Hello, I have had several bite guards(splints) made in the last 13 years. After trying several of the full mouth splints all I got was pain from them. Then a dentist made me a upper anterior deprogrammer where only the bottom 6 teeth hit the guard. I really liked that one but I moved and after I had some dental work I had to have it replaced. Unfortunately, I have found that most dentist don't make this type of bite guard. I can't go without a splint and my jaw is even worse than it is when I wear one. Then I got a anterior deprogramer that fits over the two top front teeth. I had horrible pain from that one and it was weird because it stuck out of my mouth. Then the dentist made one on the bottom two teeth and it feels okay I guess. I have since seen a oral surgeon about my jaw and another tmj specialist who said that I should not wear this guard though so I am now stumped. One dentist says this one says that. I told my husband that I hope I die soon because I don't know how much more pain I can take. I also have a trigeminal neuralgia since I had a jaw infection(very rare type of germ) after having a wisdom tooth pulled. I ended up in the hospital because by the time the dentist and emergency room(who didn't take a xray) finally decided this was no normal bacteria I was seriously ill. The infection was in my throat and I couldn't breath. I was in the hospital for 11 days and had to take antibiotics for 2 months. I have the best dentist story. Ha! Ever since then I have had trigeminal neuragia from nerve trama. My jaw hurts because a dentist thought my teeth were the cause of the trigeminal neuralgia and changed my bite. I have had terrible teeth and jaw pain ever since. It has gotten so bad that I often lay on the pillow and cry. I hope that I helped you. I would say it depends on who make the splint and how much you need it. I have been told the the full mouth splints are the best but I think some people find they have more pain when wearing them. I hope it helps you.
Yes, I know all about the jaw hurting, bite lost, not fitting full-mouth splint (for $4,5K!!) and so on. There seems to be enormous amount of people whose bite was lost or messed up from dental work. A while ago I thought I was the only one since when I complained about this to dentists they tried to show to me that "something was wrong with me", and they did not want to take my case. The ones who did, made sure they got the money upfront (which is pretty easy when someone is in pain and desperate) but after that usually did not even do what they have promised.
Could you close your lips in that comfy splint? Was it of the height that you wanted your teeth to be or you felt like you could not close your mouth (and lips) all the way?
Do you have many permanent crowns? The rest are your teeth, I assume. You should not give up and really restore your bite! As I was telling many times on the thread about Appliances we have to find the comfy bite ourselves; relying on dentists for this does not seem to work. In a few days it will be my 9th anniversary of "finding my bite" after the dental work. Basically I know where my bite is and what is the proper jaw path; in that position the jaw does not hurt. The problem is that if the teeth do not support this bite everything gets twisted and hurts.
I learned from the trial and error method that the best way to calm down the jaw is to focus on relaxing it and the whole body (do not allow your teeth to touch when you do that).
Thanks for your response, today I am somewhat better; went for a 1.5 hour walk to relax my jaw and the body. Sleeping is tough.
Let me know if you have any questions about the bite since I got quite an experience.
Hi again, I have one crown and a permanent bridge with one pulled tooth and 3 crowns on it. The bridge was just a deplicate of the teeth that were there. My natural teeth have some bone loss but I had gum surgery so the pockets are okay. Like you I know all about the bite but the problem is that no dentist seems to understand that so much has been grinded off my teeth that the edges of my teeth hurt because they are too high. I feel like I am chewing with my edges. For a long time I went through a period where different dentist just grinded and grinded, however, my back teeth just kept hurting like I was hitting them too hard. That is mostly what made my jaw hurt. Getting off my teeth all together was wonderful for a long time but once I started chewing the pain immediately came back. Now, however, the pain doesn't go away even though I am off the back teeth with the nti splint. I had a perfectly pain free bite with absolutely no jaw pain until that first dentist messed my bite up saying my back teeth were hitting too hard(I had all my natural teeth then). It is funny because they are still hitting too hard but now hurt terribly. You probably know the feeling. A few months ago I started to get a grinding noise inside the jaw that is hurting and the pain is almost unbearable at times so I went and got a xray. The dentist was supposed to call me about the results but never did even though I called his office three time. I even sent away for my records but never got them. I know that the xray machine was broke when I came in so I had to come back. I think the xray was still not working and they didn't want to admit it. I am going to send for my records and get proof that they received them. I paid for that xray. After that I went to a tmj specialist who took a xray for free during the consultation and was told I am so swollen that she couldn't see the disc or it is displaced. She showed me the xray but I couldn't afford her rates for care. I wanted to tell you something that happened to me when I got my first nti splint(hits two front teeth). I had a chipped tooth on the two teeth that were being hit so I think it was throwing the guard off because the guard was going sort of into the tooth. I think that is what made my jaw hurt even worse. The dentist said it didn't matter if I had a chip but I could feel my tooth going down into it at night. I don't think that dentist knew much about making a nti so I hope the one I have doesn't cause problem. Like I said though it is okay and much better than a full mouth guard for me and probably you too. I hope if you deside to get the nti works good for you. I think you may find a dentist who makes the nti before you find one who makes a anterior deprogrammer. I am not sure if you are having a nti made for you now or if you are just thinking about it. You probably know that the nti website lists the names of the dentist who make them. That is how I found one. Well, I have chatted too much so better close. I hope you have a nice New Years and can find pain relief in the coming year. Sincerely2
p.s. I just remembered that some dentists call the NTI a anterior deprogrammer but I was told it wasn't the same. The nti only fits over two teeth. I also wanted to tell you that I will like it because I can get dental work done and it won't change the nti unless it is the two teeth it covers. The bigger anterior deprogrammer usually won't fit right after some changes in your teeth like a crown or bridge. Also, I don't know what the bigger programmer would feel like if you have a removable bridge.
