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Teeth Grinding And Tmj
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Hi Everyone- I have TMJ (I was diagnosed by my ear nose and throat doctor) and I have a mouth guard that I wear at night for teeth grinding. I've been wearing it religiously for the last two months because I noticed that I was waking up with a headache.

I thought it was helping until last night when, with mouth guard in, I was grinding my teeth so loudly that I woke my husband and myself up!

I think two thing may be at play here- I have arthritis in my neck along with a fusion at C4 and C5 and a cervical rib (yep- I've got a rib in my neck! Not funny, Adam :P ). The other thing is I take Celexa, and it is known to cause teeth grinding, and klonopin. I've cut down on both recently and I think that's when it started acting up, but I'm not sure.

I don't know what to do. I was just reading something that said you should wear your mouth guard all day in the beginning (first six weeks).

What do other people do for this? I was wondering if chiropractic treatment might be a good idea. Thanks, Beverly

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Hi Bev--I have TMJ Disfunction, too. I was diagnosed by an ENT also. My dentist told me to wear the night guard as much as possible--just remove it to eat, brush teeth, etc at the beginning. I did that for a while--but it got old fast, if you know what I mean! It was hard to talk with it in, but that got easier the more I did it. I just wear it at night now--and not even every night. But if I go too long without using it, the jaw pain and back of the neck headaches tend to come back, too. I think checking with a Chiropractor is a good idea--I saw a Chiro. who was also an accupuncturist. He confirmed the TMJ, and worked primarily on my neck--that's where most of my pain is. Hope you get some relief soon! :)

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I also have TMJ with horrible teeth grinding/clenching. I do not have a mouth guard that is fit to my teeth exactly, but I was given a temporary mouth guard to pillow my teeth from grinding. My dentist said that I should wear the guard during the day if I feel stressful (because I clench my teeth when I get stressed). Maybe that would help... I know TMJ can be brought on a lot by stress, so maybe a massage or yes, even the chiropractor would help.

Sometimes, though, my mouth guard does not help and I still feel as though I am in pain. Do you have a mouth guard that is fit to your teeth? Maybe you should call the doctor that diagnosed you, or even see a dentist. Good luck!!

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I think - it has been over 15 years - but I think I only wore it at night and while I was resting and not talking, chewing, etc. to teach my mouth the correct position and to stop the headaches.

What you might want to try in the day because the real mouth gards don't allow you to talk (or at least mine didn't), get a sports mouth guard for during the day or evening when you aren't eating/working so that you can talk a little easier. This is what my current dentist suggests to people having problems during the day and to see if that helps before going through getting the real devise. I'm not even sure where mine is or where it ended up but I had problems from my teens on and I can't remember the last time I had one of my dibilitating headaches. I did some damage to my jaw but it isn't too bad yet.

I have had my teeth re-ground about 5 or 6 times since then because my bite had readjusted but once you get the spacing down and the grinding stops, or slows, life is sooooo much better!!!!

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OK- I'll give it a shot. The one I have is fit to my teeth specifically and maybe I'll talk less :P

Funny thing was, last night when it was really bad, I had just had a massage! EEK!

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Well between my thirty year stint with tmj and my life long clenching and grinding issues. We tried every type of retainer but I would either choke at night or my tongue would flip it out during the day. I ended up breaking two of them before I became adept at catching them in mid air while talking to people. Now, thanks to all of that and Celiac, I don't have many teeth to worry about anymore, but I still have tmj.

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I have been wearing a mouth guard for too many years to count. I don't grind, but I clench my teeth during sleep. I had a new cap put in last fall when another tooth broke (love celiac disease) and I tried to force it in and thus cracked it big time. This Thursday I go back to the dentist and pick up my new one to the tune of $400. I can't wait to get it. I wear mine on the top and mine is ultra thin. I have them make mine thinner then usual as I can't stand the thick ones. I have tried a chiro on several occasions, but the neck adjustments always trigger my migraines. I have arthritis real bad in the cervical spine and even tho I really get tired of the neck crunching, I tell my chiro to stay away from the neck. The massage lady also stays away from that area.

Rusla, you are too funny-catching the mouthpieceLOL.

