I am new to this healthboard. I have been reading all of your stories about tmj. I finally joined tonight. I have suffered with TMJ since 2000, after being in a head on collision, air bag hit the face too. My MRI in 2001, show my disc are out when my mouth is open or closed I'm not sure which. Started out in splint therapy for over 9 months,with physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. The muscle spasms continued, non-stop. Saw a couple of surgeons told me to come back in a couple of years. Chiropractor recommended that I see this orthodontist in my area of New Jersey that is good for tmj. Needless to say, I am now in braces. He started me off in a appliance called the sagital, to open my bite up. I have always had a misbite, that's what they think my problem is. After the sagital, he put me in braces and elastic's to try to have my lower jaw move forward. I was almost pain free for about 10 months. The elastics seemed to kick in the TMJ pain again. He took off the elastic 8 weeks ago and put me in a bite plate. It doesn't really look like the traditional ones. It is almost looks like a sagital, it fits in the upper arch, with acrylics on the teeth, so the upper jaw and the lower jaw don't touch. It's supposed to bring my lower jaw forward. For the past 8 weeks I have been in hell. He doesn't understand why I'm in pain. Wants me to go to see his chiropractor that doesn't accept medical insurance, which mine does. After paying him $ 7000 he is throwing his hands in the air. If anybody is ever been in a bite plate with pain please let me know. It is supposed to be very similiar to a bionator, doing the same purpose. I have already made an appointment to go see a top surgeon at Jefferson University to get a second opinion.
Good Luck to all of you out there. I hope one day they will find a cure for this.
I'm so sorry to hear all that you have been through. There are so many "specalists" out there who claim they are specialists in TMJ who really know next to nothing about it. It sounds like your orthodontist falls into that category. They get into it because it pays big $$$$$$. Was your jaw stabilized when he put the braces on? Because braces should never be put on until the jaw is stabilized. What you described is my greatest fear, that some orthodontist would put me in elastics and caused my TMJ to start again. I would caution you to seek someone other than a surgeon for a second opinion. The reason being that what a surgeon does is surgery so that is most likely what they will reccommend for you to do. From the horror stories from patients on this board I would NOT let them do any surgery on me. I have been to see several who suggested surgery and I suggested they get their heads examined. I refuse to go the surgery route. I am presently seeing an orthodontist and I am in a splint presently and I am doing very well with it. Most of my pain is gone, no killer headaches, and my jaw rarely pops and has not locked up. I consider it a miracle. I know you are in pain but please seek another opinion from someone other than a surgeon. I would hate to see you go that route and get in worse shape than you are in right now. There is one member on this board who is in braces and a splint right now and hopefully he will reply to your post. I believe it is Joseph Martin. He seems to be doing pretty well with his braces and splint.
Thanks Tiffany for your message. My jaw was never stablized because they could never get me out of all the muscle spasms I was having. Before the braces went on I actually saw a another surgeon at Jefferson, that didn't recommend surgery. He said that would be the last resort. He would only do the arthoscopy anyway to take a look around. He suggested BOTOX shots. I decided not to go that route because I don't think they would help. They would be a temporary fix.This morning I am actually better than I was yesterday. It does look like my lower jaw is coming forward. My openbite has closed tremedously. I just hope this pain is temporary. I hope there is a rare possibility that when they pull this stuff out of my mouth, the pain stops.Unfortunately in NJ I don't think the other DR's don't know a thing about this. Every other doctor I see tells me to see an oral surgeon. Good Luck to you. I hope your splint therapy works out for you. It sounds like it is.
I'm very sorry you're in so much pain. I wish I could be of help...but unfortunately, I'm not in a similar situation yet. I noticed in your previous post that you have an open bite. So, they're putting you in braces to correct your open bite? Did they notice any arthritic changes in your bones? The reason I ask is because my tmj specialist refuses to have braces put on me until it is clear that the arthritic changes have stopped. Even after that I don't think he wants to put braces on me because orthodontic work oftentimes instigates arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. If this is your case (having osteoarthritis), this may be the cause of your pain.