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Set of Instructions for Correct Usage of splint

June 7, 2011
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The splint therapy is something that Nanay and I both have to do.

Here is the set of Instructions for Correct Usage of splint (given by our bio dentist:

“Must be worn 24 hours a day”

This by far is the most difficult instruction to comply with. It’s so hard to eat with it.

What to expect and what to do?

1. There would be excessive salivation upon splint insertion
– Don’t worry this would be for a while. In 2 days time, salivation will be back to normal

Its been 4 days now, but am still salivating a lot. Other done it being inconvenient, I do not mind it at all. As I know saliva includes catalysts for digestions. Both Nanay and I had digestive issues (constipation) for the past 5 years. So, salivation is a welcomed inconvenience.

2. Your speech will be altered
– This will normally happen for 2-3 days.
– Read a loud in front of the mirror 15. minute each time, 4x a day to get adjusted.

My speech being altered for more than 4 days now is really worrying me, as I need to go back to work tomorrow. I have read a loud for 15 minutes to put Zarah to sleep, it seems I have to do it more often and this time in front of a mirror. It’s quite hard to slip this in to a very tight schedule, but I really think I should do this more.

3. Possible biting of the cheek, lips and tongue specially during eating.
– Eat slowly, chew food preferably in vertical motion (refrain sideways chewing)

I now have a mouth ulcer due to accidental biting of my cheek. It’s so hard to get used to the splint but also to the proper way of masticating food. Oh yes, there is a wrong way and proper way of masticating or chewing food. Not only do I have to correct my way of chewing food.

To most children, the elder’s admonishment at the food table to “eat slowly and chew food well,” still holds good for one as an adult. There is a scientific rationale behind the concept of why one should eat slowly and chew food well. It normally takes the brain around 20 minutes to register the feeling of fullness, commencing from the time a person begins to eat. In effect, a person who eats his meals quickly achieves a satiated state well in advance of the 20 minutes.

Now, I am forced to eat slowly and chew food well. Nanay, have adjusted to a slower pace of eating in the past year. I have to learn all of this at the same time– and am having a harder time.

4. Food lodging under the splints
– Remove the splint and rinse or better brush the teeth as well as the splint

This makes eating out a real problem, as it seems I have to remove the splint and rinse or brush every time, as the food lodged under the splint hurts my gums. Yes, another welcomed inconvenience, as it forces me to brush my teeth after every meal or even a simple snack.

5. Soreness on the gums
– Apply solcoceryl paste on the area 3x a day or as needed
– Rinse by warm water with salt
– Visit the clinic for possible impingement of area due to over extension of the splint for trimming.

My gums are really sore. Nanay’s gums are fine though. I used 1 tbsp of coconut oil as mouth wash this morning (for about 20 minutes), following the Oil Pulling procedure (an ayurvedic protocol). It helped to give me some relief. Then I rinsed with warm water with baking soda. The splint has been well trimmed by the bio dentists, so, I do not think this is due to impingement.

6. Tenderness
– Visit the clinic for splint adjustment. Splint may be too tight for teeth or there are some premature contacts when upper and lower teeth are in occlusion
7. Tiredness or tenderness at the back, neck muscle after a day of splint insertion
– Don’t worry, lower jaw might not be well adapted to its exact position as it should be. X-ray will be taken on your next visit to check the splint placement in relation to the position of the TM joint. Consequently then splint adjustments will be done until its exact position is corrected

Reminders to the patient:
1. Refrain from eating hard foods for at least 3 weeks. This is to give time for the impinged blood vessels, nerves and muscles to heal.

Hmmm, this is a good excuse for me to lose weight. For Nanay, this is not a major adjustment, as she has been on soft diet and juice fasting for quiet some time now.

2. Refrain from constant biting on the splints except when chewing food.
– THis will become a habot and will also lead to clenching which will make the muscles fatigued.

Teeth apart, lips closed is easier said than done for a long period of time. But we must do it, in order to correct the alignment of our jaw.

3. Do intraoral releases every night before going to bed. Best with warm compress as well. Repeat nightly until pain disappear.

A day before and after our splint was fitted to us, we were given intraoral massage by the bio dentists. Massage inside the cheeks and the gums. Its quite painful at first, but afterwards, it relieves me of the pressure on the gums and cheeks. I still have to do it on my own. The bio dentists asked us to use coconut oil instead of solceryl paste, not only to treat soreness of the gums but also to lubricate the fingers as I massage my gums and cheeks.

4. Do the prescribed home exercises religiously

It seems our biodentist forgot to teach us the home exercises.

5. Eat healthy foods and refrain from taking adulterated food.
– Food with too much sweets, salt and fats.
– Naturally prepared food is best.
– Refrain from drinking coffee, softdrinks and alcohol
6. Do regular exercises
7. Refrain from smoking
8. Try not to miss every appointment when scheduled for the therapy.
9. Don’t close the mouth when splint is out for brushing.
10. Avoid stress.
11. No pain no gain

All these are aligned with the Colon Cleansing protocol.

Splint care:
1. Soak splint with polident or any other denture cleanser for 15 minutes after brushing before going to bed. This will ensure you of not getting bad breath,
2. On breakage- visit at once the clinic for repair. This will prevent the tongue and gums from being irritated.

All of these instructions not only prevents oral bacteria and further tooth decay, but also help address our digestive issues. You see masticating food properly is the first step to address constipation or even stomach motility disorders. I will write about the correlation between TMJ and digestive orders in a separate blog entry. But before you think I am nuts, for thinking it is probably correlated, read about other people’s thoughts along the same lines:

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