My TMJ dentist (who has been practicing a long time and my neuro said he is one of the best in Mi.) made me a upper splint to wear on top of my dentures and it pulls my lower teeth in front of my lower teeth. He said I have a over bite and have had it all my life. Never had any tmj symptoms till the age of 51 however. My mri said my discs are fine- no arthrites according to xrays either.
What I don't understand is aren't some people born with a shorter lower jaw and isn't this normal for some people? I spasm with the splint which I can only wear at night cuz I can't even talk in it and its hideous looking.
I sometimes think he is pulling my lower jaw too forward, isn't there measurements or something to check for this.
It has helped termondously with the ear pain and ringing, but is stretching my neck muscles and causing facial spasms - thanks.
Yeah, i agree. Some people are just born with a shorter mandible, and they're fine with it. I have a friend that has a shorter mandible which seems like a overbite just like her dad. I guess it's genetics. But she's fine. She has no pain at all. Granted i have not ask her if she has tmj. But it seems she doesn't.
If the doctor is pulling your lower teeth way in front of your upper teeth, imo that's too extreme. Maybe tell him/her to pull it back a little so that your bottom and upper teeth lined up vertically.
I agree. There must be a way to determine how much to pull. Dentists usually take several molds of your teeth just for this purpose alone. Good ones usually gets in right on the first try. But i honestly don't know how they measure it. Maybe it is trial and error. But pulling too much will, i guess, cause problems. Gradually is the best way, i think. Hopefully you have found the right doctor.
Some people indeed do have a smaller mandibula, but it is not "normal", and not everyone is fine with it. Small mandibula often causes overbite, and that can cause all kinds of problems, such as headaches, joint pain and other joint problems, neck pain etc. I had a small mandibula and overbite, but I recently had surgery to fix it. It can also be fixed just with braces if it's not significant (less than 5 mm), but severe overbite usually requires surgery.
There are some appliances which pull the lower jaw forward, such as Herbst appliance, and they are usually used for children who still have bone growth. However, they can sometimes be used for adults (in a different way though) to push lower teeth forward, but this is quite rare. This splint you have sounds very strange to me, because my orthodontist and surgeon both said that these appliances (because as I was a border line case I wanted to try Herbst appliance) can in fact worsen joint problems (which I already had because of the overbite) because they pull the joints into an unnatural position, but perhaps your splint works differently.
Do you have an overbite? If you do, it might be a good idea to see an orthodontist and a maxillofacial surgeon as well to discuss your options.
Thanks everyone. I quit wearing the splint for a week and ear pain is back so it must be my jaw is too far back. They think the dentures I'm wearing don't have enough freeway movement and holds my jaw back- so I'm in the process of getting new ones made. Sure hope it helps.
Oh, somehow I missed the bit about you having dentures... *doh*
Anyway, orthodontists probably don't really treat people with dentures generally, but they do often know (at least mine did) a lot about malocclusion and about different treatment options (including non-surgical) and could perhaps suggest some other options if you are interested; surgeons of course know a lot about oral surgeries, but may not know much about any other options and, as surgeons sometimes do, recommend surgery sometimes unnecessarily. However, if you have constant problems with your joints, it might be worth looking into other treatment options, which may give more "permanent" results.
Now that my treatment is almost complete, I have to say I have been quite satisfied with the treatment I've got, although I had some difficulties on the way, too. And I feel pretty good now, even though I'm still in recovery after the surgery.
Yeah - I am partly toothless (lost my u/l front teeth early and what teeth are left have been so filed down due to other failed attempts of tmj treatment that I am basically now wearing over dentures, although the goal is to somehow get back to crowns on the remaining teeth and 2 anterior partials. Although my dentist is trained in FJO and knows a lot about tmj I still have to wonder if removing the remaining teeth would not allow him then to make dentures so he can put the teeth and jaw where they belong - but then I see Luvtocamp is struggling with dentures and think maybe he is right - I should leave them in and hopefully he can do the same thing with my remaining teeth - but I can't see how he can move my filed down teeth. I partly think that my previous orthodontia has something to do with my current problems as well.
I know i'am new to this board and what i am about say may make you think i'am crazy. When i was in alot of pain the only way i found relief was to keep my jaw slightly open and bottom forward. I have trained myself without even knowing it to do this all the time. The only time my jaw goes back into normal position is when i eat. It has been about 10 years now and is still working to controll pain. I know, i know i'am weird.
Best of luck
Wrinkles only go where smiles have been
You're not crazy - its one of the first things most drs, web sites and studies will tell you to do as an exercise - drop the lower jaw and just let it hang open. And to try falling asleep with your mouth slightly open as well. I find what helps me most is making a "blow fish" face - as if I am going to whistle. It brings the lower jaw forward and eases some of the muscle pain and spasms.
I think you are right, because my last tmj dentist made my upper denture so it would hold my jaw back and now I'm having another denture that will let my jaw have more forward movement. These dentures have hurt my ears , neck and facial spasms and I have R. temporal head hum, and because I have worn these dentures for a year I automatically hold my jaw back out of habit I guess as I have interference when I let my jaw go forward.