anxiety · autoimmune · chronicillness · dental · fibromyalgia · hyperthyroidism · hypothyroidism

5 Top Ways to Help Relieve TMJ Pain

How can you prevent TMJ pain when you have a chronic illness?

Here are my top 5 methods of helping TMJ issues. 

(Please note that none of this is intended as professional medical advice. If you decide to do any of these things mentioned, please consult a Dentist before hand).

A biteguard

This is the most recommended treatment by Dentists because it is one that is proven to work. However many people are unaware they can have different textures of the splint.
For your first one, you will possibly be given a soft flexible guard. However, if your bite is very hard or your grinding or pain is not easing, you may find you actually wear a soft splint away very quickly.
If this happens you can ask for a hard splint to be made. This one you wear all the time except when eating.

There is no pain in having a splint made. Just a simple impression is taken of the teeth and the work is sent to the lab. Easy peasy.

2.) Composite build ups and a de-programmer

This is a treatment I have had done. For those of you in the UK, this is a treatment you will most likely need to get from a private practice and not NHS.

The process involves taking various measurements of how your biting (your occlusion) and assessing where the stress is coming from. This will be done using impressions and bite registration pastes. You may also be asked to bite down on a colored piece of paper called articulating paper, which leaves a residue on your teeth, so the dentist can see where your contact points are.

A device called a de-programmer is then made from the impressions.

This device is generally a hard acrylic material with a block at the back of your upper anterior teeth. This block will prevent your lower back teeth coming into contact with your upper teeth. This will mean your jaw will start to adjust into a more comfortable position, rather than exerting pressure on your teeth and therefore your jaw and TMJ.

It will feel strange, but if you’re like me, you will feel relief from the pressure around your jaw.
You will generally be asked to wear this device at all times, except when eating.
Some people may be asked to keep the device permanently. I, however, decided to have the second stage of treatment which involved composite build ups done.

This is a more permanent version of the deprogrammer and better if you’re not keen on having a device in your mouth at all times.

I was asked to wear my appliance for around 3 weeks. This allowed my jaw to settle into a more comfortable position.

I then went back to the dentist, who again took readings and measurements of my new jaw position following use of the deprogrammer.
More molds were taken, to study, and my teeth were built back up with a white filling material, called composite. This was done without local anesthetic for the dental phobic amongst you! – it is a completely painless procedure.

It is not a filling! There is no drilling involved. You’re just having a hard filling material put in place to rebuild where you have ground down.

The white filling is built back up on the occlusal (biting) surfaces of your teeth, in order to put your jaw in a more natural and comfortable position.

This worked for me for quite a while, and I noticed a huge improvement in the stress and pain around my TMJ. However, because I have what dental professionals call a strong or heavy bite, I wore down the composite fillings quite quickly. The same way I had ground down my natural teeth!
So this, for me, was only a temporary solution!

3. Cerezen

The other option I know of is a relatively new product to the dental world. It is a product called Cerezen.

I haven’t had this product done personally, nor do I know anyone that has had it, so everything I mention below is purely based on internet research. I must stress, that if you have this product based on this review and it doesn’t work, or anything else along those lines, I can not be held accountable.

Cerezen is an ear based device. Due to the fact that I don’t personally know how this product works, I will quote what the website states directly –

When you move your jaw, your ear canal opens and closes. As the ear canal is so close to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), it makes it the perfect place to target the source of your symptoms.
When your customized Cerezen devices are inserted into the ear canal, they retain the shape of your ear canal in the open jaw position because they are made from a 3D printed rigid material.
They effectively encourage the jaw to return to a relaxed position.” ) quoted directly from Cerezen UK.

From what I gather, from the website. Molds of your ear are taken and customized devices ( a bit like ear plugs I am assuming) are taken.

These devices then prevent your Temporomandibular joint from causing too much stress on itself when biting.

I am looking into possibly getting this device done for myself, to see if it works, so when I do I will give a better review!
Keep your eyes peeled!

4.) Botox

The next option I am aware of for TMJ problems is botox!
Now I know many of us, associate Botox with lip fillers and plastic surgery!

I have been reliably informed however by Dental professionals, that you can have botox done at a hospital on referral from a Dentist if your TMJ disorder is severe.

Botox is supposed to relieve the tension (as it would in any other part it is injected into) and therefore help relieve TMJ problems.
Again, I must stress, this is not a treatment I have personally experienced and therefore can not fully comment on the effectiveness of it.
I am purely basing this on conversations I have had in the dental world and also personal internet research.

5. Surgery
The final solution I am aware of is surgery on the jaw. This is only for very severe cases, however.
As mentioned I am looking at possibly trying a few of these solutions. If I do, I will, of course, update you and do a full review!
I hope this has helped a little bit with some of the treatments available.
As stated before, if you’re suffering from TMJ issues or any dental issues at all, please consult your Dentist asap.
If you would like to read more about TMJ problems and how to relieve them, please have a look at this really helpful book below.

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