Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Splint and TMJ splint therapy

I have been suffering with TMJ pain on one side for months now. I grind my teeth at night and my primary dentist made a upper mouth guard for me, but it does not work. It just gives me something else to grind on. I started seeing a TMJ specialist in my area (there are not many) and of course it is costing a fortune. If I get the splint it will be $1600. I have been reading other posts who stated the splint did not work for them. I will be sick if I spend that much money and it does not work. However the pain is becoming unbearable day and night and I will do just about anything to get rid of it. This is the most frustrating thing I have had to deal with and no one in my family understands wht I am going through. Also, do muscle relaxers work? The pain at night is getting worse and my jaw feels so tight/tense.
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replied March 17th, 2008
Supporter
Hi Mary,
Yes, muscle relaxants can help but you may have to try a few before finding THE one that works for you. You might ask your dr or dentist if you could try Valium at night for about 2 weeks and see if that relieves your symptoms. If it does help, see if you can find a muscle relaxant that also helps. You shouldn't take Valium for a long period of time. Also, see my info below about anti-depressants.

Getting good REM sleep is important for bruxers. You might want to be tested for sleep apnea.

Add Magnesium to your daily diet. It's supposed to help relieve bruxing problems. Also, are you taking a SSRI anti-depressant (Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro)? These can cause clenching. If you are, ask your doc to add a very small dose of Buspar to the SSRI anti-d or change to a different classification of anti-d's.

Whether or not to get another splint - that's a hard one to answer. What kind is it going to be - lower or upper flat-planed, lower or upper repositioning, or in between? Are all the adjustments fees covered in the initial charge? Note here: bite splints almost always have to be adjusted, often times quite frequently. If there is ever any type of pain or discomfort, seeing the dentist (for free) for a bite splint adjustment is the first step to take. What kind of "promises" or guarantees is this guy making? Does he take time for you and explain everything or is he always in a hurry? What else can he (the dentist) do to help relieve a TMJ flare-up? For example - my dentists allows me to use his ultra-sound machine free of charge (I just have to call first); hot moist towels around the neck too and other things for no extra fee.

These are just a few questions you need to ask yourself and your dentist before making your decision. I do support the use of bite splints, but it is essential for find the right kind for you AND finding a really good bite splint MAKER and adjuster can be quite frustrating. Ask questions.

God bless...
Carol
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replied March 17th, 2008
thank you
Thank you for all the information. This dentist will be making a lower splint that he will have to adjust several times. All the adjustments are included in the $1600. I am not on any anti-depressants and taking valium for 2 weeks scares me a little. I don't want to get addicted to it, but I need something to help the grinding at night. right now I feel like my jaw is so tight and that I can't seem to relax it.
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replied March 17th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
its a struggle to find something that works. a lot of times its trial and error--but it helps to find what does work. if you dont try it you wont know what doesnt work. try it.
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replied March 19th, 2008
I have gotten many products and surgeries over the years that have really cost me and arm and leg-and nothing has worked!

What I do now is use a product called the FaceCaddy. The FaceCaddy is a product that I found online and it has really worked wonders for me.

It's a velcro wrap that goes around my head and lets me heat my face hand free (i've always thought that heat worked better than ice in helping me ease my pain). I use the caddy pretty much everyday for about a half hour and it's been great.

It's so simple that I feel stupid for spending so much money and not seeing a product like this earlier.
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replied March 19th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
this does not fix the problem though ----there is someitng that will fix it. you just have to find it. yeah the face caddy is nice. i didnt settle till i got what i wanted--a fix. im still not perfect but im getting there
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replied September 12th, 2012
tmj treatment???
Hi....im from winnipeg, canada. found a "specialist" here in wpg yesterday n he also recommends splint therapy. 1 for upper for night time n the other for daytime He is so confident in this therapy that he said if i dont feel 70-80% better with this treatment that he will only charge me lab fee which is about $500($3600 for everything)the only crappy thing is after therapy u still might need to continue on wearing ur splint....some might need to wear it occasionally or their jaw might go back to the same state it was in before therapy....n some might not need it at all. im waiting to see what mine n my husband's insurance will pay for this before i THINK i start thid therapy....not sure if i need this route but i dont wanna be cheap.with myself. my pain isnt as bad...usually its between a 4-6 out of 10. Clicking n popping jaw...ear pain n fullness...headaches...facial pain...neck n shoulder pain. K enough typing for now....hard to type on cell phone....getting a headache! Oh sorry if im all over the place...i jump to this..n that....n this....lol and most of all SORRY for my grammar. Smile
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