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What should I do?? Please help

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oakland, California USA
Posts: 4
Shai510 HB User
What should I do?? Please help

Hi I'm a new member to this site. Well actually I use to be a member for a short period yrs ago. I'm now back under a different username.

Anyways, I'm 32 yrs old. I got braces at age 15 and had them taken off at age 19. I had 4 teeth pulled (biscupids) which I now found out that's probably the root cause of my tmj.

So years after, I slowly gradually started feeling pain. The pain in the last 3 yrs has been more intense. a maybe because I had my wisdom teeth pulled, but who knows.I have all the symptoms which are Clicking popping, facial pain, headaches, ear aches or ear fullness, neck tension just to name a few. The muscles in my face are tense and swollen. Happens on the right side only. I also clench and grind. My bite is so off. When I bite down, it's everywhere. I don't have what the Dr, calls a "Home bite".

So, I finally couldn't take it anymore and after researching and reading on tmj forum sites such as this one, I decided to make an appointment for a consultation w a neuromuscular/tmj specialist.

After X-rays and careful examination, here's what he said:
Because my biscupids were pulled when i had braces, it shifted my jaw and made my mouth smaller, which didn't allow my tongue much space to rest, thus causing my tmj. It makes a lot of sense. I've heard someone on here say the same exact thing so there is merit.

Last night I tried sleeping w my tongue between my top and bottom
Teeth so that my tongue can stretch and rest better, while preventing my teeth from clenching. Seemed to help a bit.

Here are my options:
1. Live with it forever. There is no cost but be miserable.
(I don't like this option)
2. Wear a 4k Orthotic forever. Cost to replace if broken 1500. He did NOT recommend this option. (not good for long term as he stated)
3. He will refer me to a specialist in orthodontics for braces (cost 8k). He will pull back my molars to bring my jaw back to its original position, thus alleviating the tmj. On the downside, I will be left with 4 missing teeth.
Partial dentures top and bottom 8k. In total 16k
Or go for the implants 5k each tooth. Total cost 28k

I can't afford the braces option with the teeth replacement. I also do not want to wear braces again. What happens if my tmjd doesn't go away? Then I'm left with 4 missing teeth and pain. As this point in time I am opting for the orthotic but the Dr does NOT recommend it; and I hear it only 50% success rate. For some it can worsen. Should I get a 2nd opinion? Consultations are not cheap either. I don't know what to do anymore.

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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Location: San Diego, California
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Bellamq HB User
Re: What should I do?? Please help

I have very similar TMJ symptoms. If you can't afford the splint and braces, you need to just deal with the pain aspect. Your jaw muscles are tense and sore b/c you unconsciously clench your teeth at night and you clench/grind your teeth because your bite is off. You must correct your bite to get lasting results. however, like you, i can't afford all that at the moment.

For my TMJ Pain Management, I take 50mg of Nortriptyline (helps with chronic pain/depression) at night before I go to bed. I also take 1mg of Klonopin (a very light muscle relaxer) before bed. I take .5 mg of Klonopin in the morning. I also get Botox shots in my "problem" masseter muscle every 6-7 months. It seems like a lot, but anything is better than 24/7 pain.

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Jbu (01-06-2013)
Old 01-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: What should I do?? Please help

It might be worth seeking out another opinion if you can.

Even if you need to wear a splint for long-term, that price seems incredibly high.

At one point, I wore a lower mandibular repositioning splint during the day and another sleep splint at night. They were custom made and only around $1500. I see a dentist/functional orthodontist with extended training on orofacial pain and TMJD and his prices are higher because of that. I can't imagine forking out that much $$$. Also I got top of the line brand self-ligating Damon braces for under $5000.

While his treatment options seem like they may be appropriate options, the pricing seems awfully high.

I wore my orthotics for my Phase I. My orthodontist offered me the option of wearing the orthodontic indefinitely if I needed to when I had my Phase II discussion. Because I couldn't afford braces at the time, that option worked well for me until I could get a more permanent option addressed.

You can tell by my early posts on this board, it took me a couple tries with well trained TMJ specialists to find the right one for me.

Good luck,
Asthma, Allergies, Dry Eye, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Ankle ligament repair, arthritis, Joint Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

Old 01-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Birmingham, AL US
Posts: 3
Jbu HB User
Re: What should I do?? Please help

I feel your pain!! I am having this and it is tearing me has distorted my face and the pressure is so bad around my temples and cheeks and forehead, I feel as if i will just lay down and sleep from exhaustion. Cry everyday, can't work, humiliated, .... I am seeing an orthodontist and using a mouth splint...but i am terrified! I am a woman who used to called "beautiful" and now, people look at me like i have come from another planet...this is hellish

Old 01-11-2013, 05:09 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oakland, California USA
Posts: 4
Shai510 HB User
Re: What should I do?? Please help

Hi everyone,

I've come to the decision to see this functional orthodontist I was referred to. his name is dr hockel in walnut creek, ca. I checked out his website; he's well qualified and the only one in the east bay area where I'm from.

The procedure is called orthotropics. He's basically going to pull my jaw forward reversing what the traditional ortho did to me in the first place. I have a very pronounced underdeveloped jaw that retrudes significantly.

I know this is going to be tough on me financially, but I no longer can live like this. My wife supports me in all this, even though sometimes I feel she doesn't understand for me. Because tmj is an unusual disorder that only tmj sufferers would understand. We live with our own pain in our own world, outside of reality.

Just the other day we got into a big fight because her friend had a wedding. I said I dont feel comfortable being around people.. Btw I was once a very outgoing social person, but not so much anymore. I ended up going to this wedding anyway and I felt so out of place around people that I've known for many yrs. they kept on pouring me drinks go relax. I even had a friend say I was uptight, until after a few drinks my tmj subsided. Works everytime lol

Anyways, I will surely keep you all posted after my consultation.
Cheers to no more tmj!

Old 01-11-2013, 05:13 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Oakland, California USA
Posts: 4
Shai510 HB User
Re: What should I do?? Please help

Btw it's 4am, woke up with major jaw pain. I know I been clenching all night... Every night is like this.. Just terrible

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