Amanda's TMJ Success Story

Amanda's jaw popped and clicked and her pain grew to unbearable levels. Her TMJ pain, including excruciating migraines led her to seek treatment with Springfield TMJ dentist, Dr. Randi Green.

Dr. Randi Green helped Amanda through TMJ pain treatment and facial growth orthodontics. Amanda was relived of her debilitating migraine-like headaches, jaw popping and jaw pain through physiologic dentistry. Read her treatment interview and see photos during treatment.


Daniel - Hey, I'm Daniel, the practice manager for Springfield Smile Doctor. We are here today with our remarkable patient Amanda. Hey Amanda and thank you for sharing your TMJ success story and your journey with facial growth orthodontics. Welcome!

Amanda - Thank you.

Daniel - Tell us a little bit about who Amanda is? What's going on and give us a quick background?

Amanda - I am a mother of a 2-year-old, and I have a very active family. We like to be outside and do lots of hiking and together time. I also am a teacher, an instructional coach at Ozark School.

Daniel - Awesome. It sounds like you're family oriented, and don't have a second to spare on TMJ issues with a little one running around!

I want to ask you this morning about why you came to see Dr. Green for your TMJ pain. Some also call it TMD which is short for temporomandibular joint disorder. 

I want to talk to you about the many symptoms you were experiencing with your TMJ dysfunction and pain. When did you first notice that something wasn't right with your muscles and jaw joints?

Amanda - Well, it happened when I was around 22 and pretty early in my career. I went to the dentist, and she told me that she didn't understand how I could even chew food because my bite was so bizarre. So, I knew something wasn't right then. I had some dental work done and after that is when I started to experience a lot of jaw pain and jaw popping.

I knew for the last 13 to 15 years that something wasn't right with my body. I couldn't speak or chew food generally like other people. I didn't have normal daily activities.

Daniel - And so that was a little bit of an alarm to you of saying well, surely this can't be just happening to me. There should be some fix or something that I can do. What was the next step? Did you look to other TMJ specialists and what was that journey like for you?

Amanda - Oh my goodness, yes. I have gone to several specialists including oral surgeons, orthodontists, acupuncturist, and chiropractors. I pretty much tried everything because I had such terrible TMJ pain, and I knew there had to be something out there. I was researching TMJ treatment and trying to figure out how I could get better and lead a healthy life.

I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on treatments to find a solution for my TMJ pain before I saw Dr. Green. I even once had botox injected into my jaw muscles to try to find some relief. So, I was seeking every TMJ treatment under the sun.

Daniel - We hear that often from a lot of our patients that choose to work TMJ Dentist, Dr. Green. They're looking for answers for TMJ pain. So many people aren't finding solutions with a specialist or with the products you indicated. 

Then you found the Smile Doctor, Dr. Randi Green. Tell me about that first encounter? How did you hear about Dr. Green?

Amanda - Well, actually one of my former student's parents recommended her to me. She had noticed that I was rubbing my neck and jaw a lot. She had asked if I had heard of a TMJ Dentist like Dr. Green. She pushed me to call her office.

I like to say that the student was in my life for a particular reason to get me to Dr. Green. When I met Dr. Green, I knew and had a really good feeling that she was going to help me. I am so thankful that my former student's parent spoke up and said something. She was the one that noticed that something wasn't right.

"I had horrible TMJ headaches, debilitating migraine-type headaches. I would have a headache 5 out of 7 days a week if I didn't try to find relief or take something.”

Daniel - Dr. Green's patients are her advocates. By telling stories like yours, she can help others with TMJ pain help make the connection with a physiologic solution. 

So, I want to dive in a little bit more in-depth with some of the TMJ related signs and symptoms you're experiencing. Tell people about this, because a lot of people don't understand what you are going through on a daily basis. Talk to me in detail about what was happening to your jaw and your face?

Amanda - A lot of people think TMJ is your jaw pops or you feel a little bit uncomfortable when you chew sticky food or gum. For me, it was so much more encompassing than that. I always had jaw and facial tightness. I struggled every day to get through the day and teach all day long. I would come home at night and do hot packs and ice packs, and I was trying anything to get relief at night. I had intense neck pain as well.

I was always trying to move and adjust and pop my neck to try to feel comfortable. I had horrible TMJ headaches, debilitating migraine-type headaches. I would have a headache 5 out of 7 days a week if I didn't try to find relief or take something.

I had tried muscle relaxers to try to relieve that type of headache pain. There was also a lot of fullness in my ears. I felt like I had earmuffs on all the time due to the pressure and tightness, and I hurt all over.

