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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hi Michelle. No, no surgery yet - but I will be having some kind of osteotomy to realign the upper/lower mandible sometime in the next couple years. This is all part of my 3 year Phase 2 treatment - braces for 3 years and within that time, oral surgery after 2 years of braces. That's how my ortho plans TMD treatment.

I think it's harder on adults than kids/teenagers when braces are put on. My mouth is so dry all the time - I have to drink A LOT of fluids, and it doesn't matter how long I've had the braces, canker sores will heal in one area and start right in again in another area. My ortho recommended taking L-lysine which is supposed to help the body fight canker sores - I still get them however; maybe just not as severe as before. My dentist also gave me some prescription liquid stuff to rub on the sore areas that works for people with gum disease and she thought might help with the canker sores. Sometimes liquid Malox (this was recommended by my ortho's technician) also helps soothe canker sore pain, even better than Anbesol.

I just hate this stage in my life - I'm 43 and will be almost 47 before all this Phase 1 & 2 treatment stuff is done. I'm getting my teeth whitened after all is over. I want to have beautiful teeth after the h*** I've been through. I wear a small splint at night too - and I'm still grinding/clenching at night even though I sleep through it. I can consciously keep myself from clenching/grinding during the day, but just sleep through it at night. My husband says it still wakes him up at night. I plan to wear a night splint forever, at least to protect my teeth if nothing else. I just hope someday I will stop grinding. I do not believe it's all stress induced; the ortho told me that bruxism of my severity and duration is also the jaw's attempt to realign itself and fighting the bite/alignment of the teeth. Since I still have such an open bite even with braces, I'm sure that's what's affecting me. I think the ortho thought the braces would help close my bite, but so far all that's happened is shifting of the teeth.

OOOOH - speaking of shifting teeth, I just remembered I have an ortho appointment tomorrow. Every 6-8 weeks I go in, new wires are put on or tightened, and OUCH!!!! My teeth, face, and jaw ache for a week - even on heavy duty prescription ibuprofen. It seems like I just get used to braces re-adjustments and then it's time for another appointment. I felt so good after splint therapy, but I really have a hard time being positive about the upside to braces because it all just seems to be a cycle of pain, mouth sores, and overall discomfort. The only positive I've seen so far is that my oral hygiene is excellent since I have to brush my teeth EVERY TIME I eat something. I sometimes brush 4-5 times a day because I can't stand the feeling of food stuck in my braces.

Goodness, I'm sorry to carry on so long! I just needed to vent.

Katie G

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