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Old 06-19-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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Question splints: do things temporarily get worse before they get better? And for how long?

Hi all,

I have suffered from intense TMJ pain for two years and finally saw a good NM dentist who said I had a classic case of misaligned bite that did not allow a resting place for my jaw. He recommended the classic Phase 1 orthotic splint followed by the Phase 2 braces treatment to realign the teeth and felt very positive that this would help me. He fitted me with a lower, permanent (3-4 months) splint 10 days ago.

Since then, the pain has gotten worse and I feel quite despairing. Has anyone else has a temporary increase in pain with their splint before things started to improve? How long did it last? I could really use some positive input at this point...if anyone has information to share it would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:09 AM   #2
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Re: splints: do things temporarily get worse before they get better? And for how lon

Hi there, I feel your pain. I'm currently being treated by an NM dentist and have been wearing an LVI splint on my lower teeth for the last 5 months.

When I first got the splint I started to feel some discomfort and mentioned this to my NM dentist. He assured me that I should see the treatment through and kept adjusting my splint as my bite changed. I've been vigilant with the treatment and worn the splint 24/7. He gave me a different one for night time (upper splint).

Over time, the discomfort has become more and more constant. It's like my whole face aches, and my jaw hurts more than it did before. I'm going to see him this week and talk about what to do next, because it's been long enough now to know it's not working for me.

It's a lot of money I've spent as it's an expensive treatment but at least I can honestly say I've exhausted conservative treatment as I'm seriously considering arthroscopic surgery as my next step.

I don't mean to get you down, I'm just sharing my own current experience with similar treatment to what you've just begun... although we're all different and so is our TMD, so please talk to your dentist about your discomfort as NM dentistry might work wonders for you in the long run.

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:17 AM   #3
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Re: splints: do things temporarily get worse before they get better? And for how lon

bijou22
unfortunately, bite splints don't work for everyone. However, you definitely need longer than 10 days to make that conclusion. I would suggest you give it at least a month or two before you can seriously assess your condition. In the meantime, you always can communicate your concerns to the dentist. Sometimes it's just a matter of a simple splint adjustment to even your bite. Good luck!

 
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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Re: splints: do things temporarily get worse before they get better? And for how lon

I think that in order for splints to be most effective, you need other treatments in conjunction.

If your pain is from muscle spasms, you need to find a way to help lessen the spasming. The splints help reposition your bite into a correct position. Eventually, your muscles should get used to this position and the spasming should reduce, but in while the muscles are adapting, the spasms can get worse.

You really need to include supplementary treatment to address the spasming in addition to the splint. In my case, I found a good manual physical therapist who was able to do trigger point releases on my masseter and pterygoid muscles. It hurt like crazy, but over time really really helped. I also worked on my neck and shoulder muscles as well since the tightness there was directly related to the tmjd spasms. When things were really bad, I also took flexeril as well.

Tens and ultrasonic treatment may also help as well. Massage also helps.
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