Conventional Braces to Correct Crowding, 50% Deep/overbite, Misalignment, Narrow Palate, and TMJ Disorder in 21 Year Old - Salem

Background: I am a 21 year old female and was told...

Background: I am a 21 year old female and was told around 10 years of age that I needed braces to correct a 100% overbite and crowding. My parents couldn't afford to have the procedure done, so I'm having the treatment done now. I began treatment on October 30, 2013 for the following issues:

1. My deep/overbite partially corrected itself with age, but it is still 50%
2. Moderate crowding in both bottom and top teeth---my incisors overlap giving a crooked appearance.
3. Misalignment/midline is off center-The line in the middle of my two front teeth does not line up with my nose and center of my upper lip. Instead it is shifted slightly to the left. In the front it doesn't look TOO off because the two front teeth overlap, but in the back molar region you can tell that the entire set of teeth is shifted over about 1 tooth too far.
4. I have a narrow upper palate
5. TMJ Disorder- 1 year ago I started having major jaw, neck, shoulder and head tension and pain. In the last year it has progressed to the point where I cannot concentrate because I felt like the entire region of my neck and head are "crippled" or immovable. Sometimes I am on the verge of tears from this pain. It causes HORRIBLE tension headaches and makes me feel as though I need to hang my mouth open and limp all day long as well as hang my neck backwards.

I have tried muscle relaxers, dental night guards and eating soft foods but the TMJ pain just keeps coming back. I am a very active person and do cardio and muscle workouts on a regular basis, so that helps to distract me, but I need to find a permanent solution to this problem. My dentist still to this day has suggested braces for me, so I had a hunch that the misalignment and development of my mandible and maxilla have been part the reason for my TMJ problems. I found an orthodontist in my region with 5 star reviews and went in for a free consultation.

After looking at my X-rays (above with pictures), he told me that it is likely my pain is coming from all of the above issues, and that I've likely tried to make my teeth line up (subconsciously) on a daily basis.

On October 30th my orthodontist put my brackets, bumpers (turbos), and lower wire on. I have a tooth extraction (for 1 biscupid) scheduled for November 7th and will have my top wire put in on November 13th. He said that this should help to widen my palate, straighten my teeth, and fix my overbite issue. I am so curious to see how this goes since I'm an adult and have heard and read that it's hard to fix some of these issues in adults. My estimated treatment time is 18 months, which will make me 23 years old when my treatment ends. I will also need to wear a clear permanent retainer after my braces are removed.

How my treatment has been so far:

This first week has been a little tense, uncomfortable and sore, but it is starting to get a little bit better each day. I'm on an all liquid/mushy diet until my bumpers get taken off which could be a month or two since there is about a 1 cm gap between my back teeth. It's not fun, but I'm excited to have my teeth fixed so I'm sure it'll be worth it! Also, a couple of my lower incisors have short roots due to having gingivitis growing up, so I've been putting extra effort into flossing and eating foods high in calcium so that I don't have problems with them becoming too loose or falling out.

I will update again after my tooth extraction.

3 Comments

Goodness!  It sounds like you'll be running the gauntlet.  But I'm happy to see you are feeling positive, and it really would be fantastic to get that TMJ fixed!  I look forward to following your progress, so don't forget to update.  Thank you so much for starting a review!

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Thanks! I'm doing my best to keep my head up because I know it won't be for nothing! :)

Plus, you're so young, you'll get to live most of your life with great teeth, but you're old enough to understand the importance of wearing your retainers ;).  You're right in the sweet spot :D

Biscupid Tooth Extraction

I had my extraction of 1 right biscupid today (tooth #5, whatever that means!). It was actually really quick and for the most part painless. I showed up at the oral surgeon's office at 10:00 AM, filled out paperwork, and at 10:15 I was taken back to the room where they do the extractions. The Dr. gave me a shot of the local anesthetic around the tooth. That pinched a little bit, but he told me exactly what it would feel like before he did it, so it wasn't bad at all! About 2 minutes later after my gum and lip were numb, he grabbed that tooth and just pulled it straight out! It took about 10 seconds or less and all you feel is a little pressure from the pulling! It was what they call a simple extraction and only costed me $16 since my insurance paid the rest. I used gauze for about 45 minutes to stop the bleeding and it is pretty much completely finished bleeding now. I haven't eaten anything yet because my mouth is so numb, so I definitely suggest eating a big breakfast before you go in, just in case you don't feel up to eating anything afterwards. I am also a drooling mess and can't talk so I had to miss one college class today, but I should be a little less messy tomorrow or even tonight. After the anesthesia fades, you can definitely feel a little pain in the extraction site, but it's more of a dull ache, and isn't all that different than the pain I feel from my braces tugging on my teeth. In my opinion, recovering from having wisdom teeth pulled is a lot worse than a simple extraction like this. Ibuprofen helps too.

