Post # 1
I’m not talking about just nightguards. I’m talking about the splints that are meant to realign or push back your jaw to a different position. My dentist referred me to an orthodontist last year who made me a splint that did just that. At that point in time I was so tired of my jaw pain and trying multiple different nightguards that I would do anything. I have worn the splint for a year now and it definitely pushed my jaw back BUT I still have a lot of pain and my bite is still way off. I get migraines all the time now too. So today I had an appt with a different person, a medical doctor at my clinic, about all of this. He said that prescribing a splint to push your jaw back is an old therapy and has never been proven to work. He says no one does that anymore and that it probably messed up my jaw even more because it pushed it back too far. No he wants me to stop wearing the splint abruptly (and to help me in this transition there is a powerful psychiatric sedative drug they can put me on at night so I don’t grind my teeth to shreds – I don’t really want to be on that though!).
Sure enough, I look up bruxism on wikipedia and one of the things it says is that splints to push back your jaw do not work well and should be avoided. Wish I had looked that up a year ago!
Anyways, I’m just upset about all this and needed to rant I guess. I don’t know what to do now. Which doctor do I believe too? The orthodontist or my the medical doctor I saw today?
Anyone else ever wear a splint that pushes their jaw back too? Did it work for you?
Post # 3
I wore a splint for a few months. My dentist had told me that it was either that or braces because my bite was all wrong and I had jaw joint issues and I was grinding my teeth, and I initially refused to even consider the braces because I had already worn braces in middle school…
Well, I had the splint for a while and I found it annoying as all hell and my temples hurt if I stopped wearing it for a few hours, so I sucked it up and went for the braces. Spent a year and a half in braces and now my bite is perfect and I don’t grind anymore. I have to wear retainers for about six more months, but retainers are easy.
Have your doctors mentioned if your problem is correctable by braces? If it is, I think you should try that. Braces hurt and are annoying and don’t look all that great, but they do work if done by a good orthodontist.
Post # 4
I don’t think my problem is correctable by braces. If it was, I wouldn’t mind doing it. But right now my jaw is so unstable they don’t know where my bite is supposed to be, so I don’t think they would know where to move my teeth to. Plus my teeth are pretty straight, it’s just that the top and bottom don’t line up with eachother at all right now. I don’t know, I’ll ask the new guy about braces and see what he says. But I think he will just say I need to go without anything for awhile to see where my bite returns to.
And I hear you about the temple pain. Lately my temples have been killing me. Especially my right one! I think they bring on the migraines sometimes.
Post # 5
Yeah, if your teeth are pretty straight it sounds like an orthodontist wouldn’t recommend braces. Why mess with good teeth, ya know? I don’t know of any other alternative TMJ treatment though 🙁 I hope you’re able to find a solution soon. It’s not pleasant to have constant discomfort and pain around the jaw joints :-
BTW, I also suffer from migraines. When my bite was wrong I could tell that some of the migraines were being triggered by that, but now that my bite is perfect I still have migraines. I’m not surprised, since I didn’t expect the migraines to go away after the braces came off (I’ve had migraines for nearly 20 years already, after all), and I’m seeing a new neurologist soon to change migraine treatments since my current one isn’t working too well, but yeah, I totally understand about the TMJ-related migraines. And of course, it’s better to have fewer migraine triggers, so getting rid of the TMJ problem will likely help there at least in some way.
Post # 6
I had a bite splint for about three months, but unfortunately it made me drool like a saint Bernard so it didn’t get worn much past that. Migraines for me are mostly triggered by stress, which is why a more holistic approach worked a lot better for me than a dental or orthodontal approach.
I use massage therapy to help with my TMJ and it has helped a lot, but it took me years to find someone comfortable enough with TMJ problems to really make a difference. Another thing you can try is to find an Alexander Technique practitioner, who can help you learn to realign and relax your own jaw.
Post # 7
Yeah, I had one of those. It didn’t help. It realigned my jaw, but then my teeth weren’t aligned, so biting and chewing (even talking) was then MORE painful b/c my mouth would have to go back to the old alignment. It sucked.
I have an achy jaw almost all the time (dull ache) and sometimes sharp headaches, but not all the time migraines. I have noticed that when I try to sleep with my whole jaw on the pillow (i.e. further up than you usually sleep on a pillow) and with my mouth open I am less likely to start clenching during the night & am less likely to have headaches as a result.
@Draonsus – I would love to know more about the Alexander Technique thing & massage therapy. I have never heard of either. Is that kind of thing usually covered by insurance?
Post # 8
It depends – I have found some insurance companies to be very receptive to holistic medicine and I know a lot of places definitely cover massage therapy. If not, look for a place called Massage Envy – they do a membership program that gets you a massage a month for about 50$ and it’s only $40 if you want more than one a month. Ask about who has experience with TMJ and they should be able to get you set up with a qualified therapist.
You live in LA so there are MANY Alexander practictioners in your area (it’s also a popular acting/singing tool) so it should be no problem to find someone nearby. Check around and see who takes insurance (and what your insurance will cover)
I hope this helps!