I have been a Dental Hygienist for 44 years. Sadly, I see many patients with TMJ of varying degrees. I have suffered with TMJ for 30+years. I have 2 night guards. One for night time & another more flexible guard for daytime.This daytime guard is flexible but still snug enough so as not to interfere with talking. And we dental hygienist like to talk !!
When My pain is not resolved by wearing a guard I take ibuprofen. I have tried “Mobic” but it does not work as well for me. I have taken Zanax but for me it is just a temporary fix. I also apply a topical ointment for pain & swelling “Pennsaid”. I do feel that my anxiety leads to “clenching”.
So often I do not realize that I am feeling anxious untill my TMJ begins to ache. Clenching sounds like such a harsh word. Our teeth can only tolerate the pressure we use while eating. So…any extra pressure on the teeth & surronding muscles,tendons & fibers is irritating.Thus leading to irritation of the Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ). Various things can lead to clenching….Chronic Pain and even Weight Lifting ! I did consult with an orthodontist but was given no guarantee that Braces would alleviate my TMJ.
At the beginning of my career we did not wear a mask or gloves !!! So,while cleaning teeth I tried to keep my mouth closed for esthetic reasons.Unknowingly,my upper & lower teeth where in contact. Just an example of unintentional clenching.
Many anti-depressants can cause “Bruxism” (grinding,clenching of the teeth). This is a term that is unfamiliar to many physicians.
Wow,that was “a mouth full” !!! I will keep you updated on any new findings. AND I will keep you in my prayers.