I've been with my Mother most of the past week. She is not doing very well. Her breathing problems have worsened and she didn't need to be alone. (She does not have a computer)
I came home a few minutes each day to feed the cats, check mail, etc. I took a couple of minutes to check on you all, but did not have time to post.
She's seems a little better now, my sister will be with her over the week-end, so I'm home. (My Cats and Husband are happy to see me.)
My back still does not like to "drive" or "sit" too long, but I believe it's getting better. I've set up a schedule of weekly appt's with my MT. I had not seen her for a while, for my face and upper body. I believe she will be able to help with the lower back.
I'm going to catch up on the new posts. I've been reading (on paper, a different experience) some new material on treatments and surgery(((scary))) for TMJD. I had book-marked a lot of un-read information and my husband printed it, so I would have something to do at Mother's house. (She keeps the TV on one channel and when she drifts off, she wakes up if you change it) She's very sweet, but very stubborn.
My splint is still working great. With the stress of her illness, my Tinnitus has increased a little and I've had a couple of bad headaches. Everything else is good.
Both, all but gone for months, until a real stressful time.
I am absolutely convinced (again) my Tinnitus is muscular. Now, that I no longer have continuous muscle spasms, muscle tension due to stress brings on the "T" a little & the "Head bangers".
Thanks for "Missing me" and asking. I noticed a couple of posts about Mike. I'll read and talk to you later.
I've been reading alot about research, theories, techniques, "Different Schools of Thought", case histories, etc.
There are as many different ideas as there are Dentist.
Many in this field can go to school, study techniques, adhere to a certain theory or philosophy of treatment, read all the "Books" (electronic or paper)but if they do not truly understand what is going on with our TMJ problems, "They really don't get it". Very few of us are "Textbook cases".
I don't know much about Neuromuscular Dentistry. I've read their Course Curriculum and information from other sources. (I have read Dr. Jankelson's original theories) I am concerned that if a NM Dentist strictly applies what he learns from these Current Courses and does not understand the true philosophy or theory of the muscular aspects, you may be getting an assembly line type treatment. This can apply to any Care Provider who only sees "ONE WAY".
"I absolutely believe there are good Dentists who use many different techniques."
It sounds like, since this one splint has not helped, this Dentist does not see anything else he can do.
It seems, that those of us who have done well with our treatments, have had Dentists or Orthos who integrate many different theories and techniques. Also, it seems they see the "Big Picture" particularly in regard to TM joint related muscular problems.
Again, I'm just speaking in general terms, not aimed at anyone.
I have read that many splints are too thick, do not allow the teeth to rest comfortably on a flat surface and actually cause more muscle problems than they relieve. They are "holding" your jaws in an un natural position. This is what my Dentist believes, but from some of the material I've read, this is becoming, very quickly, a more accepted approach.
The less intrusive the appliance, in regard to muscular problems, the better it works.
I just read your repost of how Mike's problem started and how his teeth are. It does sound like he needs Orthodontia to correct some of these things, but he has to be out of pain first.
I don't know anything about a palatal expander other than what I've read here. I understand the concept. I think you're doing the right thing to check into this more.
The fact that Mike's braces were pulling to one side for several months???, with the broken anchor band, I suppose could have affected his palate. Is there any evidence to support this. Does his impressions show a difference, before and after? (If you've posted this, I'm sorry, I've forgotten) Had you been told before that Mike's palate was in need of expanding?
From all you've written, it seems like the broken braces created an incredible "Muscular Mess".
I wonder if this Dentist could be giving up too soon.
With all of the "Splint Accidents", has Mike really worn his splint continual without interuption, for several weeks?
I don't understand if this splint is not working, why would the Dentist not try a different type?
(Many) Years ago, Ortho's would make one and if you didn't get relief, they would try something different.
Of course, treatment was different then and several types of splints would be included in the treatment plan, with no added cost.
I wish I had the answer. It comes down to finding someone who knows what they are doing and has a plan B, C and maybe D, if the first approach does not work.
Just my own opinion and by no means "Expert". Mike does not have the right splint for his problems. He is being treated according to one school of thought and everyone is not helped by this.
With the complications he's had, the anxiety and fears about this pain "never going away" and all you both have been through, you need to find someone who is open to all that is known about treating TM joint muscular problems. Someone who can make a U-turn if the first treatment he tries does not work.
I wish I could help you find this person. I know they are out there.
I hope this is not to scattered to understand. I can't seem to say what I'm thinking. I'm trying to stay busy, but my thoughts drift to my Mother. My Mother does not look good. She seems to be better, but I saw her yesterday for a while and she looks really bad. Thanks for your concern. I'll probably stay with her some this week. I'll let you know.
Fortunately, the OS did not recommend surgery. It seems to me that if he is not saying surgery, it can be treated with splints. The trick is to find someone very skilled and creative who is willing to work with him. I wish you were in Utah and I know who I would recommend.
In shopping for another specialist, I think one question I would ask would be if they had treated children before. I don't think I would let the specialist you are currently seeing use an expander. The reason I say that is because if he can't get the splint right, can you trust that he can get the expander right. It is possible that an expander will be necessary at some time, but I would have to have more confidence in the provider first.
Just another thought. I was treated by a physical therapist who had been trained in cranio-sacral therapy. Anyone can say they do cranio-sacral therapy, but I was impressed with her and her work because she was first of all a licensed physical therapist and second was credentialed through the Upledger Foundation--Upledger was the one who created the cranio-sacral method. Anyway, she told me how important it was for the palate to not be buckled. She worked with me very gently in my mouth to relax the muscles to release the palate. If you could find someone like that, perhaps they could help your son along with splint treatment. Your son is so lucky to have a mother who not only cares, but is persistent and willing to learn in order to help him.
Thank you for taking the time to read that over. I really do appreciate it. I too, wished we lived in or close by Utah. I checked the AAFO site, and there many dentists to choose from. It's hard to make a decision on who to have consults. with. As I've seen thus far, anyone can promise anything and not deliver. As for the expander, his current dentist would refer us out for that. He mentioned someone that I really have no idea about. Apparently, he's an orthodontist and had taken an LVI course, which doesn't mean much. I don't particularly like the friend of a friend idea. I prefer word of mouth. I'm sure that it couldn't hurt to at least have a consult. with him, to see what he suggests.
Speaking of craniosacral therapy, his current therapist has been working on this with him. I did check the Upledger Foundation and found quite a few therapists in my area. It's time for some changes in treatment, so I'll be calling a few tomorrow and hopefully get him in to see one soon. Thanks for that tip.
I don't know if you remember, but back in April there was a woman here by the name of Kelly. (KMX) I was re-reading some of her old posts, and both of our children seemed to have very similar cases. I believe that she was seeing a Terrance Spahl in Minnesota. I wish that she'd pop back in, I'm curious to hear how her and her son's treatment went with him.
Thank you for your kind words, also. I'm sure that if one of your children were dealing with this, you'd be persistant and learn all that you could, too.
I hope that you're doing well.
[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-31-2003).]
Last edited by CherylLynn24; 11-02-2003 at 11:31 PM.