Hi all, This is for people who are in phase 1 treatment and have had a repositional splint made. How long does it take to get used to it? and did you have a hard time sleeping with it since it holds your jaw in that one position, and it's pretty "bumpy", not like the traditional flatter plane splints for nighttime. Can anyone who has been through this type of treatment comment please?? Thanks all..
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: Jill 227 Ponyo (11-21-2011)
I guess it depends on what you mean by "used to it". For me, the first week was really, really awful. I ate baby food and mashed potatoes, if I ate anything at all. By the end of the first month, things were better, but it was really at around week 7 where I felt like eating and sleeping weren't this insurmountable challenge. Maybe I'm just extra whiny because I started phase 1 at the beginning of December and missed out on all that good holiday food.
As far as the awkwardness with laying down goes (and this might apply for being upright as well)...what ever you do, don't try to force your jaw into the correct position so your teeth fit into the "grooves". I did that and now I've created a whole new problem with muscle/tendon/ligament issues. Let the splint just do it's thing - your mouth will figure it out on it's own. For added comfort at night, try playing with different combination of pillows and rolled up towels until you find something that's comfortable for you.
Good luck and hang in there, you'll get used to it eventually.
Hi--Thanks for your reply, I was beginning to think there was no one out there in splint therapy and doing ok. Everything you said about the splint, about sleeping positions, eating, and getting over the "bumpiness" of it was right on. I have always had rather flat plane splints, and this one is really hard to get used to. It's day 6, and eating has gotten much better, dealing with it during the day, although i'm still sometimes clenching on it to find my bite, and I know I conciously have to stop that. It makes my teeth and muscles ache. I'm glad you answered the problem with trying to sleep and trying to keep your jaw in those repositional grooves or bumps on it. That's almost impossible. I had to call my doctor yesterday and tell him that I never wake up at night or morning with my jaw in those grooves and I was concerned I was undoing all the good that they do during the day. He said not to worry, it's normal for your jaw to slip out and go all around the splint, and to not force the issue while sleeping because it will only make the muscles worse. I had to just let go and turn my brain off, then I started to fall asleep better. I tell you though, I wouldn't wish splint therapy on my worst enemy. I liken it to a really bad Twilight Zone episode that just never ends...I'm hanging in there , and doing much better with it. I wear it 24/7, and go back in 2 weeks to get it checked. Thanks for your input, and if you have any comments about my post, please let me know. J.
Last edited by Administrator; 06-25-2013 at 12:37 AM.
Thanks for making this post, as someone who is going to start with splint therapy some time soon, it's interesting to read, so that I can leanr what's to be expected when my treatment begins. It doesn't sound at all pleasant but then I have already been warned by my dentist that it will be a 'hard slog' and my osteopath has also warned me pain and discomfort will get worse.....great eh! But I am grateful for this post (as many others on this forum) and no doubt some time soon I'll be contributing to this one inparticular.
Hope it continues to get easier for you Jill and keep us posted as to how you're doing x
Ok guys, I actually slept almost 9 hours if you can believe that, part from sheer exhaustion, part I'm getting used to this damn thing. It still feels like the "fit" or feeling of highs and low spots on it change daily, I guess this is due to my jaw getting used to it and the teeth. My horrendous tooth pain from the tightness of it has subsided a lot and I can chomp down on food now pretty easily. The first 3 days I was on mash potatoes, shredded bits of lunch meat or chicken, and cottage cheese, etc. I go back in a little less than 2 weeks to get everything checked out. The biggest hurdle I'm trying to get over is my body is fighting this new jaw position with everything it's got. My muscular spasms have been pretty intense, in face, neck and upper back. I've used hot moist heat on it, heating pad, and massage to get through the intense pain. I guess I have to realize my jaw was in a wrong position for almost 20 years, and It's gonna take more than 7 days to get acclimated to the new position. I'll keep you guys posted, I'm not going to lie, this is pretty rough. It's getting easier though, and I'm trying to stay as positive as possible. Any questions from anyone starting splint therapy, let me know. ..take care all.---Jill.
