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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:20 AM   #1
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flatfour HB User
TMJ Phase 1 and how to stop clenching

Hi I am in phase 1 treatment with a lower orthotic that I wear 24/7. It appears to be helping the pain or at least starting to. My question is, I still clench at night and wake up often and notice my teeth clenched. Other than time and some relaxation techniques will this subside some as muscles relax? It seems to have intensified as I started wearing the orthotic.

 
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: TMJ Phase 1 and how to stop clenching

I would be interested to hear some insight on this subject. I am going to begin splint therapy next week. I tend to clench as well with an appliance in my mouth. This has never presented any pain before my orthodontic work. But now that my bite has changed, it has created havoc in my neck. I imagine it should not be an issue if your appliance is fitted properly. At least I hope so for both our sake!

 
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: TMJ Phase 1 and how to stop clenching

If you feel you are clenching more make sure your mouth appliance is fitting properly - go back to your dentist and make have it checked it out. I had to have mine adjusted about 3 times before it felt comfortably and over a period of wearing it about a month.

In my experience there is "conscious" clenching and "unconscious" or "involuntary clenching". I find I clench if I'm stressed out or doing certain activities (vacuming for some weird reason; exercising is another example). For these activities where I'm aware I'm clenching I try to stop or I wear my night gaurd.

With respect to clenching at night, that is much more difficult issue. I do this too. That is involuntary clenching and I don't think anyone really knows why this happens and I don't think its something you can consciously control. My oral surgeon said the involuntary clenching tends to happen during light sleep. The strategy is try to get deep uninterrupted sleep. He put me a clonazapam (I had trouble with other drugs) to help me relax and to make me drowsy - the problem is that I've built up a tolerance to it so I don't think its helping as much, so we're looking into other meds. If you're not on any meds like muscles relaxants that also make you drowsy talk to your dentist about whether you should be. But there are things you can do to help promote deep sleep - limit your caffeine and alcohol intake; don't do vigorous exercise in the evening; keep the room dark etc.

Good luck.

 
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: TMJ Phase 1 and how to stop clenching

Hey Flatfour - I had a quick question about your lower orthotic. how are you finding it affecting your quality of life? Was it difficult to transition to wearing it? Is it like braces?
If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to get it done?

Also, do you still have to wear a nightguard if you have this orthotic?

Last edited by Sd123; 03-25-2013 at 03:41 PM.

 
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:48 AM   #5
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Re: TMJ Phase 1 and how to stop clenching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sd123 View Post
Hey Flatfour - I had a quick question about your lower orthotic. how are you finding it affecting your quality of life? Was it difficult to transition to wearing it? Is it like braces?
If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to get it done?

Also, do you still have to wear a nightguard if you have this orthotic?
The orthotic took a little getting used to. I have it for about a month. For the first three weeks I took it out when I ate, but my dentist suggested I keep it in while eating since I had terrible headaches. That has really helped my headaches since I started wearing it all the time. I think eating without it was messing up any progress I was making. It is sort of like a retainer as far as wearing it. This is part of a Phase 1 treatment so I am not sure how much the orthotic was itself, but total was around 5,000 for the treatment. I wear it 24/7 except to clean it. Hope that helps.

 
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