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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board


TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index


I tried the full horseshoe temps on uppers and lowers - they charged me $17K for that - for just temps - (another dr in NYC wanted $35K for temps and $60K for perms - I told him why not just take my house - or do you want my first born if I ever have one?) - they looked nice but for some reason it created what felt like pressure in between each tooth. At one point I pried them off and then filed them into seperate bridges and that helped relieve the pressure but then I started having balancing problems - and feeling like one side of my jaw was going to break off or "pop" - plus my tongue had no guidance in the back at all and I developed a bad case of vertigo. Of course the dentist wasn't happy with what I had done and then when he checked my bite he announces -"well you are not biting on your back teeth at all - why didn't you tell me that?" Why - b/c the pain is so intense I have no feeling of my bite - I am numb with pain - plus - isn't it your job to see what I am biting on?

The problem with not wearing temps - as dysfunctional as they may be - is that if the teeth have been filed and the enamel compromised they will begin to deteriorate over time due to exposure - chewing, saliva, acid reflux (can't chew well you don't digest your food well) , etc. I have been temp free for a good year and a half now and my dentist said the other day some of my teeth have gotten even shorter from the wear and tear of just eating soft foods nonetheless.

I find your last comment most interesting - about a year before my tmj went full blown I noticed that it started to feel like I was biting on the inner sides of my upper teeth only and not flat down - more so on the right side - and at the same time - my left upper side was shifting further left or "out". That started just about the time I had a cavity on the middle left upper molar filled and the dentist broke the inner side of the tooth off - he said it was b/c the filling was deep and old - but then I heard him go in the other room and scold his asst for not putting on a new drill bit - but when he rebuilt the side with composite that night it felt low and I felt my jaw slide a little as the tooth searched for its normal resting spot so I told him about it at my next appt and he said don't worry about it, my bite would adjust to it - but it continued to bother me primarily at night when lying down.

At one time one tmj specialist I had seen who felt most of my problems were related to the bridges alone interferring with my tongues pathway but who didn't practice dentistry to correct it himself tried to send me to several drs in my community just to have the bridges removed and new temp ones made so he could then treat the muscle spasms and each time I got refused an appt - finally he told me that in NY each county has several dental wards within it and the drs within each ward know one another - and won't take on problem patients that had seen a dr they knew since if they corrected the problem it would confirm negligence of the previous dr and present the possibility of a lawsuit to which they would have to testify - kind of like the "good old boys" network - and the word was out on me - and he advised me to find a dr outside of my community. Not knowing much about my problem at the time, when I found the first dentist who said he treated tmj in CT - his website was so impressive, he had written books on the subj and had been on tv - I just jumped ahead and let him do whatever he suggested. I never did get back to see that specialist b/c after that I never had teeth I could keep on.

I too had a bout of sciatica on several different occassions - at one point even had to go for cortizone shots. I had to put pillows in between my legs and keep them separated when I slept on my side - I thought that pain was bad but nothing compared to this, huh?

I have been watching what my jaw is doing and its like I have too different bites going on at the same time and that is b/c of how they were filed. On the left side each upper tooth is filed shorter towards the front than the back - although this is the side that initially hurt the most it has calmed down and does not bother me that much even though none of the teeth meet. On the right upper side the dentist filed each tooth shorter on the back part of it and left the front part of the tooth longer - this side which never ever bothered me now feels "jammed" all the time and like it is pushed up even when I am chewing - the teeth are longer on this side and only the last tooth on the upper and lower meet when I close. But its more than the way the teeth are filed b/c as soon as I slightly open my mouth my tongue feels pulled toward the right and I get a "jaw crossing"sensation on the left side as if my upper left side has crossed over or across my lower left side - which I find sooooo unnerving to say the least. Ithink my problem may be do to the angle of the teeth - which has been totally lost.

Actually - all 3 of us should get together and write a book - between what we have each learned in our own journey - I am sure we would save many from certain misery- although I am sure dental professionals whould critize and dismiss it on every level.
I wanted to add to the discussion of teeth and their impact on our symptoms. For some reason I can remember particular changes to my teeth that resulted from dental appts and as I follow the history of these changes it kind of points to what happened with me and back to the points made about cuspids and the plane of teeth.

First of all I just want to mention I had the 1st premolars or bi-cuspids removed on each side for braces (so now I only have one premolar/ bicuspid on each side) and that my braces left me with more of a 3 sided rectangle so the fronts didn't curve the way pictures often depict and not like this curved horshoe dentists are fond of. And I had what Stillhope refers to as the sloping plane especially around the central molars and was quite comfortable.

So one day the lower right bicuspid breaks during the filling of a cavity and the dentist rebuilds it using amalgam and it felt too low - but I just put up with it - I notice I tend to push my jaw up on that side now though when I go to a resting or relaxed position - but no big deal, I eventually got used to it.

A few years later I do the implants and the dentist needs to use the bicuspids on the bottom as anchors for a fixed brdige so he has to file them down - this time however the right lower bicsupid ends up being much higher and when I ask him to lower it he said he had to put a post in it to lenghten it to hold the crown plus my bite showed it was too short to begin with. Fair enough b/c I recalled it did feel short after the filling some time ago. I start getting ear aches and developed a tight knot in front of my right ear. The dentist tried to lower the crown but this made it flat and didn't help with the ear aches plus now I felt like my lower left side was feeling lower or being pushed down and the right was pushing further up. The dentist who did the implants and this work also had to crown my canines or cusps to use as anchors for the bridge and he too said if they are not done right you can end up with tmj - so I said well then do them right please. Eventually my symptoms start to subside after a bout of stiff necks and ear aches I am relatively ok and functioning normally.

