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    Old 11-07-2008, 07:26 AM   #1
    abond0073
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    splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Hi

    What do you all generally thinks about TMJ Treatment - splints, surgery etc - especially since it has no scientific basis and some treatmenst cause harm?

    Ive spoken to the tmj ASSOCIATION (who seem to be advocating for greter reserach in the TMj area) - and apparently the NIH has released this leaflet warning of teh contriversies in TMJ ( [url]http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/NR/rdonlyres/39C75C9B-1795-4A87-8B46-8F77DDE639CA/0/TMJDisorders.pdf[/url] )
    - and how the research effort is growing?


    i hope i am not discouargaing anyone - its just i have had failed tretaments in past (steroids & splints)_ which have actually given me TMJ and im very cautious over who to trust - many dentists have outrageous claims, but how reliable are they???

    Last edited by abond0073; 11-07-2008 at 07:28 AM.

     
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    Old 11-07-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
    Thelma-Louise
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    I was hoping others would respond to this post as I tend to be one of those "failures" - I have tried numerous splints, numerous drs, numerous treatments and although I am doing better than when this first started 4 yrs ago - I am still struggling and can not work due to chronic and disabling symptoms.

    To answer your question - generally speaking, splint therapy is the only conservative treatment for tmj available at this point - in terms of correcting the problem anyway - depending on what the actual problem is. Alternative treatments such as chiro, acupuncture, trigger point injections, tens unit, cranial sacral therapy, ultra sound, dietary supplements,etc can help the body better deal with myriad of symptoms tmj can cause - but they won't necessarily fix the problem. So we are forced to rely on dentists - as medical drs basically can not help - other than to medicate us with pain killers, anti-depressants and muscle relaxers - and oral surgeons, generally resort to surgery since that is what they are trained to do.

    You are right - not all dentists are reliable or trustworty - some see tmj as a cash cow and some are not as highly trained or advanced in practice as they claim to be. To be honest I feel like my problem was made worse by the first tmj dentist I went to and the 2 others that followed were not able to make any progress whatsoever. Unfortauntely however it is not uncommon to go through a trial and error period and from dr to dr - I guess the trick to minimizing the risk of incuring any further permanent harm or damage is to arm yourself with as much info regarding Various tmj treatments as possible and opt for conservative drs - those that do not promise or guarantee success, take things slow, are patient and understanding and are very knowledgeable. If they come across as used car salesmen - just trying to make a deal - or insist their way is the only way, or seem disinterested in whether they treat you or not - then just walk away and find another.

     
    Old 11-09-2008, 02:52 AM   #3
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Thanks

    Thelam, what treatment is making you better than 4e years ago.


    -TMJ is in a state of chaos

    -There has to be some uniform standards to diagnosis & treatment. That NIH document bluntly states that teh cause of TMJ is unknown - nobody can blame stress or teeth grinding as the cause. It aslo advises to avoid treatmenst whoch chaneg structure of the jaw (i.e splint work + phase 2)

    - i think this will soon be addressed as a pain problem - there are people with bad bites, osteartiritc joints - yet no pain!

    -did you hear of that lady who filed a lawsuit for negligent TMJ
    - im sure things like this will change the way TMJ is treated.

    Last edited by abond0073; 11-12-2008 at 03:26 AM.

     
    Old 11-16-2008, 03:47 PM   #4
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Dear abon..
    Please explain your post. I have had tmj work done over the past two years. I have researched some, but my research has been mostly "after the fact". I am frightened to what I have done and wonder if I should try to "undo". I started going to doctors in November of 2006, 2 weeks after a flu shot, and a virus, and excruciating pain in my ears that would not go away. One doctor led to another and finally to a tmj diagnosis...to medication, then a stabalization spint, to another "specialist" who disagreed and promised improvement with a repositioning splint followed by phase 2. So here I am in phase 2 since June with an overlay in lieu of braces.

