Early intervention helps to reduce pain amplification and to minimize one's condition from progressing to chronic pain. This concept is equally understood for injury to other joints in the body, but there was no clear treatment plan for acute head, neck and jaw injury. Until now.
Patients who learn effective head/neck/jaw self-care measures at home can make it easier to prepare for any future onset of pain from an injury or flare-up. Improvement occurs more readily and reinforces attention to the condition until it's fully healed. If untreated, the list of symptoms gets longer, which could spread from localized pain to referred pain, headache or shoulder and neck pain.
In addition to a potentially complex diagnosis, pain becomes difficult to change patients' habits, such as hypervigilance (jaw muscle and neck clenching), compromised posture and other adaptations to the pain and restricted neck and jaw mobility. The longer patients wait, the more distracting their condition, and the more condition to ask for help: a dentist? A physical therapist? Pain medication?
Many patients who visit an Orofacial Pain Specialist for a chronic condition have a long medical history starting with the first instances of hea, neck and jaw pain: wisdom teeth extraction, whiplash, concussion, or a surgical procedure with intubation. We designed the Speed2Treat Home Healing Kit so healthcare providers can help their patient before their conditions manifest as chronic pain.
QuickSplint® is a device that provides support and protection of the jaw from further strain to encourage healing, like a brace for the ankle, knee, neck, and back. Once injured, the jaw is particularly prone to chronic pain due to constant use of the jaw due to chewing, speaking, day or nighttime oral habits, and neuromuscular bracing activity, which in turn delay healing. If strain continues, there is increased sensitivity to the muscles and joints and chronic pain may develop.
QuickSplint inhibits the full bite force of parafunctional teeth clenching and gives the pericranial musculature an opportunity to relax overnight. Reducing the muscle tension reduces the pain occurrence associated with bruxism, headaches and TMD.
If you can start treatment for your patient immediately, when they contact your practice or present in your office, the pain relief and reduction in inflammation and muscle hyperactivity is improved Therefore we designed a product that is ready- made for immediate use and does not require specialized tools.
When a patient goes to the ER for acute pain, if they are medicated this will reduce pain amplification immediately, however, the patient’s habit for muscle-guarding behaviors (jaw clenching and neck strain) has not been influenced by the medication. The Speed2Treat® Home Healing Kit accomplishes an awareness of daytime clenching (a subconscious behavior that needs to be addressed with repetitive daytime exercises) and inhibition of nighttime clenching with the QuickSplint®.
Speed2Treat offers patients a step-by-step care plan that includes the use of NSAIDS to reduce inflammation and pain; hot/cold therapy to reduce inflammation; educational videos, and breath training.
Similar to the gentle exercises performed during the recovery of ankle to minimize muscle contraction from lack of use, the jaw exercises in the 4-Week Care Plan are designed to increase blood flow to the muscles that support chewing.
Acute injury to the orofacial region includes jaw and muscle sprain/strain (JAMSS), blows to the jaw, mild whiplash, and concussion. These conditions effect the trigeminal nuclei and upper cervical sensory and motor cell bodies.
Injury can stimulate the trigeminal and upper cervical sensory nerves and can upregulate the motor units of the same nerves, including the muscles of mastication and the upper cervical paraspinal region.
Speed2Treat® Home healing Kit is designed to down-regulate pain pathways by instituting proprioceptive change in the orofacial region. In other words, the use of the QuickSplint® oral appliance and Hot/Cold Therapy Face Wrap presents an interference to the irritation, and to quiet or confuse the sensory input.
Each person’s pain and stress response vary based on the injury intensity and the injured person’s prior history and resiliency factors. We have designed patient education and coaching to support the patient and mitigate stress. Stress and pain become a vicious cycle, especially if a patient is discharged from an ED with instructions to rest for four weeks following TBI.