There were times that it was difficult to hold my head up, because of the spasms in my face. So, it was very debilitating for me. I felt like I was in survival mode, and trying to get through every day was a challenge.

Daniel - To survive through pain like that at night and to go back into work the next day and keep your head up, that had to be difficult. I mean you're experiencing a lot of pain at night, but that's happening to you during the day too. I am guessing there are a lot of different emotions that come along with your TMJ-related pain. Can you talk to me a little bit about those?

Amanda - Absolutely. I look back on those days as kind of my dark days, and it is depressing. Chronic pain is sad, and you don't want to be depressed by it. You try to stay positive, and that's why you're always searching and looking for a solution. I did struggle a lot with that because I wanted something to make me better. I wanted to find something that would make me better.

You know it would be very upsetting to me when my students would even ask why I was rubbing my neck all the time. I would have to tell them "you know I’m having some neck problems," then they were very sympathetic. I wanted to be there for them a hundred and fifty percent, and that was holding me back. It caused problems with my family because I couldn't be awake, and there for them at night the way I needed to be. So those were my dark days when I looked back on those times.

Daniel - Well we're glad that those dark days are in the past now. Hopefully, you could say now that Dr. Green was the shining light that helped you come out of that place. That pain was a burden that you carried for so long. Talk to me a little bit about when those TMJ pain symptoms resolved, was that a long haul? Did that happen over months? Give us some insight into Dr. Green's TMJ treatment philosophy.

Amanda - Well, when I first went and saw Dr. Green she made me feel so much hope. She told me I think I can help you, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to give you relief reasonably quickly. I felt a lot of hope in hearing her say this. Many of the specialists that I went to before Dr. Green told me TMJ jaw surgery was one of the only things that would fix it.

If you look at what is involved in jaw surgery, it is 8 to 12 weeks of having your jaws wired shut. It's very invasive, and it doesn't always work. As a young professional and a mom, I knew that I did not have the time to be out of commission for that amount of time.

So Dr. Green, the day that I saw her sent me home with something that would fit inside my mouth, and within days I saw improvement. I could not believe it because I had tried so many things and done so many things. I had so many night guards and appliances from other dentists and specialists to use inside my mouth. 

The physiologic orthotic from Dr. Green was indeed different. I felt pain relief within days, and within a month I was a different person. I cannot even thank her enough for what she has done for me. She has honestly given me my life back.

"By using the latest TMJ technology, she's able to see the problem and show you too. She takes the guesswork out of it. ”

Daniel - That is a compelling testimony. When you break it down, she approaches TMJ treatment so different than other TMJ specialists. It makes a lot of practical sense how she approaches physiologic TMJ treatment. What did she do for you that these other dentists, orthodontists, and specialists did not do?

Amanda - Oh my goodness, yes. She uses state-of-the-art TMJ equipment in her dental office. She can measure every muscle in your face and neck and jaw and head. This specialized technology helps her know when you're having muscle spasms and where to move and adjust the jaw. By using the latest TMJ technology, she's able to see the problem and show you too. She takes the guesswork out of it.

So having that equipment available is a game changer. Dr. Green uses a scientific approach for treating TMJ pain, instead of guessing to see if it works. She knows if her treatment is going to work when you leave the office. She knows what adjustments need to make before you ever go home to take the pain away.

Daniel - She does take a lot of exact measurements with her TMJ technology and equipment. She can measure muscle activity in the face and jaw to see imbalances. What people don't realize is that the muscles in your face control the jaw. If those muscles aren't working right, your jaw is going to be out of whack too. 

The facial muscles, your jaw joints, and the teeth all work in harmony. If your facial muscles are not happy, this can lead to cascading symptoms including headaches and TMJ pain.

Daniel - Let's fast forward a little bit. When you got to the point of pain relief from your TMJ symptoms, what were your options after that initial round of TMJ treatment? Did she talk to you about bite correction treatment? Tell me a little bit more about this step.

Amanda - When I got to the point of pain relief, we found that my jaw had not been in the right spot for most of my life. I was pretty upset about that because I had orthodontics as a teenager. I thought that at that time that I had been fixed. So when Dr. Green got my jaw into the right position, the lower jaw needed to be more forward than it was, which explains why I felt pain. My jaw was retracted with the first round of orthodontics and afterward was in a state of constant spasm.

