Had my second opinion appointment today, with just a General/Cosmetic dentist that treated some TMJ patients.
First thing he did was asked me what my symptoms were etc. He said he'd never heard of hyperacusis or intrusive tinnitus as symptoms of TMJ, so I told him not many people are aware of that! He was open to the possibility though. He did a tomogram of my jaw and his machine was SO much quieter than my old dentists, it was like heaven. He also did a stethoscope test and range of motion.
He said the tomogram showed that it's definitely compressed and looks cramped and I have some minimal wear on my condyles though it's not bad, said they still looked pretty flat or smooth? I forgot the word he used. He said my bite is still in class1 which is good, but my bite shifts like weekly and he said that's not uncommon with TMJ patients sometimes.
Instead of just throwing me in some splint he acknowledged that most people he treats with TMJ are more traditional cases, and I'm far from traditional, in that I don't have constant headache/pain, but rather transient headaches/pain and constant ear symptoms... so he referred me to a guy he highly recommends that treats complicated TMJ cases and I'll dig up the dirt on him later.
Most importantly though, he looked at my panorex xray and took into account that I could only open 20mm, and decided that increasing my opening is the #1 priority so I can get my awful dental hygiene addressed and then get my wisdom teeth extracted. He thought getting the wisdom teeth extracted as the first measure at this point would be a bad idea.
My dental hygiene has been so bad over the last 18months because for a while brushing was too loud for me to bear, and the only way I can avoid setting off my tinnitus into suicidal levels is to not open my mouth, so I can't get into the insides of my teeth. He said having good hygiene is a must before extraction, and I need prety extensive work to get my hygiene under control.
I asked him if he knew anything about muscular dentistry and he admitted that it's just not his area of expertise whereas he's more cosmetic dentistry. I asked him if it was possible that chrnoic muslce tension and may be responsible for the compression in my tomogram and possibly my ear symptoms and he concurred that might be the case.
I've been in contract with a decorated Neuromuscular-dentist that's an instructor at LVI and he's only about 1hr and a half drive from me. So I don't know if I should pursue that route or see this other TMJ doctor that I'm being referred to. I guess after I find out his background I can make a decision.
Overall I was pleased with my visit. He didn't try to pretend to be someone he's not, and I got more diagnostics in 20min there than I had gotten out of 5+ visits with my other TMJ doctor whom just threw me in a splint and hoped for the best I guess.
Just felt like sharing. Got a big decision to make on how I want to pursue this, and I'm open to suggestions.
i think that it'd still be wise to see that neuromuscular dentist because what if it's your muscles that are causing the limited opening?
also, i had a limited opening [21 mm], and i saw an osteopath. after visiting him routinely, my opening has increased to 46 mm!
anyway, my only suggestions would be to try out osteopathy and see that LVI instructor. his focus [i think] would be more in line of what you're looking for since the other dentist you're seeing is more into the cosmetic side of things. i'd also be wary of getting your wisdom teeth out right away, since it *could* make things worse for you.. but that's only my opinion.
[This message has been edited by saaraah (edited 09-15-2003).]
to be honest, im not sure what the differences/similarities of osteopathy and cranial sacral therapy are. sorry maybe cranial sacral involves only treating the head whereas osteopathy focuses on the whole body.. that's my guess anyway.
during an osteopath treatment, the therapist puts her hands on various places on your head, for example. it's extremely gentle pressure, which sometimes involve a tiny bit of vibrating their hands. it doesnt feel like they're doing anything, but when you get home, it sure feels like you've been extensively worked on.