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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Re: What to say...
Feb 11, 2013
Hi again,

I think it is great you are doing your research. A lot of what I've learned has been through books, the internet and people sharing on HealthBoards. It not only helped me in my search for treatment, it also helped me figure out what I needed to ask when I had appointments.

If you haven't checked it out yet, my favorite book (and I've read my share) on TMJD is The [I]TMJ Healing Plan[/I] by Cynthia Peterson. It educates on what the TMJ is and what to expect with TMJD. It also discusses a variety of things you can do on your own as well as the options that you may want to consider medically.

I'd say that I have mixed views on splints. I now think that they can be extremely beneficial if it is designed and fitted well by a highly trained dentist. Through experience, I've also found that splints not designed properly or not fit properly can contribute to TMJD or actually make things worse. The combination of splints my current orthodontist designed and fitted me for did wonders for me. The lower mandibular repositioning splint combined with ultrasound and PT really helped me rediscover my "natural" bite and get my facial muscles loosened up so I was comfortable in my "correct" bite. Because I had issues with bruxism and my lower jaw falling back when I slept, which made my TMJ symptoms worse. Instead of wearing my repositioning splint 24/7 I had a new nighttime upper splint custom made for me. After adjusting to the splint, I fell in love with it. This particular splint had a "beak" in the front that kept my bite at the same height as my daytime splint. It also had a slanted wedge that came down in behind my lower teeth so my jaw couldn't fall back when I slept. There was no way my teeth could bite together when wearing it so I wasn't able to brux either. My most HATED splints were the NTI's. They are a very bad choice for me and I was in extreme pain last time I tried even though the splint was adjusted and fit well.

Your comments made me look back on my early TMJ board posts. I couldn't believe when I realized I'm literally 3 years + into treatments now.

You are right. Dr. Guinn is very intelligent and knowledgable on TMJ. His practice is 100% TMJ. I liked that his approach is to look at natural approaches for treatment. He did have some things he recommended that I did find useful. He recommended my awesome PT. He also discussed other health issues I had that could impact my TMJD symptoms. He was very emphatic about need to get my shoulder treated. After my second visit with him, I just realized he wasn't the best fit for me and my needs. I chose to seek out another opinion. If I wasn't happy with my other options, I may have gone back to him. I connected much better with my current orthodontist. I found that he and his approach was a much better fit for addressing my current issues. The one thing I really liked about both dentists was that they both take a whole body health approach to addressing TMJD issues.

My problem was that I'd had surgery 2 years prior and had regained full ROM of my shoulder and my shoulder was as good as it could be. I have ligament laxity and joint hypermobility. My shoulder will always sublux a bit when it moves. Any surgery to tighten it will likely cause me to lose movement. The risks far outweight the benefits for that. That same laxity has caused me some wrist issues and has contributed to my TMJD also. Unfortunately all of my worst issues have all been on my right side. In the last year I've also had 2 surgeries on my right wrist. All those months in casts and splints has thrown my shoulder, neck and tmjd off.

Dr. Guinn did recommend a relaxation CD that I found useful. Freedom from TMJ: Power Dream by Denise Lynch. I played it regularly for a long time to help me relax before sleep. I often fell asleep listening to it. My dentists said that even with that I was receiving benefit subconsciously too.

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