TMJ Mouth Guard

My family cannot afford to go to the dentist for many reasons. My parents have had recent medical issues which have us owing over three thousand dollars or so in expenses. But my TMJ is bothering me so much. It has been a few weeks now that it has been locked up and I have a lot of difficulty even opening my mouth. Do you know if one of the mouth guards that I can get at the drug store will work? Or are they even worth it?

– Ashley in Rhode Island

Ashley,

Sorry to hear that you deal with TMJ disorder. Have you tried using hot and cold packs? If you alternate between using the hot and then the cold pack multiple times through the day, this may help with the inflammation in the joint. Go ahead and give it a try if you haven’t already and keep the packs in place for 10 minute intervals. You should also try 800mg of ibuprofen as needed or up to three times a day to help with the inflammation and pain.

To answer your question, the mouth guard that you buy in the store is probably going to help a little bit. It depends on how much your grind your teeth because you will wear it down pretty fast if you grind a lot. There are different sizes available at the store. It is probably best to go with the one size fits all, unless you know your exact size. One of these mouth guards will probably cost about 20 dollars and it is better than nothing. Although, you will be much better off treating your temporomandibular joint dysfunction by getting a guard from the dentist’s office. It will be well worth the few hundred dollars for a custom fit. It is also possible that your dental insurance may cover this kind of treatment, if you have insurance. Or you may want to consider CareCredit. Many dentists accept their interest-free payment plans. You can also talk to your dentist about your situation and they may have payment plans, a medical card, or other program available to help out.

Hopefully this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

How long will it take for Invisalign to straighten my teeth?

Hello,

I have had an initial consultation with my dentist and I’m all set to get Invisalign next month. I know that traditional metal braces takes like three years to straighten teeth, so I was wondering how long it takes with Invisalign? I really don’t have teeth that are messed up too badly, it’s more like a couple small gaps. I’m hoping they are corrected for my senior year. I want straight teeth for my senior pictures.

– Laney in New Hampshire

Laney,

On average, Invisalign takes about half the time as traditional metal orthodontics. There are many factors that contribute to exactly how long they will take to correct teeth for each patient. For example, the duration depends on how often you wear the aligners and it also depends on how much tooth movement is required. As you begin treatment, your dentist should be able to provide a better approximation of your completion date. There are cases that have required very minimal tooth movement and have been straightened in as little as six months. For more extreme cases, Invisalign  may take closer to two years to move teeth into their correct position.

Remember, Invisalign invisible braces are just that, invisible, so no one will notice that you have them on. Another benefit is that Invisalign is completely removable. So if you are concerned about your senior photos, just remember that you can take the aligners out so you don’t have to worry about it. It is hard to say exactly how long it will take for your specific case, but if you start next month your teeth will be noticeable straighter for your senior year than they are today.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Related post: Porcelain veneers can give the appearance of straightened teeth.