I have found mine, in the morning, in a hotel room, on the headboard. My husband and I have spent many hours on our hands and knees searching a hotel room for it as I would take it off in my sleep and throw it anywhere. We have taken our bedspread, etc. completely off of our bed in search of it. What a pain.

But, I only wear mine at night. When I first started to wear one, I was told to wear it 24/7 for quite awhile and that was an absolute pain. But, I did do it, except, when I wanted to talk and then I would take it out - speak - and then put it back in.

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Rusla, you are too funny-catching the mouthpieceLOL.

I have found mine, in the morning, in a hotel room, on the headboard. My husband and I have spent many hours on our hands and knees searching a hotel room for it as I would take it off in my sleep and throw it anywhere. We have taken our bedspread, etc. completely off of our bed in search of it. What a pain.

OM- you guys are hilarious! I had read somewhere that people do throw them out in their sleep and I was like "Whaaaaaat?" but you are living proof. :P

Armetta- I did see a chiro for a long time and it helped with my lower back but it never really helped with my neck. What do you do for your cervical arthritis? I've had it since I was like 20 and I've done PT, chiro, massage and nothing really seems to help long term. Do you take medication for it? Do neck exercises?

Well, I just tried to wear my mouth guard and I hate it but I guess I'll suck it up. :wacko:

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Many years ago I had a raging case of TMJ. I treated with a dentist that specialized in this. He made a special splint which I wore all the time and also I had some PT in his office. It got better enough that I could only wear the splint at night for many years to follow. I didn't grind my teet, but I did clench very badly. He wanted to build up my teeth so they all match and I refused (very costly) and I am very glad that I didn't do that. Several years later, a gal in his office admitted as much----that it was really unnecessary to go to those lengths. My advice is not to let any dentist try to talk you into extensive dental work. The splint should do it. In those days, though, they took an impression of your mouth and built you one kind of like they do false teeth. I still have mine and it is in such bad shape. I hope I never have to use it again. The dog got it a couple of times when I took it out and set it on the bed table!!!!!! One more time like that and it will be polished off. Once in awhile I get pain in that area and I just cringe as it reminds me of the terrible headaches and pain that I endured during that stage of my life. This can be so awful and those of you that are going through this stage of your life now, have my enduring sympathy. I will say, though, that I think if you use your splint and do the therapys.....it does seem to be a stage and it will pass. I was young, raising a house full of boys and working...you know the routine. When life smooths out a little it will get better......stress is a HUGE player in TMJ. It is also very closely linked with migraines. Barbara

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I've read that stress plays a huge factor in TMJ too and I definitely have flare-ups and times when it is better. I was just sitting here thinking, Oh, what have I got to be stressed about? Then I thought hmm.. I'm having my gall bladder removed, looking for a house, in a PhD program studying for a week long exam, trying to concieve. I can't imagine what I could be stressed about :P

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Berneses, I used to wear a soft neck brace in the evenings. When early evening would arrive, the pain would get so bad, that all I wanted to do was just take my head off and set it somewhere. The neck brace would relieve the pain after about an hour. It was great. I still have it somewhere. I have not had to wear it for a couple of years and now all I have is the crunching, which I assume is calcium deposits shifting.

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OK- that's good to know. I think I still have my soft brace. Ugh- wish none of us had this pain.

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I was trying to count all of auto-immune diseases that I have due to being an undiagnosed Celiac for so long. I have not even listed them all below my signature and maybe will do so in the future. I was reading in Dr. Green's new book that only 3% of the population has auto-immune diseases, but that 30% of Celiacs do. Also that it does not stop at one for us, but adds up to several. Life is great if we don't weaken :blink:

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I had TMJ (really, really bad) for around 7 years and had tried several types of mouth pieces to help subside the pain. I actually had to be on pain meds because it hurt so bad. I have found for me that a upper mouth piece that is very thick helps (I wear it only at night). I have also been seeing a chiropractor for once a week for the last two years. I have had absolutely no pain using these two methods. It may be that you just need to find the right combination that suits you. Good luck!!

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I got so good and so fast at catching the retainer when I was talking to someone, all they would see if my hand come up and shut. They never knew I was catching my retainer. I always thought that retainer catching should be an Olympic event.

