I am 24 years old and have been grinding my teeth at night for about 5 or 6 years that I am aware of. Last year, I got a customized bite guard from my dentist and have been wearing it every night since. About six weeks ago, I began to get an intense feeling of pain/pressure on the sides of my face, extending up into my head and causing extreme side headaches. I also noticed that the muscles in my neck and shoulders were quite painful. Initially, it was periodic, but after a few days, it became constant. Since it has been constant, I have developed a locked jaw (28mm max opening), significant popping/crunching/snapping noises, ringing in my ears, and sinus pressure.
I went to see a neuromuscular dentist who recommended a $6,000 course of treatment that would include almost weekly trips to his office, a lower splint, and numerous splint adjustments. Unfortunately, my health insurance won't cover any of this treatment, so my dentist referred me to an oral surgeon, who recommended arthrocentesis.
I am very hesitant to consent to this procedure without first exploring non-invasive options such as physical therapy. Am I correct in this belief, or is arthrocentesis really such a common and/or useful procedure that it makes a good first choice?
Any ideas you have would be much appreciated - all I can think about right now is having these symptoms for the rest of my life, maybe getting worse, and am feeling pretty hopeless.
I have a pretty bad case of tmj, ringing in the ears, headache, dizziness, and facial, neck and back pain. It is much better now since I am going through the treatment of having an daytime appliance and only taking it out at night. I eat in it. I sleep in the night time appliance. I have to wear the day time appl. for about 4 months, then will ween off of it. It has helped a lot, a whole lot and I've only been in the appl for a week. You also need to take anti inflammatories, prop. the medrol pak and then another kind after that. You jaw joints are prob. inflammed. The appl will work, but you just have to go through the treatment. Appeal the decision for your ins to pay for this,,,they usually will after you appeal, also try medical and dental ins..deb
I see the original post is from June and I wonder what you decided to do? I too was leery of major invasive procedures and am trying physical therapy first. I hope you are feeling better with whatever you decided to do!