Replacement for a hard TMJ splint

by Cindy
(Danville, IL)

Sixteen years ago I was in a car accident that knocked my lower jaw out of place. After a year or so of terrible pain I finally had surgery to have both of the discs in my jaw joint put back into place, then had all kinds of therapy, and was given a splint to wear. I went through a couple of years of pain with this but eventually things settled down and now the jaw pain flares up only once in a great while. I haven't had a 'flare up' for a few years though. My problem is that the hard splint I was given to wear back then just now finally broke into two pieces. I've been wearing that splint for 15 years. It's like a part of my body! I wear it all the time, only taking it out to eat. I get very uncomfortable if I go too long without it. I have to have a splint but I don't want to go to a TMJ specialist. I don't want my jaws messed with because they have been "good" for so long, I don't want to do anything to cause that pain again. I lived in CA when my accident happened and now I live in Illinois. I have lost all contact with my doctors and therapists that took care of me 15-16 years ago. My local dentist has always told me that he would have to send me to Indianapolis to a TMJ specialist if I ever needed a new mouthpiece. I don't want to go! I just need to find a replacement for my broken mouthpiece. Right now I am still wearing the broken mouthpiece because I can't stand to go without it for too long. But, because it's broken, it unexpectedly pops out now and I'm afraid I'll choke on it during the night. Last night I purchase a Doctor's Night Guard and I hated it...way too big and thick and bulky for me. What do you recommend for me?

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