat it, and none of his solutions helped at all. If he has had to bend over backwards, it's because there have been so many problems with his treatment.
At this point I am just hoping to have the braces taken off and hope my jaw will recover in some way. My teeth are pretty much in proper position, and because of the work the chiropractor and massage therapist did, I am in minimal pain unless I talk or eat over much. And any orthodontic treatment just stirs those symptoms right up again in a big way.
I do plan to send info about the ortho guy to our state licensing bureau but doubt that will do any good. He's just so good at lying, and it's my word against his. I do, however, keep much better notes than he does!!
Let us know how you make progress in treatment, won't you? Good luck. And thanks for listening.
I hope you don't mind if I jump in here. When I read that the functional orthodontist wouldn't take your case and his letter was vague as to why he wouldn't the first thought that went through my head was that he, like most are looking for easy cases to treat. Very little work for alot of money. I'd just like to slap them silly sometimes.
[This message has been edited by TiffanyAnn (edited 05-07-2003).]