The Next Steps

by Sharon
(Tulsa, Ok)

Dr. Spinhower:

My dentist has me wear a night guard because of grinding my teeth. I didn't seem to have a problem with it. However a year ago, I had a tooth implant/crown (second to last tooth in back of lower mouth)It has been about a year since then and now wearing the night guard, (as well as without it at night) I'm going through pain (TMJ -joint pain, headaches, etc.)for about 2-3 mo.

We checked the guard -to which I was actually grinding and wearing on it. We adjusted it (shaped it) as well as adjusted the crown on the implant(and the crown on the last tooth),for biting purposes and it relieved the headaches (which I've had for a couple months now)but still am having jaw pain during the night and day.

She is trying to eliminate everything before sending me to a TMJ specialist (due to costs).
I told her I might try a different night guard (as the one I have from her is wearing down - and may in my opinion not be working as well, because I seem to be clenching my jaw more either from that, the pain, or both.

I ran across your website while researching night guards - I'm doing everything in the natural that I see on your site (eating right, exercise, etc) using warm packs on jaw, etc., but am wondering if the smart guard would be a next step...

I was treated for TMJ I believe in my early 20's -I am now in my 50's but very healthy otherwise - so don't know if the flare up needs attention from a specialist or trying a different guard. I don't want to compromise my health by allowing too much time to pass.

Please, any help you can share would be appreciated.
Thanks -- Sharon

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Apr 19, 2012
Thank You
by: Sharon

Thank You Dr.Spainhower. Sorry, I miss spelled your name the first time.:-)

I will give the Smart Guard a try.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions.


Apr 10, 2012
What to do next?
by: Dr. Spainhower

Hello Sharon,

Treating TMJ symptoms is a trial an error process.

You pick a treatment and see if it works for you. Sometimes the jaw muscles just need a change in proprioception, which usually means trying different types of night guards.

Also, even if you wear a good TMJ night guard, you may still not have success in reducing your TMJ pains (because of daytime stress and tension in your muscles).

You can try the SmartGuard of course, and see if it works for you. If your TMJ pains are mostly at the end of the day, then a night guard may not be the answer...but you never know.

Your current night guard may be adjusted correctly, but there are some cases that do require different adjustments that probably most dentists are not experienced enough to identify.

So, bottom line is, try the just may help, as it is the OTC night guard that has the highest probability and possibility to reduce your TMJ pains. It's not perfect, but in my opinion is the first OTC guard to try.


Dr. Spainhower

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