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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Stillhope - all your posts are right on - many of the things you have stated I have found to be true - although its has taken me 4 years of trial and error and making many mistakes. I think some of the reason for my decrease in pain over the past several months is that I have been trying to keep myself busy enough so that I "foget" about my problem and doing that allows my jaw to naturally hang down and remain open and that is when I get the greatest relief - when I tell my dentist he should increase my vertical dimension to that position however he balks and says that is way too high. Its a constant battle - why don't they listen to us - the patients - or is it they want the steady income - which I hate myself for thinking - but we can not all be dummies. And yes, I believe too much radical change in the bite can cause the problem - those that have lost teeth or have had reconstruction over time probably had the good fortune of the body having the ability to adjust to the change gradually.

Hey LTC - I was up till 4 am and finally the headache and face pain and eye pain eased up and I was able to get a few hrs sleep - and felt back to how I was before I started with the new splints. Good enough to do some xmas shopping with my sister today even though I did take 2 baclofen before and during our jaunt out.

I feel wider on top - both in the back - since my tongue feels like there is too much room there (I think they are wrong about having enough freeway space or room - too much allows for lack of tongue guidance in my opinion) and in the front b/c I can't close my lips together and if I do I look like I am struggling - my upper lip will even start to twitch or quiver if I force it to meet the lower lip. This is what was wrong the first time too.

I am not sure what you could put on your teeth to add some height back that would stay or bond to porcelain - other than porcelain filler used to repair stoves, sinks, tubs, etc - but it would need 24 hrs to set up and become hard. For the rocking on your partial have you tried using Sea Bond or Polident adhesive cushions or strips - sounds like you need a reline on them - do they do that with partials as well? Also, it just occurred to me that at one point before the tmj I needed a rc on a tooth with a crown and they were able to drill thru the crown and then seal it with porcelain so I am sure they have something that will bond with the porcelain and it was something they put on the tooth - first some type of bonding adhesive and then the actual filler and they used a laser light to "cure" it.

I don't think the LVI dentist I found is new per se - just new in my area b/c his site says he has offices in NJ as well. His site says he is also a professor and director at Columbia's Dental University in NYC and trained there as well.

I don't know - today - my sister said that I sounded better than the other day and I said b/c the pain eased up early this morning - and she said I bet the splints are moving you and that's why you feel better and I said no the splints made it worse and I feel better b/c I took them out and she said maybe you just have to feel rotten for awhile and get through it. Do you think that is the case? That we need to force ourselves to endure that type of pain or do you think the splints or dentures should make us feel better with little or no additional discomfort?

Let me ask you this - I noticed tonight when I put my upper and lower splint/dentures together when they are not in my mouth - they line up beautifully - yet when they go in my mouth the upper front teeth protrude a 1/2 inch over the bottom teeth and the upper front teeth feel like they flange out - almost perpendicular to my gums. Yet if I tip the upper splint down in the front so the back part of the splint raises up, the upper front teeth then look like they are more vertically aligned with the lower front teeth and the plate of the upper splint doesn't look so tipped backwards. This however results in the upper back/side teeth needing a good 1/4 inch of height or length added. I guess my question is why do the splints fit together when they are not in my mouth - but when they are in my mouth they are so mis-alinged and do not match up? Is it the articulator making this happen?

My heart is telling me to move on - I am not a quitter and will often perservere and put with things longer than I should yet at the same time I have on occassion been too hasty and impulsive with certain decisions in my life - so I am still debating the issue to try someone else or not - but this is the 3rd set of splints/dentures with Dr L with almost the same results - so I feel like the writing is on the wall and I may be stubbornly denying it out of fear of starting all over with someone new. I know my sister thinks no teeth will help since she does not think this is a bite issue - so she will tell me I am crazy and foolish and badger me over this, etc.

Well I have the chiro this Tuesday at 1pm and the dentist this Thursday at 5:30 and then the chiro is out the week of Xmas and the dentist is out until the beginning of January.

I was thinking maybe you should buy some wax or Dent Temp and just try adding a little to the lower on the left side - I know its not perm and will fall off but if you try it and see it helps that may persuade your dentist to build it back up again.
Hello TL and LTC! Somehow I expected to have an email about the posts so thought there were none. Was missing you already! You are both very sweet, nice ladies. I smile through the tears when I read your posts. It is all so familiar! Me too, I learned mostly through the trial-and-error, mostly error method, really the hard way. You won't believe, I don't believe myself that this January, right after the New Year's eve (it was a new Millennium!) will be 9 years of my continuous "dental disaster". I was totally dentally ignorant.

