TMJ and problems during daytime
Hi, I was wondering if you could advise me on the best way to treat the problem that I'm having. I have had TMJ-like symptoms for decades, but I have never seen a professional for it.
I grind my teeth when I am sleeping, and I have for a number of years although I don't know how frequently this occurs. When I wake up, however, I don't notice any jaw pain.
The problem that I'm having that is far more debilitating is that when I get upset (irritated, angry, etc.), I almost immediately begin to experience pain in my jaw (the muscle, I think, rather than the joint). Maybe I am unconsciously clenching my teeth, I don't know, but I will say that it comes on very suddenly. The pain has been known to last 8-12 hours, long after the unpleasant emotion has passed. Occasionally, this will spread and I will notice tension in the neck and shoulders. I experience no other symptoms (no headaches, jaw popping or clicking, ear pain, etc.)
My insurance does not cover dentist visits, and I've been trying to learn more about TMJ online. It seems like most of the mouth guards that I have seen online are for nighttime use. Although bruxism is a problem for me, I feel like the bulk of my problem occurs during my waking hours--that is when I notice the pain, not when I wake up in the morning.
I know that it is difficult to diagnose over the Internet, but if you could wing it, I would greatly appreciate it!
Basically, I'm wondering what type of guard (if any) would best be suited to my problem and how often I would need to wear it. It doesn't seem like there are many guards designed to wear throughout the day...
Thanks for any advice you can give, I greatly appreciate it.