Yesterday I received my splint - just over 24 hours now of wearing it. I originally thought I was getting a repositioning splint but turns out my dentist decided to go with a "decompression splint" first (I believe this may be the same as a pivot splint??) It's spring-loaded, worn on the lower teeth, and is indexed - so I wear it 24/7 including eating. The goal, as I understand, is to unlock my jaw and then possibly move on to a repositioning splint once that is accomplished. Not sure why I wasn't just given a repositioning splint upfront since I thought it pretty much does the same thing.
I still woke up with a headahce this morning, but probably not as bad as usual. My neck wasn't as sore during the day but still have pain in and around my eye and I'm still bobbling around from dizziness. I realize it's mere hours of wearing it but thought I'd still share that.
Anyway, the real problem I have is with eating. I hear from others that eventually you get used to eating with it in (at this point I can't see how that is possible as it's very difficult!) but the real bothersome problem right now is the sore bottom front teeth and the underside of my tongue is getting chewed up and raw from rubbing up against what seems like the coils. They seem to be quite sharp and now my tongue is really, really sore. I've been eating soup all day and blended up my pasta to make it as easy to eat as possible and so that my tongue doesn't have to roll around and work as much, but it wasn't very successful. It feels very raw and is burning and I can't find a comfortable positiong with it. I was wondering if anyone has experienced such problems and, if so, what if anything was done about it. Do you think I can get these metal springs/coils adjusted or filed?? Is there anything I can put on top of them to cover them up? My appointment is this coming week but it's really quite unbearable and was hoping that someone had some experience/advice!
I haven't worn that type of a splint, but when I got my repositioning splint, I had to go back several times to have them make adjustments until we got it just right. Then as my jaw muscles came out of spasm I had further adjustments to accomodate my changing bite.
If you can find someone to give you some orofacial massage, that will help with your muscle spasm/headache pain.
Hi Cold, I've been reading your posts with interest, since you and I seem to share symptoms. Particularly in regards to dizziness. I was diagnosed with TMJ many years ago, but have not been good about keeping my splint correctly adjusted.
To make a long story short, I've been experiencing dizziness since the beginning of August and have visited an ENT who did vestibular testing and an MRI. All were normal. There's nothing wrong with my ears. I have an appt with a neurologist on Monday, but my ENT also sent me a referral to a TMJ specialist, since she said TMJ can, indeed, cause dizziness.
I haven't made an appt with the dentist yet, as my insurance won't cover treatment. But I plan on doing so after the neurologist appt.
I sincerely hope that your TMJ treatment cures your dizziness. It is absolutely the worst!
MountainReader - I have it in the back of my mind about going back to PT for orofacial and neck releases. I guess I first wanted to see how the splint was going and how much it would resolve symptoms on its own, mostly because I've sucked up my funds with the splint for now. Did you have limited opening before splint therapy and, if so, did it help you unlock? I have read about your other symptoms from other posts but wasn't sure if you were locked a well.
celticsun - yes, the dizziness is the worst for sure! All my symptoms, including dizziness, have been going on for over a year. I had caloric testing done which came back normal and even did vestibular rehab just to try and see if it helped for over 6 weeks with no results. I've come to the conclusion that it isn't inner ear related. How would you describe your dizziness? And what are your other symptoms? I don't have a vertigo spinning sensation. It's a constant sense of imbalance and head bobbling that I have. When I walk it feels like my head and neck are vibrating. My neck feels weak and sore and feels like it can't support the weight of my head. My head feels like it's full of rocks all the time and when I walk I find it hard to "keep my head straight". I have headaches in the temples and back of my head, mostly on the right side. I am really hoping that splint therapy will help with all this as I cannot function at all.
I, too, do not have the spinning vertigo sensation. (thank goodness!) It's more like I'm rocking on a boat, all the time. It's worse first thing in the morning and when I'm tired. (and I seem to tire really easily, since this started) I feel unsteady when walking, although if you were to watch me walk, you'd have no idea.
I first noticed the dizziness when turning over in bed. That lasted a few nights, then one day I woke up dizzy and it's been constant ever since. I also have feelings of motion sickness and nausea quite often.
My caloric testing was normal, as well. As was my MRI. I've done scores of Epley Maneuvers, with no improvement. My ENT is certain my ears are fine.
I don't have the head bobbing sensation you describe, but I do have an occasional feeling of vibration in my head, which I think may be caused by the clicking in my jaw. I have no real neck issues. I have noticed that my eyes are affected by this, though. They feel "bothered", which is the only way I know how to describe it. There is no eye pain.
With the exception of occasional headache pain in my temples, I'm one of the rare people who have little pain with my TMJ. I know I'm fortunate in that, but I think that is also is why I've allowed my TMJ to get so bad. My jaw locks daily, for most of the day. While my dentist, doctor and now the ENT have all said that TMJ can cause dizziness, I still find it difficult to believe that it can cause dizziness 24/7, for months on end.
I do hope your splint therapy is successful! I don't think people can understand just how debilitating dizziness can be. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
The following user gives a hug of support to celticsun: cold247 (11-15-2012)
I've never had problems with a locked jaw. My problem has been hypermobility of my jaw. I've never had joint pain, mostly I've had major ear problems and neck and shoulder tightness. I get the occasional headaches as well.
I agree with you on the cost of PT. I found it to be extremely helpful when I first started adapting to my splint though.