TMJ Pain Treatment of Dr. Spainhower's Patients

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Hello everyone, I've been wanting to post experiences with my TMJ Pain patients for all to read and learn from.

Today, Rita came in for the third visit to treat her pain, see, about three weeks ago, Rita came in with a not so uncommon story about having seen multiple Doctors ect. Here's her story...

Rita began having facial and TMJ pain last November, so she visited her TMJ Dentist. He told her that she needs to hold her lower jaw forward (these are Rita's words and may not be what the Dentist actually said). I told Rita...no, your jaw position should be back and up.

Rita repeated her story of having an appointment with the Oral Surgeon to have TMJ Surgery, although she canceled the Surgery the day before her surgery because her Insurance wouldn't cover the surgery.

She then told me about the Neurosurgeon that wanted to do surgery on her facial nerve on her left side of her face. She has had numbing there since last November. Her Neurologist from the University recommended surgery and a "Ciber knife" to treat her symptoms.

Anyway, you get the point...many doctors and thousands of dollars later that she still has to pay off.

She has Dentures, and TMJ patients with dentures are difficult to treat. But I suggested that she take out her lower Partial denture because she only has front teeth of her own, and that would duplicate very well and anterior contact Splint. I was confident that that would help.

Two to three hours later, Rita called reporting agony pain. Ugh...what is going on I asked myself. So, I said come back in tomorrow and I'll take another look. Well a week later she came in and I said that I'd make her a splint. Yes, a splint that covered her denture.

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I adjusted it appropriately (so I thought). I'm thinking, THIS will reduce her TMJ pain! They made an appointment for a one week follow up visit.

I was hoping for the best and anticipating her return...

She came in and said that the splint made her hurt so much after 2 days that she couldn't stand it anymore, so she took it out. Ugh again.

Well, I was talking about throwing in the towel with her, and then I said...you know...let me try it again, OK?

She reluctantly agreed.

I started adjusting the splint, and something started happening. Her lower jaw started to move back and up, more than I noticed before. What was happening was, that her muscle "Engrams" were releasing.

In layman's terms, it's kind of like when a muscle spasm releases it's spasm. Although in this case, the nerves sensed relief from interferences with the posterior teeth, so the nerves allowed the muscles to work more freely.

Anyway, after the appointment I felt that new hope was there.

One week later, she and her husband showed up (today June 4th), and she was gleaming with a big smile because her TMJ pain is gone, her husband was filling out paper work to have some work done on him.

Rita said that she hadn't felt this good since November and reflected back at what would have happened if she had gone through surgery? Bad things of course. She even said that she even started to clean the cupboards again!

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Long story short...It was difficult to find the right adjustment for a patient in the beginning, but with a bit of confidence in the TMJ pain basics on how the jaw works and persistence, then bam, Rita is out of pain.

That is a good day, every time that happens for someone. It puts a big smile on faces and you go home feeling good.

Dave Spainhower DD


Chelayne's Story

I had suffered from TMJ problems for years and spent thousands of dollars with other dentists in an attempt to relieve my pain and discomfort before I came to Dr. Spainhower.

Stabilizing my jaw had been difficult to do with other providers but was quickly achieved with Dr. Spainhower's help. My treatment came to point where I could continue with the use of a bite plate to keep my jaw stable or I could consider fixing my problem.

My jaw problems resulted from an uneven bite and ligaments that were simply tired of trying to pull my bite back in place. For treatment of that specifically, I took time with other dentists throughout salt Lake to get opinions and decide what would be best for me.

I ultimately ended up coming back to Dr. Spainhower with advice from others. Dr. Spainhower gave me his input and we decided on a plan to hopefully fix my jaw.

After a month or two of planning and treatment, my jaw was stable and fixed. We ended up needing to take some height off of some of my teeth while adding some to others. All the while being sure my bite was exactly where it should be.

It's now 2 1/2 years later and my jaw is still stable and happy. What used to be pain on waking up, headaches and pain throughout the day, clicking and locking sporadically and overall discomfort is now what I used to hope normal felt like.

I greatly appreciate the time Dr. Spainhower spent with me and his willingness to treat me as an individual with specific therapy needs. I can't begin to express how great life without jaw pain is.


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