Re: TMJ newbie!
My TMJ diagnosis came after I had some bad ear problems as well. It took me a lot longer to get my diagnosis though.
Dental work like your crowns can certainly trigger your TMJD issues.
I HIGHLY recommend seeking out a dentist who has a lot of additional training in treating TMJD issues. There are a lot of stories out there of people who have had their TMJD made worse by well meaning dentists who don't have a lot of training. Based on my experiences a Functional Orthodontist with the additional TMJD and Orofacial Pain training is a good place to start. Before getting the bite block, you may want to get a couple consultations.
I learned the hard way about the difficulty finding a good dentist for treatment. It wasn't covered by my insurance and I put a lot of money out to dentists who didn't help.
I actually found that a lower mandibular repositioning splint was most effective in helping with my ear issues. It encouraged my lower jaw back into a forward position and allowed those muscles around my ear to come out of spasm as well. In my case, my tmj discs had slipped forward a bit which resulted in the lower jaw being pushed back towards my ears which caused my ear issues. The lower jaw and ear are just mm apart.
I'm really not sure if a bite block will be a good long-term solution. I'd certainly ask a lot of questions before beginning treatment.
There is a great book out there that I highly recommend to help you learn more about TMJD and the various treatment options. It is called The TMJ Healing Plan by Cynthia Peterson, PT. It is pretty inexpensive and could potentially save you money as you seek for treatments that work. I certainly wish it has been published before I started my journey.
I wish you well in your treatment.
Asthma, Allergies, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Plantar Fasciitis, DeQuervains, Hypermobility, possible Ehlers Danlos Syndrome