Hello! I am 64, and have never, to my knowledge, had TMJ. I got an ear infection, and then my jaw started feeling funny, clicking and grating, pain shooting to my ear, etc. I went to the doctor, got antibiotics for ear infection. It cleared up, but jaw still weird. Didn't know what was wrong. Thought I had an infected tooth..went to dentist, xrayed tooth; it's fine. Dentist said wasn't really TMJ, but wants to make a custom "mouth guard" for $500. SAid I really needed it, or condition will get worse, lead to surgery, etc. DIdn't believe him. Went back to doctor; he xrayed, to make sure ear infection wasgone; it was. He thinks now it is TMJ, gave me a prescription strengh anti-inflamatory drug for 3 weeks. Says the ear infection caused the swelling, which caused the problem. I asked him about the mouth guard. He's being cautious. Says maybe I need it. My daughter says you can get regular ones, not custom-made, in drug store. Haven't seen one.
So, after reading all your posts, now I'm thinking this is more serious than I thought. The drug is helping, as I have no pain now, except if I chew food a lot, chunky stuff, etc.
Can any of you comment on this? Especially now wondering about this mouth guard deal.....thanks! CArillon
I Can Tell You A Ton Just On My Experience Alone. I Can Scare The Hell Out Of You, But I Can Also Give You Alot Of Good Tips And Tricks On Surrviving Tmj. Your Tmj Dosen't Sound To Bad Yet But My First And Probably Most Important Tip I Cant Give You Is Get It Under Control As Fast As You Can! It's Excellant That You Are Getting Releif From The Meds The Doctor Gave You. The Cause Of My Tmj Is Alot Differant Than Yours. But I Can Also Tell You I've Had It For 9 Years And I Have Learned The Hard Way Do What Your Doctor Reccomends!!!! It's Very Important To Trust And Work Together To Get You Feeling Good Again. I Know Bite Plates Are Extremely Expensive And Unless You Are Covered Under No-fault Because Of An Auto Accident Most Of The Time You Have To Pay Out Of Pocket And It's A Big Burden If You Live Paycheck To Paycheck. But It's Important To Get That Bite Plate From A Doctor Rather Than The Drug Store Because They Are Costom Fit To Your Mouth. The Ones You Get In The Store Can Actually Make It Worse. Believe Me I Lost My Top One Tried The Store Sold In Stores And Wound Up Exaserbating The Problem. I'm Sorry I'm Rambling On.
Let Me Know What You Think And If You Would Like To Chat I'm Here. I Hope I Was Able To Help. It's Now 4 Am Got To Go.
Hi Carillon. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. It's good that the anti inflammatories are helping. I agree that you should probably get the mouth guard. The ones in the drug stores are good for grinding only. And, having tmj, they could do more harm than good. I'm on my 3rd $500 guard. It's well worth it to me. If you've been reading on here, then you know this could just be the beginning. I hope, for your sake, it takes care of all your problems. Good luck.
Thanks to all who replied. I am going to my periodontist, whom I respect a lot, for my regular cleaning in a couple weeks. (He saved my teeth, when I had very bad gum disease, whereas my dentist didn't act when he should have.) I will get his opinion, but I am leaning towards getting the mouth guard from the dentist, after reading what everyone says. I hope it will take care of it! Carillon
My two cents is that getting a custom-fitted mouth guard as a precautionary tool to prevent TMJ might be well worth it. If they are properly fitted, they are comfortable and easy to use. I can't imagine the drug store ones could compare.
When I look back at my TMJ condition and how it began, I think that if I had gone for the guard earlier, it may have kept me out of further trouble. If so, $500 would have been a steal. However, at the time, I thought the $500 was not worth it.
I personally don't think you should get the mouth guard from this doctor. You first need a proper diagnosis. That is the most important thing for you to do now. Once you get a proper diagnosis from a trusted dentist, then you proceed to the splint. Remember splints (mouth guards) will do you no good if they don't move your jaw down and forward. Good luck.