By now, I learned a lot also from a friend's friend, a lab technician who tried helping me some, but he only works with ceramic and I need the comfy temps. He is frustrated with the majority of dentists too and does not trust them to fix his teeth. So don't think that something is wrong with us or our bites. Dentists are just really too busy keeping their businesses and making money so they are on a processing line themselves. Does not help us, ah? There are very few who are still into caring for their patients. The ones I know are not too competent to do a full-mouth reconstruction, i.e. to "do the case from scratch". Decent and competent seem to be almost excluding each other:).

TL, I like your sense of humor about the porcelain for the stoves & sinks. Humor is all we have to counterbalance the sad situation. Some dentists told me: "...and you still laugh?" I said: "I tried crying, it did not help, so I laugh, it's more pleasant and people can join me."
Unfortunately, dentists claim that they cannot add anything to a ceramic crown once it's permanently cemented in the mouth. A lab can add and change a crown up to 10 times but they need to put it in the oven (so you were not far in your analogue).

Are you with an LVI dentist now? If the splints line up nicely but not in your mouth it only means that the measurement of your bite (BR- bite registration) was not done correctly. A correctly done BR requires really careful attention and high accuracy of the dentist, as well as competence.
In our cases of a "lost bite" it's not right to say: "just bite down".
I'd suggest to tell your dentist that you feel that the BR was not correct and that the splints do not allow your jaw to go in its physiological and comfy position. If your heart is telling you to change a dentist, do so. LTC gave good suggestions: get your money (as much as you can) back and look for a better dentist.
My shortest requirement for a dentist is 'decent and competent', though being able to communicate properly with him is essential -- just like with a mate/husband. ;)

And yes, like LTC said, I would try to ignore your sister's comments. She is not in the same shoes, or boat.Those who were not there just can't even imagine, I couldn't imagine it until I got it myself.

Like both of you, when I am in pain I just want any comfy temps, green, yellow, in dots,... but when I am better I do want them to look nice. It's our teeth, our smiles, our faces. Making it any shape and any color from the outside surface (not on the biting) is not a big deal. So, once you get to the comfort, please, insist to make those changes. It affects the whole identity! I don't feel like myself since it all started. Cannot wait to "get myself back" one day, still hope! And yes, the shape of the lip depends on the teeth. I used to have it really nice, had a nice smile ... until I went for a dental check-up...

Do you have the original models of your teeth before the devastating dental work? It's a good idea to ask for the models before going to a next dentist. As patients we have the right for the x-rays and the models (not for the photos which they take but a dentist can give them too if he is nice).

LTC, do you also have an LVI dentist? It seems that both of you have the splints forcing the jaw to move forward more than it wants. It can really be damaging to the jaw so be careful. Being in the splint suppose to relax the jaw and be pain-free; not what I "hear" from you. Do your ears hurt? Like having metal nails hammered there? What about the pain in the forehead? Do you have two wrinkles between your eyebrows and cannot easily relax the forehead? What about your vision and eye pain?
TL, from what you write it looks like your jaw moves a bit to one side naturally, right? Mine looks this way too in the mouth, on the face it looks symmetric. It just shows that the path of the jaw should be carefully aligned on the splints to what your jaw wants.

Oh, this morning I thought more about people with missing teeth, and here is the metaphor I came up with.

Imagine swings being hung between the narrow walls in a way that they can easily go up and down (or back and forth) without touching the walls. If some of the walls will be removed, the swings can still go easily the way they did.
And now imagine that someone rebuilt the wall but has not checked how the swings move, i.e. some of the bricks are sticking out inside these former walls. If these bricks do not stick too much, the swings can lightly hit a brick, shake a bit to one side but you still can ride on them (and can even “forget about that shake on the ride” – like dentists suggest, “forget about your teeth”). But if there are too many bricks which do not allow your swings to move freely, you will definitely be feeling too much “shaking” during your ride, to the point that you would rather not ride at all, to say the least. But as people we have no choice and cannot get off from our “TMJ swings” which move 24/7. Moreover, the swings will start breaking as well, even if you managed to block your “bumpy” sensations by the numbing pills and shots. Distracting yourself from pain only makes the damage to the jaw, teeth (and gums) more serious.
Well, enough for now.
I think the teeth should offer support so the jaws can rest against each other but not interfere in jaw mobility and functioning. Its a very hard question in my opinion to answer b/c what occurs first - the body alignment or development of the teeth? I think though improper teeth can cause torqueing as that is what happened to me - the replacement bridges were too big and bulky - this required add'l work by my facial muscles to stretch around them in speaking and eating and also changed the position of my tongue as ithey limited its freedom during swallowing and speaking - your tongue needs to go up and forward for both. My current chiro said that with incorrect teeth in your mouth you are basically "winding" the body (like a clock) with each opening and closing of the mouth.

