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Dentistry/Mouthguard Question


Hello Mr. Gold,

I have a question about possibly asking my dentist to make me a mouthguard. I would normally ask him this question, but I'm currently going to college a few hundred miles away and he doesn't really check his email much. I have gotten some great answers for other dentists on here before, but you seem to be an expert on TMJ.

My jaw has been popping since I was a small child. I am 22 at the moment, but it seems that it has gotten a little worse. I mean sometimes my jaw just locks when I open my mouth wide or sometimes when I open it to brush my teeth. The worst is when I am eating and it just randomly locks. It doesn't happen all the time, but when it does it is a bit painful. Its not an intense pain, but it would be great if there was no pain.

I know there are some solutions to my problem like surgery, but I do not want to go under the knife for this. I'm thinking that getting a mouthguard is the best solution. I think that I have been grinding my teeth at night because I have been a bit stressed out lately. I feel that if I get a mouthguard, I won't grind my teeth and my TMJ pain would hopefully calm down a bit.

The thing is, I have a retainer that I wear pretty much every night. I got braces back when I was in high school, but I still wear my retainer so that my teeth don't shift. How can I possibly wear a mouthguard for my TMJ if I also have to wear my retainer? Thank you for taking the time to read this and any help is greatly appreciated!



Hi, Kevin.

First thing:  a mouthguard won't stop you from grinding your teeth; it will only put padding between them.

TMJ dysfunction is a conditioning problem, not amenable to a surgical solution.  Your muscles of biting and chewing are way-contracted and prone to contract.  The pain is both muscular and mechanical at the TMJ.

I have provided answers to questions about TMJ Dysfunction in articles I have posted.  Please see,1.htm .

Finally, mouthguards are expensive.  There's a much more effective and less expensive approach.  Read.  


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Lawrence Gold


can answer: TMJ Syndrome/TMJ Dysfunction / TMD jaw pain popping and clicking of jaws earaches TMJ/TMD headaches can't answer: drug-related questions


clients with jaw pain, jaw joint pain, limited ability to open the mouth, headaches

found in my existing expert profile

see includes The American Journal of Pain Management and The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients articles on TMJ Dysfunction,1.htm

Certified practitioner The Rolf Method of Structural Integration (1990) Hanna somatic education(TM) (1992)

Awards and Honors
found in my existing expert profile

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