Re: To splint or not to splint?
HI! I'm new here, too. I stumbled across this site because I was looking up info on Ankylosing spondylitis (i seem to have a lot of the symptoms).
I was diagnosed with TMJ disorder when I was 15 (I'm 18 now). TMJ is a very complicated disorder. I have been wearing splints/appliances for 3 years, and eventually, I'll need to get braces for it (this might not be the case for you; everybody's different). But, let me tell you; I went from having excruciating headaches lasting from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed--so bad, I couldn't talk and even getting to the point where I had to tell other people not to talk to me because my head hurt so bad--for prolly about 6 months, to having 0-1 headaches/month just 3 weeks after starting treatment (splint).
So my advice to you...yes, it is a bit of a bother and can be a bit pricey depending on the plan of treatment, but it is so worth it. TMJ can get worse without treatment. So, it'll prolly be less painful and costly if you start treatment now.
TMJ is often made worse by stress/anxiety, so make sure you eat right, exercise, and take time to relax. Seeing a psychologist might be helpful, too. It can also affect your posture, so make sure you're standing tall (if not, you might want to look into chiropractic care and/or physical therapy).
I hope this helps.