Yes - I would think that if you were not "over closing" due to lack of vertical dimension and teeth per the ICAT then bascially the teeth are just not fitting in your mouth correctly to give you proper support - which is what I think my problem is too - the teeth they make just don't fit in the mouth well. I sometimes wonder if its not the vertical dimension but the width and shape of the teeth - but I tried the bio-aesthetic dentist - although his teeth were beautifully shaped (picture perfect) I could not get the left side comfortable at all - but I was not seeing this cranial chiro back then so I wonder if that is why those didn't work. I was also having a problem with that one wisdom tooth back then as well feeling like it was incorrectly positioned for some reason.

You know I remember when I first got my implants the dentist that did them had to crown the first tooth on either side of the missing fornt teeth to use as anchors for the bridges and afterwards, once the bridge was secured only to the implants he then replaced those as invdividual or stand alone crowns - and I remember so clearly he had to use tweezers to pick them up and place them on the teeth and him commenting on how tiny my teeth were. Do you think a woman dentist would make more petite teeth?

You know it just occurred to me your new set is porcelain - correct? Did you find a difference in weight with thiem compared to previous dentures? Did you ever try the valplast or acrylilic dentures? I wonder if it could be you are reacting to the heaviness of the denture - like carrying weights in your hands all day -your muscles will tire and start dysfunctioning as a result. I noticed a big difference when I went from acryllic to the porcelain on the replacement bridges.
Well - I hope you feel better soon - these appts can be so tiring emotionally and physically but I would like to hear what he said. Did you tell this guy you would go ahead with his treatment plan or are you still just in the consulting phase? What did he say or didn't say that raised the red flags for you? Where in NJ are you - I keep a list of drs referred by other drs and I know there are few on it from NJ.

The reason my dentist thinks we may at some point have to remove the uppers is 1) its difficult to make over dentures around them - its harder than doing denture since any one of them can prevent the overdenture from seating correctly 2) my 'stub" of my teeth are quite short - if in the event I do eventually become pain and symptom free they will all need crown lengthening surgery to them to be able to hold bridges or crowns and he feels that is a lot to endure given the past 5 years. 3) he feels part of my problem is neuromuscularly the contact of teeth sends signals to the brain - and that I am overly senstive to that and if he can not get me my exact bite back as it was - my brain may not accept anything else - but with no teeth the pathway may be closed down and the brain may then accept the unfamliar signals from a new bite more readily and adapt accordingly.

He would leave my bottom teeth in and use them as anchors for a lower denture - he feels they are not sending as strong of a msg to the brain - but my tops are - and he feels the suction on upper dentures will keep them secure if they are done correctly whereas bottoms can flop around a bit - so the natural teeth capped and used as anchors will work well. Its almost the same as using overdentures.

Right now I have 3 teeth (molars) on each side, upper and lower - all filed dwon differently. On the top I also have a canine on each side - again, one filed pointing out and one filed point in. I am missing my 4 center front teeth - that is where the implants were. Had them removed b/c one dr said they were what was casuing the flanging of the front teeth when temps were made - wrong again.

On the bottom I have 3 molars on each side and am missing the front 6 teeth - this is where implants were as well.

The initial paln was to wear overdentures that will serve as splints - basically take dentures with front teeth on them and design the moalrs as splints to try and stop my sypmtoms and re-establish a bite. Inititally he thought this would take a year. Then once symptom free he wanted to do bridges on the molars (so 4 sets) and removable partials on the front - the top partial would also use the canines as anchors. This plan gives me the option if I want of redoing implants at some point and replacing the front partials with fixed bridges - as I was before the tmj. But as I have not been wearing anything to cover my teeth over this past 1 1/2 years - they are deteriorating and getting smaller as they are unprotected.

