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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

To splint or not to splint?

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Old 06-26-2005, 12:10 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 9
MidiVeg HB User
To splint or not to splint?

Hi, I'm new here! TMJ pain left side, can't chew, constant ache (worse sometimes than others). I've had my bite adjusted a bit (all crowns, was way off from years of dental work) and am anticipating some major reconstruction of my teeth (I need it, there's no question on that).

Now after expressing some reservations about the whole expensive process (what if after all this, I"m still in pain?) , the dentist is backpedaling and suggesting I wear a night guard for a while to see if it reduces my discomfort.

I am, of course, confused. Been to 4 doctors so far, and I THOUGHT this one had a good plan. Now I'm not so sure.

Might a night guard alleviate some of my pain? What questions should I ask before proceding? What should I expect to pay for this thing?

Also . . . I'm a professional singer . . . WAS a singer. . . . it hurts to sing now, and my range has been drastically compromised. I need some guidance here also, anyone have any experience with this?


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Old 06-26-2005, 06:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 44
hannahbob04 HB User
Re: To splint or not to splint?

HI! I'm new here, too. I stumbled across this site because I was looking up info on Ankylosing spondylitis (i seem to have a lot of the symptoms).

I was diagnosed with TMJ disorder when I was 15 (I'm 18 now). TMJ is a very complicated disorder. I have been wearing splints/appliances for 3 years, and eventually, I'll need to get braces for it (this might not be the case for you; everybody's different). But, let me tell you; I went from having excruciating headaches lasting from the time I got up in the morning until I went to bed--so bad, I couldn't talk and even getting to the point where I had to tell other people not to talk to me because my head hurt so bad--for prolly about 6 months, to having 0-1 headaches/month just 3 weeks after starting treatment (splint).

So my advice to you...yes, it is a bit of a bother and can be a bit pricey depending on the plan of treatment, but it is so worth it. TMJ can get worse without treatment. So, it'll prolly be less painful and costly if you start treatment now.

TMJ is often made worse by stress/anxiety, so make sure you eat right, exercise, and take time to relax. Seeing a psychologist might be helpful, too. It can also affect your posture, so make sure you're standing tall (if not, you might want to look into chiropractic care and/or physical therapy).

I hope this helps.

Old 06-27-2005, 07:29 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
Pablo2079 HB User
Re: To splint or not to splint?

A splint will show whether or not adjusting your bite and jaw position helps your symptoms. It's good to do that before making permanent/expensive changes that may or may not help you.

Sounds like a prudent course of action to me.

As for braces to fix TMJ, I had an orthodontist that wanted to treat me that way. It would have been $16k (of which only $2k would have been covered). Make sure you get multiple opinions. I later found out that the braces option probably would not have helped me, but I would have had a great smile! hahaha

Good luck....

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