Hi MSU Guy - haven't seen your posts for awhile. Are you doing ok? How do you like your TMD guy? Are you progressing through different stages of treatment? I can't remember - were you supposed to have surgery of some sort for the jaws?
I'm doing only ok at best - still wearing braces and hating it!!!! I still have 2-1/2 years to go and I really dread the every 4-6 week visits to my ortho for changing wires and tightening things up. My teeth, jaw, face, head, and neck ache for a week! I was so much more comfortable in my 24/7 bite splint. I can actually see where my teeth have shifted and changed alignment positions. In fact, my dentist fabricated a small night splint that only goes over the first 4 upper teeth to wear at night (my ortho calls it a "lucia jig" - sp???) because I was starting to have a return of pain symptoms following splint therapy. My ortho says that means I wasn't as stable as he first thought. But I said - "I don't care; don't take these braces off. I only want to get through this treatment and be done with it!!!" If there is anything that will delay me getting this treatment done, I will cry. The braces still rub and irritate different areas of my mouth - it seems like I have new canker sores developing in different parts of my mouth on a weekly basis. One area heals up and feels better and lo & behold, another starts hurting. I have used so much dental wax and Anbesol it's tragic.
Sorry to be such a whiner, but d*** it all, I really hate this stage of treatment. The only way I can keep going is to take it one day at a time, and hope that all procedures I will be going through will truly help. I have to trust this ortho since he has been practicing for many years, and is an expert on TMD. He also wants me to see a physical therapist for neuromuscular pain in the jaw, neck and face since the splint therapy stopped.
I haven't seen you on here in awhile and I was wondering how you were doing. I'm so sorry to hear that your braces are still such a nightmare for you. I can't say that my daughter loves hers, but she certainly doesn't seem to be having the same problems with mouth sore as you...at least not any more.
There are message boards out there strictly for adults wearing braces. Maybe you can find one and see how they are coping with the pain and canker sores.
I was wondering if MSU guy was still out there too. I was thinking he was going to see a surgeon in TX named Wolford. I havent' seen him post on any board for awhile.
I am also in braces Katie. I am 41. I have sores in my mouth all the time from the wires and brackets. It is a real pain. I wear a splint over my braces at night. I guess it is actually on top of the teeth-not really over the braces.
Did you have to have any type of surgery? I am just curious.
Hi Michelle. No, no surgery yet - but I will be having some kind of osteotomy to realign the upper/lower mandible sometime in the next couple years. This is all part of my 3 year Phase 2 treatment - braces for 3 years and within that time, oral surgery after 2 years of braces. That's how my ortho plans TMD treatment.
I think it's harder on adults than kids/teenagers when braces are put on. My mouth is so dry all the time - I have to drink A LOT of fluids, and it doesn't matter how long I've had the braces, canker sores will heal in one area and start right in again in another area. My ortho recommended taking L-lysine which is supposed to help the body fight canker sores - I still get them however; maybe just not as severe as before. My dentist also gave me some prescription liquid stuff to rub on the sore areas that works for people with gum disease and she thought might help with the canker sores. Sometimes liquid Malox (this was recommended by my ortho's technician) also helps soothe canker sore pain, even better than Anbesol.
I just hate this stage in my life - I'm 43 and will be almost 47 before all this Phase 1 & 2 treatment stuff is done. I'm getting my teeth whitened after all is over. I want to have beautiful teeth after the h*** I've been through. I wear a small splint at night too - and I'm still grinding/clenching at night even though I sleep through it. I can consciously keep myself from clenching/grinding during the day, but just sleep through it at night. My husband says it still wakes him up at night. I plan to wear a night splint forever, at least to protect my teeth if nothing else. I just hope someday I will stop grinding. I do not believe it's all stress induced; the ortho told me that bruxism of my severity and duration is also the jaw's attempt to realign itself and fighting the bite/alignment of the teeth. Since I still have such an open bite even with braces, I'm sure that's what's affecting me. I think the ortho thought the braces would help close my bite, but so far all that's happened is shifting of the teeth.
OOOOH - speaking of shifting teeth, I just remembered I have an ortho appointment tomorrow. Every 6-8 weeks I go in, new wires are put on or tightened, and OUCH!!!! My teeth, face, and jaw ache for a week - even on heavy duty prescription ibuprofen. It seems like I just get used to braces re-adjustments and then it's time for another appointment. I felt so good after splint therapy, but I really have a hard time being positive about the upside to braces because it all just seems to be a cycle of pain, mouth sores, and overall discomfort. The only positive I've seen so far is that my oral hygiene is excellent since I have to brush my teeth EVERY TIME I eat something. I sometimes brush 4-5 times a day because I can't stand the feeling of food stuck in my braces.
Goodness, I'm sorry to carry on so long! I just needed to vent.
Things will get better. At least you are in the stage of the game of moving your teeth for a better bite in the long run. I, too, will be getting braces for the third time soon. And I am dreading it as well. People said, during my last ortho treatment,....your teeth are straight..why are you having braces..ugh.
Thanks kcgirl. I live in Alma, MI and my ortho is named Dr. Keith Bever (yeah, that's right - pronounced just like the animal "beaver"). Kind of ironic, hey? He takes the teasing about his name pretty well and even has cartoons of him making fun of his name with his profession on his office walls.
Anyway, he's pretty much the TMD expert in central Michigan. I first saw him 17 years ago for TMD (diagnosed as moderate severe then), but had no insurance to pay for services at that time. So now, I finally have medical reimbursement for most of my services thanks to my PCP authorizing the services for me to see Dr. Bever. Since the first time I saw Dr. Bever, his practice has changed from 80% orthodontics vs. 20% TMD treatment to 80% TMD vs. 20% strictly orthodontics. I have talked to several adults in my town who have received TMD treatment from him and are very happy with the results. So I know I can trust him - I just can't stand the way treatment is going at this point. But my teeth were very misaligned with crowding and overjets and an anterior bite to begin with. I can really see the alignment changes just since Dec. 04 when I got my braces on. As Dr. B has already told me several times, my TMD didn't happen overnight and my case is so severe that it will take several years to completely correct the problem. He doesn't promise that my TMD will be completely eliminated, but he has promised better tooth/jaw alignment, less TMD pain, and being able to save my teeth from extraction. According to him, if I had continued a few more years without treatment, I would have probably ended up losing jaw function and teeth due to my severe bruxism, joint/gone loss, and TMD. He said with no treatment I probably would have ended up on a pudding or liquid diet for the rest of my life. I don't think he says that to everybody nor does he say it just to make money. He seems like a very caring and knowledgeable specialist, and has actually gone through TMD treatment with braces and oral surgery himself, so he can "talk the talk."
Fortuntely, he refers all of his orthognathic surgery patients to a specialist in Lansing, Dr. Mauro (I think that's how it's spelled) and they have had a long professional relationship, so I really feel like I'm in good hands for the duration of my treatment. I just wish it wasn't such a pain in the a** to go through.