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TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) mouth guard?

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by BeautifulDay, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    I've been suffering with TMJ for several weeks now. I hadn't had it in years. It started this time with popping in the left jaw joint. I tried babying it and treating it with ibuprofen. Now it's to the point that my back teeth will no longer touch (top to bottom) about 3 centimeters. That's a big enough gap, that my front teeth are no longer touching either. If this trend continues, by the conference at the end of the week, I'm going to look very silly with my mouth stuck open.

    When I sneeze, it's extremely painful. I chocked when trying to eat spinach yesterday because I couldn't use my teeth to make it smaller. I made an appointment with a TMJ clinic, but it's weeks away. I went online and saw that there are some mouth guards on Amazon that claim to help TMJ by providing what is like a little pillow between the teeth so that the jaw can rest. Has anyone tried this? Does it help?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. ryan31337

    ryan31337 Senior Member

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    Hi @BeautifulDay,

    I've had TMJ dysfunction on and off over the years. At one point it became quite severe and my jaw locked closed, I could only open it just enough to chew thinly sliced food, it was stuck like that for weeks. Perhaps a little different from your experience, but I was recommended a 'bite raiser' mouth guard by a consultant and found it to be very effective.

    My bite raiser was custom made from a cast of my bottom teeth by the dentist. I use it happily every night now as it just stops the TMJ issues coming back - clearly I chomp and grind my teeth in the night, straining the muscles. You might have a few dreams of chewing bacon or bubblegum in the beginning!!

    All the best,
    Ryan
     
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  3. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    Thanks @ryan31337
    I'm going to try the cheap mouth guard for TMJ from Amazon and see if it provides any relief or solution until my appointment comes up.
     
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  4. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    Two things helped my TMJ. My dentist checked my bite using those articulating papers they get you to bite down on, and my bite was off. He adjusted it, and that helped my TMJ.

    The other thing that helped was biofeedback. TMJ is something they treat for. They hooked up electrodes to my jaws and showed me how much tension there was from clenching. I used the first session to learn how to relax my jaw and could see graphically on the screen how the tension went down as I relaxed the muscles.

    For homework, the therapist had me relax my jaws the way I had learned at the clinic at set times during the day. It was either every 15 minutes or 1/2 hour. Then I had a 2nd appt. at the clinic, and the tension had come way down. Since then I only do the exercises if the tension comes back, which is infrequent.

    The bite adjustment and the biofeedback sessions really helped me get my TMJ under control.

    @BeautifulDay, could you get in to see your dentist before your appt. at the TMJ clinic? This is one of the conditions dentists treat.

    The mouth guard from Amazon might be worth a shot, especially since you can get it quickly. It's always going to be best to get fitted for one at a dentist, though.
     
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  5. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Senior Member

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    @perchance dreamer I hadn't thought of trying to relax the jaw muscles. I'm going to go try that now. Thanks!
     
  6. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    It feels good to do that. Relaxing the jaw muscles also helps relax the neck muscles. Drop your shoulders, too, while you are at it.

    If you can feel the relaxation, try setting a timer and doing it at regular intervals. That's what trains your jaws to relax even when you aren't consciously trying to relax.
     
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  7. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    [QUOTE="BeautifulDay, post: 920331, member: 11754"Now it's to the point that my back teeth will no longer touch (top to bottom) about 3 centimeters.[/QUOTE]

    OWWW!!! It sounds to me that you are severely dislocated. I would get to the dentist ASAP and keep that appt with the TMJ clinic. Relaxation techniques and stretching can actually make it worse if you don't know what you are doing -- IF YOU ARE DISLOCATED.

    (BTW, I've had severe tMJ for 35 years, to the point that I have temporary partial facial paralysis.)

    I might suggest if you have never been shown relaxation and manipulation techniques, to lean forward with your face facing the floor and see if gravity can pull the joint closer to where it belongs. 3 cm is a HUGE dislocation though!

    But get to the dentist please! (and TMJ doc)
     
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  8. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    Yes to what Strawberry said.

    I would think a non-custom mouthguard would only be helpful in the situation opposite to yours where because of the muscle tension a person is holding their teeth together (clenching) and they need to facilitate a gap in order to relax the jaw. My daughter's periodontist had the mantra "lips together, teeth apart" to be repeated to oneself at every opportunity when not wearing the custom mouthguard.

    I'm not sure what the problem is for you but I agree that it needs urgent attention
     
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  9. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    Years ago I had horrible TMJ. I would put cotton in my mouth to hold my teeth apart. The dentist also gave them to me..the cotton that the dentists have that look like tiny hot dogs. Then I did get a mouth guard. You do need something to help the jaw relax and that keeps it open..for it to settle down and rest. It also sounds like you need a muscle relaxer.

    I so hope you get to the dentist. DO NOT allow them to file your teeth down. It was a huge waste of time, money, etc. It ruined my bite.
     
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  10. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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    If done properly it can be helpful. So can building up some teeth if necessary.

    The periodontist told my daughter she chewed like a cow :eek:
    He wasn't being mean though, it was his little joke :D as he explained that her canine teeth were quite short and therefore didn't limit sideways jaw movement in the way they should. Repeatedly moving the jaw sideways beyond normal range stresses the tmj.
     
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