I was told not to rinse my mouth with salt water until tomorrow, so I'm waiting for that. I'm also avoiding straws and spitting. If you feel like you have too much saliva all the time, I suggest having napkins or face wipes, and a cup close by. Drooling is gross but it's probably best just to avoid infection or a dry socket which are absolutely miserable. (I had an infection with one of my wisdom teeth and I never EVER want to go through that again!! It hurt for weeks!)

Orange juice blended with plain greek yogurt is probably what I will be having to eat the rest of the day. Better than nothing!

Next week my orthodontist will put my upper wire on, so I'll update this after my appointment. I hope everyone's procedures are going well!

3 Comments

Ack!  Um...congratulations on getting that done.  I just got told yesterday that I have to get all four of my wisdom teeth extracted and get a filling replaced with a crown.  Not looking forward to that.  In actuality, I'm terrified.  But you say you've had wisdom teeth extracted already--what was that like?  (Afraid of your answer!)

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Yes! I had 3 wisdom teeth extracted and was given general anesthesia so I wasn't awake at all when they were taken out. Afterwards I was so loopy that I fell right asleep for about 2 hours. When I woke up I was starving, but all you can have are liquids, and they suggest cold liquids at first. I mostly ate smoothies and soup. I rinsed my mouth out often, but somehow one of my teeth still got infected and even my pain killers didn't take the pain away for that one socket. At my 1 week follow up appointment the surgeon fixed it up for me and sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics. It got better after that but still took about a week or two longer before the pain went away completely. Clove oil worked wonders during that time! I'm just glad that only one got infected rather than of all of them! I hope everything goes smoothly for you! My husband just got all 4 of his wisdom teeth taken out this year and he didn't have any infections or complications at all.

Aaaaaaack!!!!!!  :(:(:(  

I'm such a big baby!

Update

My tooth socket is healing well after the extraction and I haven't had any complications so far. I was so relieved when I heard that it looked good because I was so paranoid of getting an infection or dry socket! I had my upper arch wire put on today. More progress! Yay! I'm still eating soft foods. Most of my teeth are feeling tender now, but that's to be expected. My next appointment is in December so I'll have another update then.

5 Comments

Your case is almost the Same as mine. How much does it cost u in total??
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Including my tooth extraction, it cost me $5,560, but my insurance paid about 1/3 and my orthodontist put me on payment plan for the remaining cost. :)
Your case is almost the same as mine. How much does the braces cost you??
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Week 12 Update

Sorry it's been so long! To catch up I want to start this update by sharing my experience from weeks 4-6. Around week 4 I started getting tons of HORRIBLE canker sores! They were so miserable that I could barely eat anything or talk. I had them on the insides of my cheeks, the inside of my bottom lip, and for the first time ever, one on the tip of my tongue. The one on my tongue was by far the worst! I tried everything from salt, baking soda, peroxide, mouthwash and Orajel pain reliever. It seems that the only thing that really helped was time! The sore on my tongue lasted 2 weeks and then finally went away. I wish I could say it went away sooner, but that was happened in my case.

My 6 week appointment went well. They said my gums were looking extra healthy and that my teeth were moving along nicely. I did happen to have a bottom tooth that was getting crowded out of the way and pushed behind the two teeth surrounding it, so they gave me a spring-looking wire that is designed to pull the surrounding teeth out of the way so that the crowded tooth can come back into place. They also gave me stronger arch wires.