Last edited by Administrator; 06-25-2013 at 12:37 AM.
Thanks for the update Jill, glad to hear it's getting easier, although it's true that it is going to take quite a while until your body "accepts" your new jaw position, like you say it's been in the wrong position for 20 years. I guess that's why Ive been warned by my dentist & osteopath that I'll experience more pain & discomfort because the body will try to reject the work that's been done.
I had a scare on Tuesday, I wrote in another post on these boards about my tinnitus and face going numb, it got worse and really worried me, I ended up calling my Osteopath for advice and he said it is my body reacting to the treatment he's gibing me i.e. correcting my bone structure, but my body doesn't like what's happening because it's been the way it is all my life.
I'm sorry you're going through it Jill, but I'm reassured that I'm not alone & I'll be re visiting this thread once I start my splint therapy fo support.
I should've seen my dentist today but unfortunately my husband had a car accident yesterday so I've not been able to make it. Will keep checking this thread for updates and share my juourney too, hopefully I can contribute to support others too.
Hey Andrea--are you getting Cranial Sacral therapy? I've never been to an Osteopath, what exactly is he doing for you? Is it like cranial work? I'm debating whether I want to start cranial work in conjunction to massotherapy. Let me know,,thanks!
PS--sorry to hear about your husband, is he ok?
My husband is OK thanks, luckily he escaped any physical injuries excpet minor cuts and bump on his head, it's just the shock that hits him every now and then.
I see an Osteodontic, he is an osteopath but has had specialist training in osteopathy and dentistry, he treats mainly babies born by a difficult birth such as mine was (forceps delivery) which damaged my skull and face bones, thus causing my TMJD. I feel that he is helping me greatly with my symptoms, especially of shoulder aches and pains and if you can find a specilaist in this area of osteopathy then I strongly reccommend it.
From what I understand Cranial Sacral therapy is similar to osteopathy but like I say my osteopath truly understands the relation of the jaw and dentistry in connection the rest of the body with regards to and TMJD so I personally will only ever feel confident in recieving treatment from my particlar osteopath and no other.
As I am probably not making myself very clear (because I don't know how to explain the osteodontic term then here's the link to his web site which will explain better.
* link to commercial website removed by hb-mod, moderator *
Hope this helps. x
Last edited by hb-mod; 07-30-2009 at 04:52 AM.
Reason: Please don't post commercial websites, as per the Posting Policy. Thanks!
Hi J! I hate to tell you, but I've been over 5 weeks, and I feel like my body is still fighting the splints. My teeth do go to the grooves easier than when I first got the splint, but my muscles in my face, neck and shoulder are still not liking the changes. (but you already figured that out from my other posts). Eating is not too bad either, but it is starting to get sloppy feeling, like the splint isn't as tight as it used to be and moves when I am eating.
Keep us updated, I want to hear when it finally "clicks" for you, when you have the "ahh, this feels good" moment.
I am new to this board (TMJ board - I was previously on the migraine board) and just wanted to thank you for this post. I had a repositional splint fitted last Wednesday and have gone through the same terrible discomfort as my lower jaw has been brought forward a long way. All my neck, shoulder, back and face muscles are tight and painful and I was worried that this was a bad sign, however it would seem from other people posts that this is to be expected so I will stop panicking for now! My dentist has referred me to an Osteopath so hopefully this will help.
Does anyone know if other symptoms are made worse at the beginning of splint therapy? My nausea went much worse when the splint was first fitted, but this is gradually improving.
Last edited by canal19; 07-30-2009 at 11:03 PM.
