tmj issues

I used the smartguard for the first time last night. It stayed in my mouth the whole night and was comfortable. I was just wondering how long it will take to feel a positive difference.

A little history: On June 19th I had a tooth extracted on the lower left side. Since then I have had trouble with the right side. Jaw pain, tenderness etc. In august my dentist fitted me for an upper mouth guard for night time use. I feel that has made my pain worse. Could an extraction cause you to have a bad bite? I am getting an implant but I need some relief soon and that is a long process. I have never had any of these issues before the extraction. I suppose I might have clenced my teeth while sleeping but not to the extent that I am doing it now. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Julie Hill

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Oct 14, 2012
TMJ and extractions
by: Dr. Spainhowerf

Hello Julie,

Good to hear the SmartGuard stayed in and is comfortable.

When ever you change something with your teeth, (#1) you run the risk of altering the bite. When a tooth is pulled, (#2) the forces that are necessary sometimes strains the jaw muscles, and (#3) when anesthesia is given, the needle causes inflammation in the muscles.

So, you have 3 possible events to the jaw that could cause muscle or joint stress. Sounds like you definitley are a recipient to the possible stresses during your extraction.

Any of those 3 things can bring on TMJ jaw pain. Most likely with the tooth missing, now the forces of biting that the extracted tooth now placed on other teeth in the mouth. That can cause what we call..."muscle engrams" (cusps are now in the way of the motion of chewing or biting). Muscle engrams increase muscle contraction and the more engrams there are, the more your muscles can fatigue.

The more fatigue, the higher the chances of muscle pain (TMJ pain).

So, wear the SmartGuard if it allows you to sleep better. The SmartGuard relaxes your muscles to reduce the fatigue and pains. You should see a reduction in pain in 1-3 days. Sometimes it takes 5-7 days. If pain lasts more than the 5-7 days, then something else is wrong either with the molding of the SmartGuard or most likely there is a different stressor causing the pain.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Dr. Spainhower

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