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  • Recently started splint therapy ...

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    Old 05-04-2018, 05:00 PM   #1
    Join Date: May 2018
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    salpac15 HB User
    Recently started splint therapy ...

    Hi there everyone,

    I recently started tmj splint therapy with a local TMJ specialist. Iím 19 and male and have been dealing with TMJ for quite some time, well over three years. I have been lucky enough to never experience pain with TMJ, only clicking and popping. A couple days ago, my jaw locked out of nowhere and I was unable to open it past two fingers width without forcing it. There was some mild pain but it really only felt like a limit my jaw had. The clicking and popping had also stopped with the lockjaw I had. I waited a couple days to see if it went away. It went from unlocked to locked back to unlocked and locked again over the course of a few days, and then stayed locked. I recently went to see a TMJ specialist and he recommended that I start TMJ splint thearpy immediately if I wanted my jaw to unlock and prevent further symptoms and damage. He gave me two splints, one for all day wear (including eating) and one for nighttime wear. Iím not supposed to let much teeth touch at all during this process. The day time splint allows only my back molars to touch and leaves quite an opening between my front teeth. After only 2 days my regular bite feels off, which is of course expected. I have been able to open my jaw to a considerlay larger size than before, but thereís no pop or clicking as before, so iím not sure if itís actually unlocked or my jaw muscles have just eased up a little. The nighttime guard does cause a little bit of uncomfortableness and made my jaw a little sore, but nothing that prohibits me from use. They want me to wear these two splints for about three weeks to initially unlock the jaw, and then they will adjust the splint to reposition my jaw so the disc can heal in its proper position. I am just a little skeptical about this as Iíve seen so many horror stories about this treatment. Iím very new to this and have little information about how this splint will even treat it. Is this splint going to cause a permanent open bite? How successful is this treatment? Do all people have to get braces after treatment? If my jaw doesnít unlock from this treatment, whatís next? Any information is useful and thank you in advance!

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    Old 05-05-2018, 07:30 PM   #2
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    Re: Recently started splint therapy ...

    I understand your concerns. I have had a variety of splints over the years. It is hard to find a dentist who truly does understand TMJD. I wore 2 splints for over a year. The daytime one helped me establish my correct bite as I worked to loosen those muscles in spasm. The nighttime one held my lower jaw forward when I slept and also kept it in the same positioning as the daytime splint. (Which I wore even when I ate.) Honestly, it took me about 3 months of splint therapy before I really noticed a significant difference. I noticed the changes in smaller increments before then. When I got to the point things were doing well with the splints, I sat with my dentist and discussed my options moving forward. He presented me with 4. It was my decision on how to proceed though. It took a while, but I am much better now than when I began my TMJD journey.

    The biggest thing I learned with the TMJD is you have to treat both the bite and muscular issues at the same time. Throughout my splint therapy, I saw a PT for manual therapy and small muscle exercises for the jaw/neck. I have since added in dry needling.

    I hope you find some relief with your treatments.
    Asthma, Allergies, Dry Eye, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Ankle ligament repair, arthritis, Joint Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

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    Old 05-06-2018, 03:36 PM   #3
    Join Date: Mar 2018
    Location: Manitoba
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    Drumtosurprise HB User
    Re: Recently started splint therapy ...

    I am interested in reading a success story related to splints for TMJ. Splint therapy is expensive and I haven’t read where anyone has fully recovered to a position where their jaw opened completely after having a closed lock.
    I wish anyone luck as we all take this difficult journey to improve our jaw opening.

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    Old 05-06-2018, 09:28 PM   #4
    Join Date: Sep 2017
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    Splint123 HB User
    Re: Recently started splint therapy ...

    For me the splint has been a godsend. I was very worried when getting the splint because it took adjustments to feel comfortable, I read all the horrors and I was so nervous. My issue is different because I have never had locking. I have always had popping and clicking without any pain based on jaw position and then after dental work I got 24/7 muscle strain from malocclusion.

    For me they recommended surgery as the best option but I am not going to go that route as I think there are too many risks appearance-wise in my opinion. They do say braces are necessary either way. But Invisalign is available so other than $ I donít think itís that bad to do (for me appearance is a big deal).

    Anyway I am so grateful for my splint, I am scared to move to braces as I will not be able to wear the splint and I will have to go back to discomfort until the teeth shift. I love my splint. I did have to get adjustments to get it right and even if I take it out for like a day the muscles have to settle back in but I love it. Itís like a pillow for my jaw. I donít think its a permanent solution for anyone though. But if braces wasnít an option and I was stuck this way, I could not live life without this splint. Sometimes I take it out if Iím in public and if I go too long with it out I get depressed and I canít live my life because of the discomfort returning. I think my jaw is happier with the splint then before I ever had discomfort because I used to grind and clench and now it sits calmly

    If you have any concerns along the way definitely talk to your dentist because they are knowledgeable.

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