    I used to have an overbite. I just about have an underbite. I have a "lisp" when I talk. I was already improving before I got to him with the repositioning splint but I had been on his waiting list so long, I went ahead and started with him. It is hard to eat, I sleep with a one piece night guard that I "glue" into my mouth every night. But, I don't have fog brain any more. My tongue has more room at night. I have to sleep on my back. I have to keep either the overlay or night guard in my mouth in or I will have my jaw muscles messed up...I guess, I haven't broke his rule to test what will happen. Just what is my future?
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    Last edited by wrightj6; 11-16-2008 at 03:55 PM. Reason: left out title

     
    Old 11-17-2008, 04:31 AM   #5
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Your situation sounds similar to mine
    I have been in repositioning splint for years and didnt proceed to phase 2.
    I am scared what changes may have happened to me so am unsure what to do
    Im just waiting for research to improve, then ill make a decision.

     
    Old 11-18-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Aband: Thank you for your reply. Don't you think that since you have had the repositioning appliance for more than 6 months that you have already technically entered phase 2 involuntarily? My phase two seems to be a splint that made of metal that fits between and on top of my teeth but it is called an overlay. It is supposed to be more aesthetic. I have issues with that fact. Mine created a more open bite but it might not in everyones case. But, the damage of moving my jaw forward was already done. I think my dentist moved my jaw forward enough to prepare me for orthodontics (which I did not choose) for phase 2. However, I have more room in my mouth for my tongue, now. I was doing alot of tongue thrusting at night time. I wear the night splint which hurt so much at first. I was feeling like my tongue was suffocating me, too. Hard to explain. I don't suffer from fog brain as much any more but I can't say I attribute it to these latest splints. There are other factors. Please tell me if you think the splints have helped you. Did Thelma and Louise ever write and say what has helped them? I too, have been in contact with the TMJ Association. Their warnings (the association) are of great concern.
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    Last edited by wrightj6; 11-18-2008 at 10:37 AM. Reason: spelling

     
    Old 11-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #7
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    My current tmj dentist sent me to a cranial chiro since the splints he tried didnt help at all - I had totally lost my bite and control of my jaws and tongue and muscle function - the cranial chiro uses applied kensiology techniques to help unwind body torquing that had resulted - I have been seeing him for a year now and have made a lot of improvment overall in terms of the severity of symptoms. In the meantime my dentist postponed further splint treatment to give the chiro some time - so basically all the improvment I have seen has been due to the chiro. This month I go back to the tmj dentist and we will once again try splint therapy and try to reinstate a stable bite and get my jaws and muscles to function in unison again - hopefully all the good the chiro has done will not be undone.

     
    Old 11-19-2008, 07:29 PM   #8
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    There have been tmj treatment success stories. The fact that there are tmj treatment centers all over justifies that tmj isn't based all on fallicies and failed diagnosis. Tmj is very specific I suppose - meaning, it isn't just a collection of symptoms alone as I had once thought. I think that's where things get a bit blurry though.

    I wouldn't know first hand, considering, I never went through with it after the initial consults. BUT I would first recommend going to a University tmj clinic. They aren't afraid to turn patients away whereas the information you get at private practices may vary and be a bit wishy washy. Plus, Universities have links to science/research departments that I'm sure do research first hand so they probably wouldn't feed you a line of bull like the bull that's been fed to me by various tmj doctors before.

    Cases can vary and get worse for example had I gone through with treatment and gotten repositioning splints like I desparately wanted because I thought that my jaws were pressed too back agaisnt my throat and the position of my teeth were causing problems when in fact my jaws are actually in a far too foward position and my skull isn't resting properly on my atlas (position: down and foward) which as you can imagine give my throat a tight squeeze. THat I can guess would have been a failed case no matter how many tmj symptoms I claimed to have would've gotten only worse.

    Last edited by CaydenJ; 11-19-2008 at 07:36 PM.

     
    Old 11-19-2008, 08:17 PM   #9
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Thelma and Louise: I noticed that you said a stablization splint. I used one for awhile. After the fact, I have been informed that they cannot be "adjusted"....therefore, sometimes not allowing the doctor and patient to control the "bite" or placement. Did you have this problem before you were ever on a stablization splint?

    I, too, feel better after physical therapy. However, I am on a repositioning splint. But, I don't "have" to go to therapy....I just noticed after my shoulder surgery that the therapy made my tmj symptoms feel better.