So when my jaw came more forward, she knew that we needed to get my top teeth over the bottom teeth, so I didn't have an underbite. In the past, other specialists had told me jaw surgery would be my only option for achieving this result. 

I remember the evening that Dr. Green called me. She called me one evening because she had recently learned a different type of orthodontic appliance that could grow bone in my upper jaw. She called me so excited that night and she said I know what we're going to do to fix you!

She said when I see you at your next appointment, which was very soon, that she wanted to try this new orthodontic technique. I could hear in her voice that she felt confident and she knew that facial growth orthodontics was going to be the solution.

Daniel - That's pretty awesome. How many people can say that my dentist called me at night and said I know the solution! I know how we're going to fix your bite and find permanent TMJ relief. 

That's one of the cool things about working with Dr. Green and being her practice manager. I get to see first-hand the level of dedication she has for all her patients. She has invested hundreds of hours into continuing education to learn these new TMJ techniques and treatments to help and treat TMJ pain.

She brings this knowledge back to her patients in Springfield and helps people like you get out of pain without having surgery. 

So to recap, she helped you and relieved the TMJ pain. Tell me what happened after learning about Facial Growth treatment.  What did that treatment entail?

Amanda - At my next appointment with Dr. Green she told me about the facial growth orthodontics. She said that there is a way to correct my jaw without surgery.

It would involve wearing a growth appliance on the top of my mouth. Dr. Green takes a whole body approach and also worked with the position of my tongue, body posture, and worked out my neck issues. She introduced speaking therapies in addition to TMJ exercises. When I knew that we were going to try this, I was excited.

As far as I know, no one in our Springfield area does this, and I'm not sure if there are many in the United States. So, I knew it was something new and different and that it was going to help fix me.

Daniel - So let me get this straight. She called and told you that we're going to grow bone in your top jaw, which is your maxilla. And that we're going to expand the jaw forward to a place to where your tongue fits all while nicely correctly aligning the bottom jaw, right?

Amanda - That's correct. My whole life my tongue has been laying on the bottom of my mouth and needed to be at the top of my mouth. The problem is I didn't have enough room for my tongue, so it just didn't fit in my mouth which explained why at times I have trouble speaking. I had difficulty chewing and eating, and things were not working together well. They were working against each other.

Dr. Green told me that we were going to grow some new bone on my top jaw, which I thought sounded kind of bizarre, but I trust Dr. Green with everything. I knew that if she thought this was the right step that it was the step I needed to take.

Daniel - Dr. Green helped you grow the top jaw, worked with myofunctional therapy and retrained the tongue to the roof of your mouth. Retraining the tongue is an essential factor being able to breathe through one's nose. 

Go to any restaurant and look at those around you. Take note of who's breathing through their mouth and not their nose. I bet you can spot those that have labored breathing because of breathing improperly through the mouth. 

Dr. Green's physiologic dental treatment has helped you get to this point today. How much did your bone grow? I mean how do you measure that even?

Amanda -The AGGA appliance allowed my top jaw to grow 7 millimeters and 9 millimeters respectively. That is enough room for a tooth on each side of my top jaw. The appliance created space for my tongue to fit on the roof of my mouth.

The new bone growth allowed me to have a proper tongue position and an appropriate seal of lip position. Now I don't have to keep my tongue at the bottom of my mouth or have my mouth open to breathe.

Daniel - Wow!

Daniel - That's awesome. So, this orthodontic appliance, I want everybody to know the name of it is: AGGA, which is short for Anterior Growth Guided Appliance. This orthodontic appliance went in your mouth and helped stimulate bone growth. How long did you have to wear that appliance? Could you feel bone growing!?

Amanda - It was a rapid process that grew that amount of bone. For me, it was pain-free and not any problem to wear.

Daniel - Come on now Amanda, pain-free all the way from September to February? Didn't you have any pain or soreness?

Amanda - No. There was nothing. The only thing I will say is there was a little bit of rubbing inside my mouth as you would have with orthodontics. With a little bit of wax, that was no problem. There was no pain regrowing bone, and it was resetting what had been wrong for my whole life. So, I felt no pain during that process at all.

"I sent a picture to a friend that I hadn't seen her for a few years. She asked me if I had gotten a nose job and I told her no, I did not. I'm having some orthodontic work done.”

 

Daniel - So to recap. TMJ treatment with Dr. Green fixed your jaw popping and clicking, pain in the jaw joints, muscular neck pain, headaches, and sleep apnea.

You said earlier that you had pain resolution within one month of starting treatment. All these TMJ-related symptoms resolved. Then you proceeded with AGGA treatment and controlled arch orthodontics. 