Hello again, Thank you so much for your reply. IYou have made me feel so much better by listening to me. You are right about your getting off your teeth. I haven't slept without at guard since 1994 with that dentist messed me up. Right now I am rotating with 3 of them but none of them fit right. I have actually made changes on two of them. The nti fits okay but I think it doesn't extend far out enough so I am hitting the very tip of the guard. It won't last long because the tip is very thin. Anyway I am sorry I am sort of crying on your shoulder. I know you are also in a lot of pain. I need to see another dentist because the last one did a few dental changes and then referred me to a specialist who wanted $2000 for a biteguard alone. It was huge and I would have to wear it all the time, even eating. Have you ever seen a neuro dentist(not sure about this name). They deal with main the muscles and bite. I went for a consultation but he was very expensive also. Well I hope you have a nice weekend? Sincerey2
Hi S2! I am glad I am helping you in some way! Please, feel free to "cry on my shoulder", or share or ask questions. There are many of us, as I learned from the Board who have a hard time after the dental work. I never thought until this happened how powerful a dental work can be for the whole well-being of a person.
I went to a few Neuro-muscular dentists and made an appliance with one. The appliance does not fit and the dentist knew this but refused to go on saying that I should go to a prosthodontist. At the same time, he has a site where he claims to be " among 1% of dentists in the US who know how to do a full-mouth..." It was just to get a lot of money!
They are very expensive, moreover, as it seems to me, they are well trained to talk to patients and to impress them but when it comes to actual help... one of them told me that my case will cost about 60K (w/o any root canals, etc) and they will file the rest of my teeth, place me into that "new bite" and I might need to get used to it for a year. If I won't-- too bad. Surely, I refused. I would not suggest them.
Can you relax your jaw at all if you focus on not touching any teeth for a while? I mean have the jaw pain-free? If you bite after you do that, do you hit all your teeth at once?
I just started reading these posts because I also suffer from TMJ. My TMJ started when I was 30 yrs old and I am now 66. My dentist at that time is actually responsible for my TMJ because I had a bridge put in and he couldn't fit it correctly, so he used a small dental hammer to pound it in place. I am serious! I couldn't close my mouth after he got the bridge in place so he pushed my bottom jaw up to close my mouth and that was the first time I ever felt clicking and grinding. It has gotten progressively worse and I am on Celebrex every day to alleviate some of the pain. In all these years I have not found a dentist that can help me. They all confirm that I have TMJ but none of them have helped me and some have made it worse. After reading these posts, I just needed to vent! I'm looking for advice from anyone that has found help with their TMJ.
My TMJ got progressively worse through all those years, and I've been to many dentists, oral surgeons, a dentist that said he specialized in TMJ, and Case Western Reserve Dental school. Not one person has helped me. I suffer from head pain (especially on my right side), neck pain, and ringing in my ears. I know it is all because of TMJ. Only people with TMJ know what I am going through. What makes matters worse, when I retired I lost my dental insurance, and now I can't afford the prices that most of these dentists charge.
You have pretty much the same symptoms I am having, and mostly on the right. Have you tried any PT, osteopath manipulation, or chiro(I'm afraid of chiros as one made me worst) but some here have been helped with chiro.
Do you still have the clicking in the joint. Have you had tomograms or and MRI of your joints done?
Its awful to have to deal with this isn't it. I don't have dental ins. either.
Hi Elaine G, what a story. I feel so much for you! Can associate with all your symptoms.
It's pity you didn't have an MRI or some other jaw tests. It would be essential to know what is the state of your disks now before any other treatment. You don't have the insurance to cover these tests, right?
Is that bridge still in place? Did you have much dental work done since then or mostly appliances and "treatments"?
Bite is the key to tmj, there is no way around.
I am wondering whether you tried to sue that dentist hammering the bridge?? He'd deserve to lose his license!
I understand about the difficulty of suing a dentist: I had my own troubles for which even dentists told me to sue the one who caused it. I think you could have sued him for cracking the tooth underneath! This is a permanent change and is provable.
I am so empathetic with you, know all about it!
On that left side do you still have one premolar and a canine? Do your fronts touch (upper and lower ones)?
I think it's quite essential that the contacts on your remaining teeth be the proper ones. This might eliminate your tmj pains at least and will preserve your right side from new problems.
I know you can't afford much work. I'd suggest to check on dentists doing bite equilibration, which is eliminating improper contacts. As I've suggested on another thread, before any dental work it's a good idea to ask for a back-up plan and before-and-after models. Any minor bite adjustment can be catastrophic!
If you are looking for specialists, I was told by a good dentist to look for the graduates from Pankey Institute, or Dawson's Center or KOIS center; this is where they study occlusion as a system, not as "see a tooth, fix a tooth".