Just adding my two cents to this thread. I was fitted for both daytime and nighttime repositional splints. My dentist smoothed out the nighttime splint after a week or so, but left the daytime splint with all those lovely little bumps and grooves that my teeth never seemed to fit into comfortably. My symptoms started getting worse than they had been before any treatment - constant headaches, jaw spasms, very limited mouth opening, etc. I even had a hard, painful lump by my joint that I was convinced was some evidence of displacement, but that my dentist said was actually a knot in the muscle. I didn't even know jaw muscles could get knots. I guess I am just talented :-). Anyway, he ended up modifying the daytime split significantly - smoothing out the grooves and cutting away the front part so that it only covers my molars. It has been about a week since then and my pain level has been much lower. My bite when I take the splint out also feels the most natural that it has since my symptoms started four months ago. Further evidence of the fact that everyone's case of TMJD is different and may require different treatment(s), I suppose.
HI Becky---Welcome to the lovely tmj boards.. I have a few questions for you since you are one of the only ones I know going through splint therapy. I've had mine for 2 weeks now, and mine is a lower full arch repositional splint. I wear it 24/7. I'm finding it easier to eat with, easier to find the resting place during the day, but what i'm finding out is at night when I'm laying flat or on my side it's hard to find that resting place, like I've already ground down by clenching and grinding some of the bumps on the thing. I'm going in on MOn. for my first checkup since I got the thing, and I'm going to ask questions about that, since I have to be in this one for about 4-6mo. My big question to you is, HOW bumpy is your splint? Are the grooves so large that your jaw literally feels stuck? or can you kind of have some wiggle room on it. Honestly, I feel like I've ground down some of my bumps, and I'm nervous because it's only been 2 weeks, but maybe it just feels that way now since I've gotten used to it. Who knows.
Thanks! PS--I hate splint therapy. When I got this splint I wanted to throw it in the river or run it over with my car. UGGG. Thankfully I've gotten pretty used to it.
Last edited by Administrator; 06-25-2013 at 12:38 AM.
Hi Merricat--Just curious, If you are supposed to be repositioning your lower jaw, why did your dentist shave down all the bumps? Did he give you a reason for that? I'm always curious to find out how different dentists treat tmj, and their reasoning behind all the madness, so to speak. Take care and good luck with treatment!
Last edited by Administrator; 06-25-2013 at 12:39 AM.
In order to answer your questions, it'd probably be best for me to give you some background first. Apologies if it is really long!
In November 2007, I suddenly became ill with severe fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headache, which seriously impacted my life. I could no longer work, socialise, or most days even leave the house. After months of being told it was M.E., I finally found a neurologist who said it was 'chronic migraine syndrome' and he tried a number of medications, most of which either had intolerable side effects or were of little use.
I started doing some research and discovered that some dentists believe that migraine is caused by TMJ. This made sense to me as I have had TMJ for years, although it had 'improved' recently to just a very loud grating of the jaw. (which I found out later was actually a sign of it getting worse). So I went to neuromuscular dentist privately who thought my problems were indeed caused by my bite.
He fitted me with a splint on my lower teeth that was very flat, with little if any 'bumps' or indexing. He also put an orthotic on my upper teeth to move them outwards as he said they were pushed too far back in my head and was holding my lower jaw back. For the next few months I started to gradually improve until I reached a plateau in my symptoms and didn't improve further.
Last month my dentist moved to the US to do a PostGrad course and he referred me to another dentist who wasn't a neuromuscular dentist but did treat TMJ. I was extremely nervous because I had built up trust with the first dentist and didn't want to have to go to someone new. The new dentist said he needed to rebuild my splint up and put some indexing in because my lower jaw needed to come much further forward; which he did last week. The effect it has had on me is strange, I feel really nauseous again and have painful muscles but seem to have more energy. It is all very up and down though. He seems to be very knowledgable though and works closely with an Osteopath and I have to go and see her next week.
I spoke to my original dentist to ask him if thought that having a splint with more indexing was ok. He said it was, it was just another way of doing the same thing - if you don't have any indexing on a correctly fitted splint, the lower jaw moves forward slowly over months or years to the correct position. Lots of indexing brings the jaw forward quickly and is more painful and uncomfortable in the short term, but you get it over with quicker.
I hope this makes sense and I've got the correct gist of what I've been told! I just have my fingers crossed that this works now; I keep swinging between feeling very confident about it to panicking that its not going to work after spending all that money!