Now along comes the need to replace the bridge due to a chip exposing an implant and the next dentist insists the lower cuspids need to be changed to accomodate his bridge - we argued about it b/c I felt like I was wasting money on something unnecessary but eventually give in. Now the problem I inititally had is reveresed - the right lower cuspid is shorter and has nice groves and edges to it and the right side of my face feels so relaxed - but the lefts cuspid starts feelling higher and higher that I start to gnaw it with the canine above. Now this dr insisted on changing my canines/cuspids too - only he did something to the left upper cuspid/canine since it suddenly felt like it changed direction and I was having problems opening my mouth on the left side. He said he never heard of such a thing - that cuspids can't have such an impact. I told him my cuspids used to feel like door hinges - since my teeth were in this rectangle position - the cuspids connected the front and side teeth as a hinge and the hinge was not working now. Plus my cuspids used to feel like they were positioned more along the same linear line of my molars and now felt like they were outside of that line. The rest is just history as my facial muscles and jaw movement just started to decline over a 4 year period until I went back one more time to have a cavity filled and I guess the guy was tired of me complaining - he filed down my lower left bicuspid (crown) and left it flat - and that night I slipped off my teeth on the elft side while sleeping.

I guess the points I am trying to make is that canines/cuspids do give direction - I think they tell your tongue where it is and have an impact on your back teeth and how they move when opening and closing and that bicuspids/pre-molars have more of a balancing role to play since that is where each side of your bite comes to rest - if your left u/l bicuspids do not meet at the same time your right u/l bicuspids meet the jaw will become unbalanced. Plus the flatness of teeth and splints in general will allow you to slip off the sloped plane since the bicuspids/premolars should act as breaks and prevent your upper jaw from overextending when in a resting position. And I think my previous experience with changes made to these teeth support this theory. What do you guys think?

LTC - yes I did shovel snow, didn't want to spend another $40 for a plow for 4 more inches of snow so that could have caused the return of my symptoms. It wasn't heavy and I didn't really lift it - just pushed it off the driveway but nonetheless it could have wrenched my neck - especially since I can't bite down anywhere - which leaves the neck and those muscles pretty vulnerable.

Yes - I have seen some posts in the dental problem forum and dentist do still remove premolars for crowded mouths. Yet on one site I found they cite this as being the no 2 or 3 cause of tmj later on.

I would do implants again assuming I ever get symptom free and return to normal functiong and find a job to pay for them. The implants designed nowadays are much different than what I had done 15 yrs ago - they don't even make the ones I had anymore. I didn't have any trouble with mine but from what I unerstand anterior implants are eaier and less problematic since there are less nerves in the front than in the back where the molars are plus anterior implants are easier to maintain and keep clean.

I guess we should shoot for this spring as our goal [I]AGAIN[/I] and put this year behind us. I think I am going to do what you are doing and start going out and getting other opinions too.

I wish there was a place we could go to, too - part of the problem is we really need a dentist to give us a good week or 2 of undivided attention - no interruptions, just keep at it until one side feels good and then the other.

I think I am going to spring for those cosmetic teeth I keep seeing in catalogs - you mold them over your existing teeth and let it set or harden - you can't use them to chew with so you have to take them out - but I thought if I could get them comfortable enough - I could show my dentist and tell him "do this" .

Stillhope - I think the beginning part of my post answers your question of having one side of my jaw push up - and yes - the left side pushed up and I had sciatica on my right side - plus the condyle on my left side is flattened.

I have no appt at this time with my dentist as he is sending out new models to the lab - he is out on vacation until the 3rd of Jan though. His office will call me when the splint/overdentures are back from the lab and usually get me in wihtin a couple days of that at night so he can spend a good 1-2 hrs on me undisturbed.

I have trouble with my eyes too - I can't focus most days and feel crossed eyed - the last splint/overdenture caused me to lose the peripheral vision on the right side which is not fun. I often notice my eyebrows move around too - one day my right eyebrow will be way up - my sister calls it the cocked eyebrow - a sign of being cranky or in a bad mood - and some days my left eyebrow is high up - and every once in a while one eyebrow will lose its curve or arch and look like its straight across my brow. I never know how to pluck them anymore.

You know what i have noticed that is part of my problem - on my lower right side - of the 3 teeth there - 2 molars and one premolar/bicuspid - the last tooth is higher than the first tooth on that side. On my left side I am just the opposite. The last tooth is mcuh lower than the first tooth on that side. So when you compare the lower teeth from side to side - the last left molar is lower than the right last molar and the first left premolar is higher than the right one - talk about imbalance - this is why I feel like I have bike pedals in my mouth - I always feel like one side is up and side is down.

To both: Well I am having my younger sister and her husband and my neice and her boyfriend over for Xmas Eve dinner. We usually go out for dinner but decided this year to stay home - not that I eat much as you can imagine I am sure and face the same problem. So I will be cooking (God help them - LOL). And for Xmas day I am going over to older sisters house for the day - she has 4 kids - all adults - and one of them has 3 kids under the age of 5 - plus she has her inlaws and her kids' inlaws over - so there is like 30-35 people there. So its easy for me to just find a cozy corner somewhere and "chill out". I usually end up falling asleep inbetween dinner courses and desert and then beg my younger sister to leave after few hours - we live within a couple mins of each other and she will drive since my driving is erratic these days.

What do you guys have planned - anything?

Oh - LTC - if you want - it may be time to start a new thread since this one is quite long - maybe Aplliance Fitting Part 3 or another name if you prefer.

Can you believe I am still wrestling with my darn xmas tree - I wasn't going to put one up but then when we decided to stay in and have dinner over my house xmas eve and I felt like scrooge - but now I can't it to light and the stand won't rotate - I feel like leaving it there undecorated with the top off and just calling it a day.





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