I just lost my job and along with it, my dental insurance. Of course my TMJ has started acting up, but going to the dentist right now is simply out of the question. I can’t open my mouth and my jaw has pretty much been locked for the last several weeks. I’m thinking about at least trying an over-the-counter TMJ mouth piece to see if it will help. Will I be wasting my money? — Ken
So sorry you’re in this tough (and painful) situation. If you’re TMJ is flaring up, try some heat and ice packs on your jaw joints – it will help with inflammation. Alternate the heat/ice packs several times a day for about 10 minutes at a time and also take 800mg of Ibuprofen three times a day. Getting the store bought mouth guard is better than not wearing anything. Just keep in mind that if you are grinding a lot you will wear through it quickly, but it should do some good for you for the time being. You’ll only spend about 20 dollars, but you just want to be careful that you don’t make things worse because it won’t be a custom fit like you can get from your dentist. If you can save us some money, you’d definitely be in much better shape if you can have a custom night guard made. Call and ask your dentist if he has a no interest medical card you could apply for or at least some sort of payment plan.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Stephen Doan. Find out more about the services he provides by visiting his La Jolla cosmetic dental website.