See that is how I remember it too - all teeth touching at the same time - and I had very little space between upper and lower teeth - yet they never really banged one another when speaking - why that first guy said I was over closed - I have no idea - I think what is bothering me the most is now that my teeth are shorter my tongue sits under the surface edges of the top teeth - so my tongue feels HUGE right now but I remember my tongue used to fit right inbetween both upper sides of my teeth and felt long and narrow - not wide and fat.

Yes - the acculiner is a type of articulator first invented for other purposes and then a Dr Carlson started using it on tmj patients and found he was getting quicker results than using a standard articulator b/c it was based on the premise that the cranial planes need to be balanced as well as the bite. When the first set of ods came out lopsided, my dr happen to meet Dr C at a convention and asked him to help with making the OD since he had such success with it.

Also - what you say is true about the shape and form of teeth needing to be a certain way - that is the premise of bio-aesthetic dentistry as well. On my recent set of ODs - even though they did not fit correctly - I could see they changed the canines to a different "direction" - they have a bit of an angle to them and are turned slightly outwards - and to me look more like my own natural teeth looked and I my lip msucles recognized it as soon as I put them on - canines can be very important for some.

As you can see I stay up late - even with taking pain meds which make me groggy - at night I need to wait until I just about pass out from exhaustion otherwise I will focus too much on my jaw not being able to rest and its constant movement from side to side. So its just about that time...
TL- I'm shocked you mentioned that little bump behind the center or the front top teeth on the denture, YES and it just bothers me,(I never had that bump on any other dentures) and I asked him to remove it and he filed it a bit but its still there, my tongue keeps playing with it, and its just an irritating thing, [B]why is that there[/B]. I checked all my old upper dentures and there is no bump!!

I know you went to all good dentists,why they did what they did is beyond me. I wonder if its bone or just gum on the one side of the front hanging down, if its just gum, I would have it remeoved, but if its bone then I would have them put acylic in the denture on the other side to balance it, we can't afford to loose bone. Sounds like all your teeth are files uneven, right now you don't even have any bite really to speak of.

I don't know, I would really concentrate on saving what you have on the bottom. People usually can wear tops with no problem but bottoms not so, especially good that you have those molars on the bottom- so whether they turn them into implants with a attachment or crown them its a good thing. Better to have the molars than just the front bottoms like me. Also if crowning the tops and bottoms I think would make things more difficult and not to mention the expense. You have enought left on the bottom too once you get comfy, you can have a permanent bottom put in. I know you want to save your tops too tho, its a hard call. also like my dentist said it takes two implants to hold the upper in, unless they can just put attachements on your molars on the upper too- I think that would be better than crowns.

I agree I don't like just biting on my back teeth, doesn't feel right. I know my dentist has many years of exp. and works with alot of tmj patients but having permanent teeth that work like a back splint I don't think is the answer!!

A lot of people don't send cards anymore, so maybe don't worry about it.I've really been working on mine for the last few weeks and just finished them, I get less cards every year, but for some reason I still send them, old habits die hard.

I hope that service comes and does your snow, so you don't need to ask your BIL. Sounds like your sister has her health problems too, but yes you do know how it feels!!! I don't know talking and eating is just something that needs to be done , unless your sleeping , thats what make this condition so hard- the lack of being able to socialize normally.

I am still debating wether to mention the scan on Mon or not. Hey did yours say osteopenia ? that is thinning of the bone, guess its normal for a post memopause woman tho, I have osteopenis in my hip and spine too according to my bone scan, but it was mild. Never took estrogen replacement.

Boy your were up late!! I do note tho that you post more late evening, I'm in bed by 10, but get up at around 6ish. Don't you hate it when you can't get to sleep, sometimes that happens to me.

StillHope: sounds like you got a bad impression from the new dentist. When you feel better what were his plans for your treatment. I sure understand how nerve wracking it can be.

Well already paid for the dentures, they don't let you walk out without paying.
Whats a person to do, you don't realize until you start wearing them.