    I am sorry you are having troubles. It sounds frightening. I am new to this site. I don't know what started your problems.
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    Old 11-19-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Cayden,
    So what did you get done to get better?
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    Old 11-20-2008, 12:29 AM   #11
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    I haven't done anything yet. I sat and did research for 2 years. I have an appointment to see an upper cervical chiro in a couple of days. My symptoms started fitting together after going into the upper cervical research sites. Things are happening in the order that they say. My spine is starting to torque.

    Good luck Thelma - It makes sense what they're doing. That just might be the ticket.

     
    Old 11-20-2008, 03:45 AM   #12
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CaydenJ View Post
    Plus, Universities have links to science/research departments that I'm sure do research first hand so they probably wouldn't feed you a line of bull like the bull that's been fed to me by various tmj doctors before.
    I think this is a key statement

    I believe i have had treatments which have made me worse - becuase TMJ practicioners feed bull to you about your psyychological state- i became "scared" to challenge what was done to me.

    it is very easy to becoem a "trapped animal" - when u first get symptoms, they blame your lifestyle for it - you do their treatment of whatever to get relief - these treatments backfire - your worse off - and you cant regain your pre TMJ life, and if you try to in your weakened state, you get accused of stress and anxiety! it becomes a mess difficult to dig out of!

    Last edited by moderator2; 11-20-2008 at 06:53 AM. Reason: to fix the quote tags

     
    Old 11-20-2008, 08:54 AM   #13
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    I'm not in any splint yet and have no bite whatsoever so I have hyper jaw mobility and involuntary jaw and tongue functioning - basically I can not rest my jaws in one position at all - even when I sleep I can feel it constantly moving from side to side and sometimes my mouth will just open wide on its own - I guess kike a muscle spasm to relieve the fatigue in the muscles. I'm not even sure what kind of splint he will be using - stabilizing or repositioning - since I have trouble swallowing and feel like I am choking I have a feeling it will be the latter. My tmj pain started after I had seen my dentist and he adjusted an anterior bridge as my tongue was hurting and was then made worse when the first tmj dentist I went to did euilibration on my upper back teeth.

    Last edited by Thelma-Louise; 11-20-2008 at 08:55 AM.

     
    Old 11-22-2008, 09:56 AM   #14
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    wrightj6, you mentioned that your health practitioners had claimed that the repositioning splints cannot be adjusted. Either they are being disingenuous, or they mean something quite different, because all acrylic-based splints can be adjusted. Material can be removed by drilling/standing, and new material can be added through the process of "relining". In fact, that's one way to save hundreds of dollars on getting a splint: just get an existing one and have your dentist reline it so it's customized for your bite. You may want to check back with them and find out what they really meant by non-adjustability. They might just be trying to get you to start with a brand new splint, which means more dollars in their pocket.

    abond0073, you make a good point about various treatments. Some people make the mistake of thinking that if the first splint they try doesn't work, then splinting won't help them. I personally went through all sorts of splints and adjustments, and finally found a combination that works terrific. Now, I don't have any more pain or clicking. Search online for different kinds of splints, and find out what is possible. (But stay away from soft splints, which make TMD worse.) Dentists and other TMJ specialists never seem to bring up the subject of splints that they themselves do not carry. Imagine that! :-)

     
    Old 11-24-2008, 08:30 PM   #15
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    Re: splints/treatments - their efficiency

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by manager58085482 View Post
    wrightj6, you mentioned that your health practitioners had claimed that the repositioning splints cannot be adjusted. Either they are being disingenuous, or they mean something quite different, because all acrylic-based splints can be adjusted. Material can be removed by drilling/standing, and new material can be added through the process of "relining". In fact, that's one way to save hundreds of dollars on getting a splint: just get an existing one and have your dentist reline it so it's customized for your bite. You may want to check back with them and find out what they really meant by non-adjustability. They might just be trying to get you to start with a brand new splint, which means more dollars in their pocket.

    abond0073, you make a good point about various treatments. Some people make the mistake of thinking that if the first splint they try doesn't work, then splinting won't help them. I personally went through all sorts of splints and adjustments, and finally found a combination that works terrific. Now, I don't have any more pain or clicking. Search online for different kinds of splints, and find out what is possible. (But stay away from soft splints, which make TMD worse.) Dentists and other TMJ specialists never seem to bring up the subject of splints that they themselves do not carry. Imagine that! :-)
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