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I got so good and so fast at catching the retainer when I was talking to someone, all they would see if my hand come up and shut. They never knew I was catching my retainer. I always thought that retainer catching should be an Olympic event.

Totally cracking up! But you look too elegant for that!

armetta or anyone else- Fibromyalgia? I'm starting to feel like the world's biggest hypochondraic but I realized today that my jaw, face, neck, arms, wrists (supposedly have some carpal tunnel), and back all hurt. I took some ibuprofen and it seems to have dulled things a bit but Ii really try to stay away from NSAIDs.

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B--The TMJ can affect the jaw, face, neck, and arms--I get it all. The reason I never persued the Fibro. for me is that I don't get pain when I press on an area--they're just sore. Much more so when I wake up--and are somewhat relieved by a shower (if I'm lucky that day!). I've often wondered about that, though, because I also get hip pain, and I doubt vey much that it's caused by the TMJ! The ENT that dx me said to take a pain reliever and put a warm cloth on the joints where the jaws come together in addition to the night guard. Also to eat soft foods when it acts up. I also gently massage the joints when they're particularly sore.

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I have had Fibro since the late 70's. When I got diagnosed they called it Fibrositis and they thought it was rare. I think there are 16 or 18 pressure points and when I was diagnosed I had every pressure point active. My TMJ was diagnosed when I was 19 (now 64) at the University of Washington dental school. No mouth pieces at that time. I was just told to not eat whole apples and don't let anyone operate on my jaw.

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Thanks ladies- I don't think I have the pressure point pain. It's supposed to REALlY hurt when you press on one of those points, right?

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OH, YES, it really hurts. Especially the sides of my thighs. I sleep on my side and I am like the princess and the pea (fairy tale). I can not even have a PJ seam on my side or the bed sheet wrinkled.

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Oh armetta- that's horrible! I definitely don't feel that- just achey. That must be excruciating. I'm so sorry. Hugs, B

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Right around the time I started to get symptoms of celiac disease, I started to feel pain in my jaw. About a year later my dentist Dx me with tmj. I have a great mouth piece he made me i wear at night, its one of those thin flexy ones...and yes i too have been on the floor in the morning searching for it...lol

If effects so many places on ur face and neck. Sometimes i get the pain right about my eyebrows, but its not a headache...it called refferred (sp) pain. The point is ur jaws, but it can shoot to so many other places, because u have so many nerves in that area....i feel that moist heat helps when im really sore/stiff. Also i have a great massage therapist....she told me that acupucture would help a lot, but i havent got to that route yet.

People always tell me to take up yoga to, stretching out the muscles is also useful, but who has the time...oye!

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It's interesting how it all goes.....TMJ years ago, migraines for over 30 years, fibro dx three years ago and now a gluten intolerance (with a gene dx) two years ago----a definite thread to be found here. Going to be 61 soon, the migraines still come occasionally, but THANK GOD for Imitrex, TMJ totally under control, take some serious meds for the fibro/now with infrequent flares (in one right now) and eating gluten-free----still have to work more than full time, stress level gets high at times. It's too bad all doctors just don't get the connection. Barbara

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What do other people do for this? I was wondering if chiropractic treatment might be a good idea. Thanks, Beverly

Dude... My chiro totally fixed my tmj...

I swear by it!

By the by, my chiros totally belive I have celiac, whereas my medical docs don't. Nuff said? :D

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I have had TMJ for as long as I can remember. My chiropractor could help tremendously, but it would always come back. I saw an orhtodontist who specializes in it, and got a splint that's worn 24/7 for six months (yes, even while eating). It pulls the bottom jaw down and forward so that the joint isn't jammed up (if that makes sense). Now the otho is grinding down the splint so that my teeth lengthen (on their own, not with caps or other expensive solutions). Believe it or not, they do grow. My top and bottom teeth have not touched for months except for the front teeth, but are now starting to come together. This has completely healed my TMJ!!! At this point I wear the splint at night because of my grinding. All was completely covered by my medical insurance (not dental) because it's a joint problem.

My chiropractor did help a lot with comfort, but my muscles needed to be trained to hold the jaw in place, which is what the splint did.

I think the whole thing is aggravated by the joint pain I get from the gluten intolerance.

Carla

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