Question for those of you with TMJ

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CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 10/23/2009 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Apparently my TMJoints are messed up and I have to wear a MORA (mandibular orthopedic repositioning appliance) 24/7 for at least 6 months. It fits on the lower teeth. I get it put on next Monday. But I have such a huge gag reflex.........is this going to be a big problem? Its costing a fortune, so I sure hope I can wear it without gagging for 6 months!

vestabula
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 10/23/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Cathy...I have severe TMJ to the point where the joints are disinigrated...I don't know if it's arthritis or what,  but what a crunching noise I make when I chew!   Anyway...I had an $800 appliance made ( I don't know if it's the same thing you are getting but I was supposed to wear it 24/7 for several months) because I grind my teeth when I sleep which only makes my condition worse.  Anyway, it did not make me gag (I worried about that too) but no matter how I tried, I could not get used to sleeping with it in my mouth.  I am prone to canker sores and even after all the adjustments I got too many sores where it rubbed against the roof of my mouth.  Others have had great success with theses devices and I hope you are one of them!  I don't think it will make you gag, especially since it is on your lower teeth.

 

Donna


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


Littleneck
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 10/24/2009 4:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I am new to TMJ and have discovered, after breaking a tooth a few days ago, that I grind my teeth to the point where I have to get a device made as well. I'm not worried about the gagging but about the dry mouth from meds.

I also have canker sores, and remembered that in middle school. when I wore braces and played in band, I was able to buy wax from the drugstore and put it over the braces on the sides so my cheeks would not be rubbed raw. I plan to do that in the event anything rubs, and wanted to share that in case it works for anyone.

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 10/24/2009 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Donna and Littleneck,
I hesitate even saying this because it seems almost outrageous to me........but the appliance itself is $2,500 and the entire 6 months treatment will probably close to $4,500. This includes 6 months of adjustments, and xrays. My Internist (who I totally trust and respect) recommended her.
This TMJ disorder specialist has done this for about 23 years, so hopefully, she really knows what she's doing! From what I understand, its not just to keep me from grinding, but the appliance is built up in certain areas so that it retrains my jaw/face muscles to hold up my joints better. Apparently I have bad arthritis in the left joint and my right joint has had to overcompensate and because of this, my disc in that joint has slipped.
What really concerns me is that I have a ton of crowns that might be too short, once my bite changes and my teeth no longer hit.
And my dental insurance isn't that great. Crowns are close to $1,000 each these days!
I'm almost 60 and I'm really falling apart!
Anyhow........you've encouraged me that I might not gag with this.
I'm used to sleeping with a cpap nasal mask on and tape over my mouth........so maybe this won't bother me at night.
Gosh! I'm so cute at night! NOT!!

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 10/27/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I got my custom appliance and it is going to be a HUGE adjustment. It feels like huge blocks in my mouth. Eating is ridiculous.
They make the back of the appliance thick so you can't bite your teeth together (so the joint is "unloaded".)
I freaked out after wearing it several hours yesterday. I went back today for them to smooth down a rough edge and they gave me a big pep talk.......which worked for about 15 minutes, then I started freaking out again! This is unbelievably uncomfortable.
I told them we were going to have to go at my speed.........taking it out sometimes. But the bottom line is, if I want my TMjoints to heal, I have to wear this all the time for 6 months. It makes me cry!
I was just starting to feel good lately. Now this. :(
What's weird is that I feel claustrophobic with it, and I start to panic. Dang. How can I get through this??
The nurse today told me that alot of people feel this way, but if they stick with it, all of a sudden, in 4-10 days, it doesn't bother them any more. I hope that's true, because its driving me absolutely nuts!!

jamies.mom
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/28/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I think it would drive me crazy too. I am super sensitive to everything, especially in my mouth, and I can practically feel the canker sores! I can't even eat a toasted tomato sandwich, because lightly toasted bread cuts up the roof of my mouth and the tomato irritates it. I had some chips last night, and today the inside of my mouth is very tender. I can't imagine having anything in there making things worse, even if it was making something better! I am not surprised you did not get more sympathy from the specialists and nurse - I don't think many people realize how sensitive we can be, and probably think we are feeling what everyone else feels and just need to get over it. I remember the way my dentist rolled his eyes as he gave me a fourth shot of freezing to pull a tooth. And I still felt pain!
fibromyalgia, microscopic colitis, restless legs, polycystic ovarian syndrome.


CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 10/28/2009 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks jamies.mom,
I wore it a little more today, but I sure don't like it!

Nana Monster
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 10/28/2009 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure what TMJ is but I have arthritis in most of my facial features. When the jaws snap and all the
teeth move and crunch together....my what fun.  The arthritis swells the jaw on the right side of my face
and then pulls the ear canal. I have otohumma humma (arthritis of the ear canal where the bones fuse
together and I lose hearing ranges). The worst time is I had a severe flare in my face and all of the
cartilidge moves in the roof of my mouth and it was raw meat for a week. It hurt to eat, drink or anything.

yankee girl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 10/29/2009 2:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Perhaps these devices do help some people. I've yet to meet any though.

I also had a device to wear on my lower teeth and it did absolutely no good.

The joint pain was so bad that I had my discs (at the hinge jaw joint) replaced as they were deteriorating. (laying motionless in that enclosed MRI tube for 45 minutes was torture---this was 11 years ago before "open" MRI became available). So I now have titanium disks, but my jaw still hurts as much as it did prior to the appliance and surgery.

Sorry this wasn't a positive post--it is a realistic one!

Yankee girl
 severe nerve damage/several surgeries on wrist, fibro,TMJ, PTSD
 


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 10/29/2009 3:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy, I'm so sorry you're freaking out. I'm not sure I can go thru with it either, to tell the truth. I can't afford it right now and the feel of the model I tried was just plain icky. I still have to think about it some more! Oh, this stupid fibro and TMJ... <sigh>

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1431
   Posted 10/29/2009 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone.
I guess we forget that the jaw joints get stressed, just like every other joint in the body........and maybe even more.
Last night was horrible. I had to wake DH up at 3a.m. and just cry. DH said not to worry about the money, but its like $4,000!
This woman has a really good reputation in this area with TMJ. Maybe I'm just too sensitive to every little thing, but the appliance has so many pointed ridges and wires sticking out, etc., I don't see how my tongue is ever going to tolerate it.
When I'm wearing it, I can't think of anything else but that danged thing. I can't get anything else done.
It has really depressed me. I guess what depresses me too (besides throwing away all that money) is thinking that even if I refuse to wear the device, I'll still have major jaw problem.
:(
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