PS: For you both, don't you find it amazing how many people are getting implants and cosmetic dental work, are wearing ill-fitting dentures or have bad teeth and all that, and they have no problems, I guess I just don't understand this all. Then you have peole with no teeth eating burgers and doing just great. Just beyond my comprehension.
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.
Thank you both for the detailed messages and for sharing about the payments to these robbers. I will reply to some of it.
LTC, thanks for the comments on my last doc. I am final now that I am not going to see him again and moreover will fax him a formal letter asking why he needed a second consult when I didn't ask for it and instead of making me comfy, as he planned; will ask for a partial refund. This won't work but I'll vent out my emotions.

Oh, TL, what is "cosmetic teeth" that they advertise? Never heard about it. I have ordered some dental supply today. After your story with the horseshoes and all our posts I decided to stop relying on someone who can quickly fix my mouth b/c "he knows better". Will see my local dentist to redo just the pair of last molars on one side b/c I basically have only half of the upper crown left and lost the cap on the bottom (all due to dental work). He confirmed that "these four" (last molars and caspids) are like road-blocks to the jaw movement.
TL, he was also shaking his head from side to side when I told him that I found an "occlusion pal" who is in the same boat starting with the front braces, etc. Actually there is a special nerve connection in the brain which fires when the caspids touch something: it tells the jaw to relax and drop down. That’s why they use cotton rolls.

TL, your sharing and theory are very interesting for me. Premolars do not normally stop the jaw from going forward (and causing ear pain), this is the function of "anterior stops"-- contacts on the fronts. Originally I had it only on caspids and on one-two central teeth, but when they did veneers it all was messed up. I wish I knew the theory back then!! There should be contacts on some or all fronts when we bite; if not (like in the open bite) the jaw goes forward until it will "find them", overstretching the ligaments, pulling the disks out, tearing them, etc. Some people learn to keep the tongue there but again this must be functional and is not a recipe for everyone. If there is not enough room it won't work either. I learned it all the hard way, was in both situations.

TL and LTC, I was thinking about your situations today. Here is what I recalled I did sometime to confirm my feel about the bite and my plane.
I stood up straight for a while in front of the mirror and relaxed my jaw and the body. Then I checked my lower plane. Just make sure your eyes are really horizontal (I bought a $3 small level at Home Depot-- love it!!) and the head is not tilted to one side. As TL has, I had the “rails” of which one goes up and the other goes down towards the back. Then I placed a small flat wooden party "toothpick" on the side where it was lower to imitate the height to the "horizon" on that side, and started biting. It felt so good! My jaw didn't want to slide to my left side and lift up any more! The face looked so straight. I played with this many times until I basically could see where I really need my teeth to be higher to level out the plane and stop twisting my jaw, neck, head, spine, etc.

I am glad you clarified a bit about your premolars. But if the upper ones were pulled out then how come you are only missing four fronts? You have caspids and then another gap?

You know, you said "no big deal, I'll get used to that shift of the jaw". When a dentist articulated my models to my pain-free bite and saw the mismatch on the last molars he said: how could you lived with this for 16 (well, now more) years? I have tears in my eyes thinking about you. He took a photo to teach his students.

[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].
Besides that signal to the brain to relax I think it's more mechanical. There should be matching inclined surfaces on the pairs of upper and lower and matching to your jaw structure too.
What about that dentist who did good canines for you long ago? Can you go back to him? Doing the canines right is a GOOD sign! (not just talking about it as they all do!)

Me too, I count the years by seasons: now next Spring!
I tried "going to a place for a week" !! Had two almost identical nightmare stories. I was left in real emergencies and could not do much. They say afterward: "you need someone locally to work with you for a long time". This is it!! Was just a big waste of energy and money to say the least.
TL, I hope you will not try again after all to get used to something uncomfy and loose your uppers for nothing. If the contacts are not right this can cause damage not only to the jaw but to gums, bones, etc. (I had all that as well), so I trust more the "marshmallow theory". And I wasn’t biting apples since college b/c of a small filling, this is an easy part.

I hope that the eye problems will be mostly reversed if and WHEN we get out bites!! I noticed that if I bring my head on top I can see much better when I read (if of course, the teeth are not on the way to this position!)

[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.] -- Same here!!:(

I might just stay at home for the holidays, maybe my daughter will come in for a while.
Have really nothing since September to go out in; tried few times for a very short time but had so much pain afterward…

[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. ]
I was going to suggest it too. Wanted something like "Is your occlusion lost too?" Maybe will start tomorrow.

[Can you believe I am still wrestling with my darn xmas tree ...]
Wow! I forgot to bring my little tree from the basement!! No memory left.

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