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FAQ:  TMJ / TMD - Jaw Joint Pain



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TMJ Disorders Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti Question:
I was diagnosed with TMJ about 7 years ago. For the past 5 months I have been wearing appliances 24/7 that my dentist gave me to try to fix it.

My jaw is still popping and still hurts. I just visited my dentist and he told me I have 4 options now, keep wearing my appliances until it stops, get new, more permanent ones, get sugar shots in my jaw or get braces to realign my jaw right.

He told me that he recommends getting braces but I would rather not have to go through that again since I already had to wear them for 2 years when I was a kid. I really want my jaw fixed. Is this the best solution? ...Visitor from CA

Answer:
I have not seen you or know what your condition is.

With TMJ patients, I usually start with an appliance called an NTI. See website: nti-tss.com. There are helpful videos on that site that may interest you.

I would suggest that you seek a second opinion since you still have pain.

Another thing I do with TMJ patients is give them a low dose of muscle relaxant at bedtime for 2 weeks to stop the cycle of grinding or clenching that causes the pain (2 mg. Valium). This, with the NTI that does not allow you to clench, will usually bring relief from pain.

Orthodontics may well be your best solution, but you want a thorough evaluation by a general dentist who will refer you to an orthodontist who is very knowledgeable about TMJ. I would advise consultations with 2-3 orthodontists to see if they think braces will really help.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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