I'm glad you're sharing your story. We want people to know that you fix your bite without jaw surgery. 

So, if you're growing bone in your head on your top jaw (maxilla) are you seeing changes in your face too?

Amanda - I am. It's interesting because AGGA treatment made my face appear younger. My appearance would have looked this way if my tongue been in the proper position during development as a child.

So now, I appear what I would have or what my DNA would have wanted me to look. After AGGA my nose also seems to be smaller.

I sent a picture to a friend that I hadn't seen her for a few years. She asked me if I had gotten a nose job and I told her no, I did not. I'm having some orthodontic work done.

My top lip appears much larger and fuller. There is no need for lip injections when your mouth forms correctly. Also, the smile lines or the marionette lines have decreased as my top jaw moved forward. No need for fillers!

I had a lot of questions from friends about if I had lip injections or some cosmetic work done. Again no. I told them I was strictly doing orthodontic with Dr. Green. It shows how AGGA can change your face to the way it's supposed to look, appear, and function.

Daniel - Everything you're telling us about AGGA is that it's changing your appearance and safely correcting your bite. 

Let's go back to this point real quick. You mentioned tongue position and breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. Those are all functional issues, not genetic. Many environmental problems such as pollutants or allergies can prevent a person from developing to their facial aesthetic potential by breathing through the mouth.

In your case, development as a child onward was affected as you grew. You didn't know any better and your body compensated by adapting and mouth breathing. 

We don't think about breathing; we do it. When we breathe improperly for that amount of time dental and facial development adapts and changes.

I noticed some pretty significant changes to your smile and your profile. I have a before and after photo to illustrate for you these substantial changes. Would you go as far to call AGGA treatment a non-surgical dental facelift?

Amanda - I would agree with that, yes. The picture that you are showing me at the top was at the very beginning and the one at the bottom after the growth and change. I look probably ten years younger in the latest picture. My eyes look hollowed; my face looks saggy in the original image. I don't have good posture, and after this treatment, I look more awake. I look fuller in my cheeks and under my eyes, not to mention beautiful, full lips. My neck posture seems much more comfortable. I can see in the original picture how uncomfortable I look.

Daniel - So would you also say you're sleeping better as well?

Amanda - Oh my goodness, yes. I would highly recommend this to people when they tell me that they will sleep all night and they wake up and never feel rested. They're probably breathing through their mouth at night and not getting that good deep sleep. The reality is they are not breathing correctly and not getting oxygen to their brain. This orthodontic growth treatment has allowed me to sleep well. I don't wake up with headaches every day. When people tell me they wake up with a headache every day, I recommend Dr. Green and this treatment. When people say to me that they are not sleeping and not feeling rested, this should be their first approach.

Daniel - That is an excellent summation of Physiologic dentistry. Dr. Green can help with all these functional issues. Treatment can help improve your facial appearance, decrease or eliminate pain, enhance the quality of sleep, and of course correct your bite and give you beautiful, straight teeth.

The AGGA orthodontic appliance can help correct many deficiencies.

What do you look forward to the most living pain-free with a facelift? A new lease on life if you will, what do you look most forward too now Amanda?

Amanda - Oh my goodness. Well, I love that I'm able to work all day and be there for my students, as well as come home and be there for my family. I was living in a fog before I had this treatment and every day was a struggle to get through and be who I am.

To be honest, to have a new smile it is a perk, and I love it, it looks beautiful. Dr. Green has given me my life back and that I'm able to live a healthy, happy life as well as look nice. I can't say enough about Dr. Green and her office and how they have helped me overcome my battle with TMJ.

Daniel - Amanda, thank you so much for sharing your TMJ success story with us. We're happy to hear and share smile makeover stories like yours. We are beyond grateful that you're sharing your TMJ journey with facial growth orthodontics. Thank you very much.

Amanda - You're welcome!

 

 Our patient Amanda during the last few months of anterior growth guidance appliance (AGGA) treatment showing profile and jaw changes through her face growth and development.

Our patient Amanda during the last few months of anterior growth guidance appliance (AGGA) treatment showing profile and jaw changes through her face growth and development.


Forwardontics with AGGA grows the top jaw forward and can start at any age.

See some of Dr. Green’s recent jaw growth cases. Fuller lips, improved posture, a non-surgical facelift appearance are but a few benefits in addition to straight teeth!

 
 

Are you in pain and looking for answers? Do you have TMJ symptoms and don’t know where to turn? 
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