Is my TMJ TMI?
Well what do you know? I didn't have any cavities! I am actually convinced that it was because last time I told him that I better not have any cavities at my next check-up and I think he was kind of getting the hint that I wasn't going to fall for his money-sucking ways anymore. I mean I was this close to finding a new dentist and I think he knew it.
I did decide to ask him about the jaw issues I've been having, not even sure if a dentist is who one goes to with a problem such as this. I haven't been able to chew gum very often anymore and certain foods like chips at Mexican restaurants will mess up my jaw and make it pop, feel dislocated and occasionally, make it hard to open my mouth all the way. Problematic for so many reasons. Also, I am a Type A, anxious, overly stressed out Bride who doesn't really know what it feels like to not be stressed anymore. I clench during the day and I clench the entire night. This isn't a new thing, it has just become much worse over the past six months or so. I've tried to become more aware of my daytime clenching, but at night I can't help it. Since I wear a retainer at night anyway, I don't grind my teeth, but it is not uncommon for me to wake up with a sore head, jaw and face. So, I brought this up to my dentist. He had me close and open my mouth and there was a loud POP. As I suspected, I have TMJ. The dentist said I should probably get a specially made bite guard that is worn at night to keep me from clenching. Damn it! Can I ever escape this place without being taken for all I'm worth?
As I was checking out, the receptionist at the front desk said she would call my insurance company for me to see if the bite guard is covered by my insurance and then call me to let me know. A couple hours later she called to tell me that no, it is not covered. Well, "how much is it?"
Well, I guess I'll have to learn to live with the TMJ, at least for now. Stupid jaw. Stupid dentist. Stupid insurance. They should KNOW I am saving up to make the final payment on my honeymoon! I don't have money for things like jaw health!
So, are any of you out there living with this condition? Do you know any ways to make it better that don't cost $600? Please, I'm dying to know.