Paula Shares Her Story About TMJ Disorder

With treatment now, I don’t think about the pain because…

With treatment now, I don’t think about the pain because it’s not there


Hi, my name is Paula, and I’ve been coming to Restore Dental for about eight years now. My journey with Restore started with general dentistry. I’m a working mom of three children who are teenagers and adults. I’ve lived in Northwest Arkansas for 17 years now, originally from Chicago, and I’m in the healthcare industry. I’ve always been a teeth grinder all my life. When the pain became so severe in my jawline that I couldn’t speak effectively, I really couldn’t enjoy eating because I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough. When I came to Dr. English and she suggested that it was TMJ, I was very surprised.


It was the last thing I would have thought of. However, we did diagnostic test that ruled in TMJ. When Dr. English was able to give me a plan or course of action that we could take to alleviate the pain some of the TMJ, I was somewhat skeptical, but I had been told throughout my dental experiences just to wear a night guard, just to wear a night guard and it would get better. I wore night guards and it never got better. It just got worse. The appointment included connecting me to a tens machine, which does make your jawline twitter a little bit, but it was pain free.


There was no pain associated with the first appointment. The protocol includes wearing the orthotic for a couple of months. But again, the pain was alleviated right away, and I enjoyed wearing the orthotic device. It made my jaw feel better. So the treatment process is a number of months and it’s ongoing with several appointments with Dr. English to make sure that the orthotic device is still in place and then to create new orthotic devices along the way as the treatment plan continues, so that you go from a pain alleviating process into a healing process. And that’s where I’m at today. I’m in the healing process. So I’ll get a new orthotic device and continue to see Dr. English along the way to make improvements. I think about my issue with TMJ a lot less now. On every minute of every day with the pain, it’s difficult not to think about it because eating is a struggle, talking is a struggle, opening your mouth is a struggle when you’re in that much pain to the point where you can actually touch your jawline and it’s sore. With treatment now, I don’t think about the pain because it’s not there and I’m able to resume more of a normal life.