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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 05-25-2003, 09:35 PM   #1
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Post conservative and reversible?

I think I may possibly have TMJ. My main symptom is dizziness. Lately, I've had left ear pain and left side headache. I have had ear pain/headache in the past, but it usually passes after a couple months (at least it has before). However, the dizziness is a constant. I don't really feel like the jaw itself hurts, but I think my dentist has mentioned a pop before. Doctors have checked out my ears on painful occasions and never found anything (with that little scope thing).

I am a little wary of going to a TMJ specialist for treatment. It seems like the main course of treatment involves moving the jaw and expensive dental work to correct bite. But this seems in direct contradiction of this document put out by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (i'm sure y'all seen this before).
[url="http://www.nidr.nih.gov/health/pubs/tmd/text.htm"]http://www.nidr.nih.gov/health/pubs/tmd/text.htm[/url]

"Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw or joint. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent, or irreversible, changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth."

Also, I am not covered for expensive TMJ treatment, that may not work. I keep wondering about this "conservative" and "reversible" thing. How familiar are TMJ specialists with conservative and reversible treatments?

Thanks,
Wade.

 
Old 05-26-2003, 05:27 AM   #2
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Hi Wade & Welcome,

I've recently been re-educated on "Splint Therapy".

I was treated with splints & orthodontics from 1977 until 1992. I had several surgeries during this period and with an attempt at disc replacement in 92, was told Splint Therapy would not help my condition. I had the disc removed in 97 and have searched for "Something" to help since then. (I was in a mess).

I found this board a few months ago and realized from posts made by members who were being helped with splints, it was worth a try again. At this point, it appears most of my problems were muscular.

The first step would be to get a correct diagnosis. It does sound like you could have some TMJD problems. You need to know if you might have joint or disc problems or if your symtoms are caused by muscles.

If it is, a lot of us have found that splints designed to let the muscles reposition and relax is the treatment that is needed. This is not an invasive or irreversible treatment. Any movement of the jaw is due to the muscle changes, which is usually just the muscles going back to where they should be.

Finding a Specialist is the hard part. Most TMJ Specialist (who are not surgeons) would only treat with non-invasive therapies. Many Dentist have now expanded their knowledge, with continuing education on TMJD treatment, and can be very good with splint therapy.

Different people are using different types of splints & Specialists according to their conditions.

I have had very good and quick results with a very simple type of splint to passively let the muscles reposition and to support my joints, designed by my Dentist. In 5 months, I've had symtoms go away that I've had for years.

We have several members from Canada and one of them may be able to give you more information on how to find the best help available in your area.

Take care,
Cymy Sue


[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-26-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-26-2003).]

 
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Old 05-26-2003, 07:48 AM   #3
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Hi Cymy Sue, thanks for your reply. I actually have an appointment with a TMJ specialist here in Toronto (Dr. Sigesmund), but again I was unsure about getting into an expensive and invasive treatment plan. The whole TMJ specialists world seems a bit unregulated, and that's troublesome to me.

I've read about this NTI splint. Is this the type that you use now? Does anyone know more about it?

[This message has been edited by Well-come (edited 05-27-2003).]

 
Old 05-26-2003, 11:20 AM   #4
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Cymy Sue,

You said that repositioning splints that let the muscles reposition and relax are not invasive and irreversible treatment. That means they are reversible and non-invasive procedures, is that right? I thought that all repostioning splints like a bionator were non-reversible procedures. Can you clarify this information for me? I think I am a little confuse about this.

I like to hear from you, thanks.

Sandi
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Old 05-26-2003, 11:52 AM   #5
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TiffanyAnn HB User
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Hi Sandi:
The thing about treatment with splints is this. Once you stop using the splint your bite will return to they way it was if you don't have braces or other types of permanent procedures done. That is my understanding anyway.
Tiffany

 
Old 05-26-2003, 01:20 PM   #6
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Cymy Sue HB User
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Sandi,

It's my understanding that a muscle repositional splint allows the muscles to go back to where they should be. A more relaxed and natural position. In doing this, I believe your jaw may come forward & down a little bit. This is if the muscles have your jaw(s) pulled in & up, as with many people who have had chronic muscle spasms & problems.

I am speaking only of splints or bite planes that are designed for muscle problems, clenching and grinding.
These are the only types I have ever worn and they did not make any irreversible changes.

I have read posts of splints causing joint pain and increased muscle spasms, sometimes due to the thickness or the plane not made correctly for your bite.

I do not know anything about bionators or splints designed to make structural changes in bone or tooth placement.


Wade,
I'm using a Passive Muscle Repositional Splint designed for my specific condition. I tried the NTI when it first came out, but it did not work for me. I do not have disc, so my joints are unstable and I was constantly (in my Dentist's words) trying to grind around it. However, my Dentist has worn the NTI for several years with very good results. He said he could not sleep without it.

Cymy Sue

[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-26-2003).]

 
Old 05-26-2003, 01:55 PM   #7
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GenDen HB User
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This is what I believe from my reading, consultation with a TMJD specialist, and personal experience. The repositioning splint and the bionator are completely reversible. If you stop wearing them, the jaw will return to its original position. Nothing is permanently changed unless you want it to be and finish by changing the teeth to a new bite.

Permanent treatments include surgery, remodeling the teeth surfaces, braces, crowns that change the bite.

 
Old 05-26-2003, 02:13 PM   #8
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Tiffany and Cymy Sue,

Thank you both! So, you guys both agree that repositional splints will not cause permanent or irreversible changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth?

Sandi
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Old 05-26-2003, 03:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the comments, they are very helpful. I will print this off when I go and see the specialist. It was this piece of text from the link in my first post (from National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) that got me wondering about the splints....

"Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw or joint. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent, or irreversible, changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth."

It sounds like most splints change the structure or position of the jaw (maybe some more than others). But if the jaw shifts back to normal position when removed, then I guess it's reversible. Sounds logical. I will double check with the doc.

 
Old 05-26-2003, 03:20 PM   #10
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Thanks GenDen,

That's what I thought too, even though I didn't know exactly what a bionator does. In the years prior to 92, (I wore every kind of splint that could be made) and with the splint I'm in now, I've only seen muscle changes. These changes have been for the good and I pray that they would be permanent. However, wearing this little splint is not a problem and I can do it forever if needed.


Sandi,
I hope these posts have helped you.


Wade,
I think everyone speaking to their Doc. about their specific condition and what a particular splint can or cannot do, and what to expect in the future is absolutely the best thing to do.

Cymy Sue

[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-26-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-26-2003).]

 
Old 05-26-2003, 03:40 PM   #11
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Thanks to everybody! You have been very helpful. I understand it better now.

You all have a great evening.

Sandi
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