I was a little sore after the 6 week appointment, but other than that, the next 6 weeks were pretty uneventful. I did however start to be able to eat a bigger variety of foods, rather than just liquids, because the space between my molars (caused by the bite turbos) started to close. My two front teeth also started getting a gap between them, which was caused by my teeth adjusting after my tooth extraction. The orthodontist said that it will take awhile for the tooth extraction gap to be filled in by the surrounding teeth.

This week I had my 12 week appointment. He said I'm a little ahead of schedule and that my teeth are looking great. I think they kept the same strength of arch wire and just tightened the pressure of the spring wire on my bottom teeth. Now we are just waiting for my crowded-out bottom tooth to move into place before we move to the next step of treatment. I'm not really in pain anymore. Occasionally a tooth will feel a little loose and tender, but they heal up quickly.

I highly suggest a couple of products I've been using for oral hygiene since it's much harder to care for teeth and gums with braces on:

1. Waterpik Cordless Flosser: This shoots out water at high pressures to help rid your gum and teeth of any plaque you may have missed from brushing and flossing. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! My gums look so much healthier after using it!

2. Oral-B 3000 Electric Toothbrush: This has helped immensely and I believe that it helps clean under your arch wires better than a normal toothbrush.

The Waterpik was $40 and the toothbrush was $70. I think it is definitely worth it to help minimize or avoid weird marks on my teeth when I finally get my braces off!

Last but not least, my horrible TMJ pain that I had before I got my braces on has gone WAAAY down!!! I'm hoping it will completely disappear by the time my treatment is finished.

3 Comments

Just wondering how things are going for you now, four months later! :)
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Fantastic to hear about the TMJ pain going down.  Huge deal!  And thank you for including the info on which tools you use to clean your teeth.  That is so hard with braces.  I'm done with my treatment, but I still feel like I'd benefit from one of those water flossers, so I'm going to look at the one you recommend.  The price is certainly reasonable!

Thanks for the update, looking forward to new pictures!
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hey..I have an asymmetry too. can I see some pics? I am doing my ortho treatment now for TMJ + edge to edge. I decided not to go for surgery though for my lower jaw protrusion. do u think 5mm is too much if a protrusion? :/

9 Month Update

Things have been going (and moving) smoothly for me during my treatment. Each time I get new wires I naturally have more pain but it usually goes away within about 3 days. I would say one of my biggest annoyances is constantly getting mouth sores and trying to floss my back teeth through the wires! I have noticed pretty much only time will heal the sores, and flossing takes A LOT of patience.

The space I had between my molars (caused by the bite bumpers) is finally almost all the way closed. Because of that, eating solids is now even easier than at my 12 week update. The gap from the extraction is also slowly but surely closing, and should do so fully after I get my power chains.

I had a dental cleaning today and exam with x-rays yesterday. I don't have any cavities, but have a little bit of gingivitis (surely due to a month of slacking on flossing) and some coffee staining that came off nicely. The main concern my dentist had was that I have several teeth with VERY short roots (almost like baby teeth). I believe this is due to my genetics because the problem runs in my family and I was told I had short roots years ago, however they have gotten worse and she said sometimes orthodontic work can cause more resorption. My orthodontist didn't seem concerned when he did x-rays 9 months ago but I told him about this issue today when I was having my wires changed and he said he will definitely call my dentist to talk to her about it and figure out if there needs to be a change in my treatment plan. I trust my orthodontist so I'm hoping for the best and no complications. Also, if I were to lose a tooth (or several) I'm prepared to get implants or do whatever it takes to fix it. Hopefully that won't be necessary but I insist on having a back-up plan!

Best wishes to all of you with braces right now or those who are about to get them!

1 Comments

Thank you for the update!  I'm very glad to hear that your orthodontist and dentist will work closely to make sure everything goes smoothly for you.  I hope you'll give us an updated picture soon, so we can see your progress! :)
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9 Month Photo Update

4 Comments

Thank you for the updated pictures!  What is a powerchain?
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Power chains are the continuous rubber bands that go all the way your teeth laterally instead of having an individual rubber band on each bracket. They are used to close any gaps you might have between your teeth, and especially from extraction. Supposedly it's the most painful part of having braces, so I'm slightly nervous, but also excited to see the end result!
Eek!  I'm sure you'll be fine :).  But you can let us know how they feel when you get them :D.
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