your opinion on the nose breather appliance....

by NewYorker
(new york)

Hi,
I am a 22 yr old college student and I have tmj/d and tongue thrust, which has been giving me excruciating pain for awhile now. I have tried a number of therapies to relieve/cure my condition, but so far nothing has helped. I refuse to get surgery or anything of the sorts, i have tried acupuncture, physical therapy,infrared(somewhat helpful), a change of diet, etc., the list goes on, nothing has been able to relieve enough pain to not have to pop ibuprofen everyday. I recently came across a website that is supposed to help for mouth breathers/tongue thrusters, but considering the price is a pretty hefty one i was wondering if you or anyone here has heard of information that I should know prior to purchasing it.
Nose Breathe for Heavy Mouth Breather (NB/HMB)-is the item I am interested in, on..... nosebreathe.com/index.html


Thank you so much and I really do appreciate taking the time out for me.....

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New Yorker
by: Dr. Spainhower

Hello New Yorker,

Mouth Breathing and tongue thrusting is an area that I'm not the expert at. So, please take my reply as information...put it on the back shelf of your brain as one more piece of the puzzle of your TMJD quest for answers, and keep searching.

However, I have attended a very informative and impressive seminar on the topic of MyoFunctional Therapy. This topic deals with tongue thrusting, mouth and tongue positioning etc. I was lucky enough to have learned this therapy by the creater of the therapy himself. I think he is dead now unfortunately.

My opinion is, that TMJ could be caused by the positioning of the mouth when mouth breathers hold their mouth open to breath. Additionally, the action of the tongue thrusting forward could fatigue the masticatory muscles enough to cause some TMJ discomforts. However...

My uninformed opinion of TMJ being caused by tongue thrusting is probably not the case...
Unless, the thrusting is so obvious and the individual can't stop continuous thrusting. I don't see that that actually is present in tongue thrusters.

The head posture might be more of a problem. It's a common belief that when someone is sitting at a computer with their head forward, the posture is such that it could fatigue the jaw muscles to cause pain in the jaws.

So, does Tongue thrusting cause TMJ in my opinion...not likely. It might be the other factors that can be present such as head posture, and the constant position of holding the mouth open.

Let's talk about the mouth guards on the site that you gave me...

To control tongue thrusting, I think that they may be excellent to use. Although, the way the guards are designed, you might even have more discomfort in the jaws by wearing them. They are designed to stop the tongue thrusting...NOT designed to stop jaw pain.

They probably will cause more tension in the jaws. The Tongue Positioner (designed for young children will probably not cause more jaw pain. So, if you can have them make you a tongue positioner even though you are an adult...that might work.

Looking into Myofunctional Therapy might be a good idea. It is very "Alternative" though, but I've seen cases with dramatic results. The cost of it may be prohibitive being a college student.

There is a good TMJ Dentist in New York (I think Long Island) his name and number is found on this website by following the "Hand Picked Doc" page on the left. Call him, that would be my best recomendation to do...do that. It might cost you 300-400 dollars for the exam, but I highly recommend him. He'll be able to help you.

Good luck.

Dr. Spainhower

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