Patients typically report intense jaw/neck/head pain and limited range of motion of the neck and jaw. The majority are expected to fully recover within the first 3 months. However, for some, pain and disability does not resolve, but persists or even worsens. These clinical outcome trajectories may be influenced by the fact that TBIs are both a tissue-based and stress-based injury where individual resiliencies or vulnerabilities influence the rate of recovery on a patient-by-patient basis.
Well-made appliances for extended use usually require a laboratory for fabrication and require delivery by a licensed dentist. Dentists will select the acrylic material used to be a hard or soft material, will chose the thickness of the appliance, whether the appliance is designed to be worn on the upper or lower arch, and other considerations that reflect the patient’s condition (is there a TMJ disorder, does the patient brux, does the patient have sleep disordered breathing, for example.)
Most over the counter devices are Boil and Bite appliances that are “full arch”, meaning that they cover all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Because they are designed for molding in hot water, most boil and bite appliances are made of soft acrylic. Depending on how hard a person clenches at night, and depending on the severity of the case, some patients who wear a soft appliance over time can habituate to the appliance in such a way that it no longer serves the purpose of inhibiting the clenching behavior.
We work with physical therapists and chiropractors that had been advising their patients to pursue a “boil and bite” appliance found in a pharmacy. This is not optimal! The patient in pain does not want to confront vast selection of OTC products with various claims, and they do not want to pick one and have it fail and blame themselves for picking the wrong appliance.
The QuickSplint® is designed to be ready-made without requiring expert adjustments, but it is also designed to specifically inhibit the posterior teeth to be in contact. This is achieved effectively by the partial coverage design.
Here is the concern about a partial coverage device: We do not advocate the QuickSplint as an extended use device because there is a risk called “supra-eruption”. Supra-eruption can occur when a partial coverage device is worn 24/7 or worn at night extended period. Supra-eruption occurs when a person’s posterior teeth “erupt” or lower and become longer than the anterior teeth, and the result is that the person may develop an “anterior open bite” where the front teeth do not meet when the person bites down.
We have taken care in the choice of materials of QuickSplint and in the product labeling to make sure that a patient knows that QuickSplint is not appropriate for extended wear. Your patient can wear QuickSplint at night for a few days, up to 6 weeks. It is not for 24/7 wear. If you are not a dentist, you should instruct your patient to bring their QuickSplint and their Pain Tracker to their next dental appointment.
Either upper or lower jaw (referred by dentists as the “arch”.) The putty creates a liner that works around different jaw sizes and shape of the teeth. Oftentimes a person has a preference, so we encourage the user to try the tray on both arches to see what feels the most comfortable when the close their mouth down on the tray.
Acute displacement is rare. If your patient presents with jaw pain with no prior history and the QuickSplint® oral appliance worsens the situation, please advise your patient to discontinue use. QuickSplint® Explain to your patient that this is/was a conservative, cost-effective trial low-cost of an appliance that may help a TMJ expert diagnose whether the patient has a more complex problem.
Jaw popping is a clinical finding, not a disease. It is estimated that 50 to 70% of the US population have jaw popping at some point in their lives, without pain or progressive dysfunction.
No. Your patient needs to go to the ER or an Orofacial Pain Specialist (see FaceMyPain.com for a provider near you).
No, in our experience the patient’s acceptance of future treatment is enhanced as a continuation of the proven effective treatment provided by QuickSplint®.
Studies show that 80% of patients who brux are not aware of this behavior. Independent of a head, neck or jaw injury, often at the end of the 4-Week Care Plan a patient will realize that they need to discuss their bruxism with a dentist who will determine an appropriate long-term device designed to protect the teeth and supportive structures from abnormal forces that create breakdown and tooth wear. Some patients will report that there are brux marks on the surface of the QuickSplint after 30 days use.
In the 4-Week Care Plan outlined in the Kit, if a patient has experienced no improvement or their condition is worse at the end of 2 weeks, it is recommended that they discontinue use and pursue evaluation by their healthcare provider, or find an appropriate expert at FaceMyPain.com.
It is difficult to generalize results because of the individualized nature of each persons pain experience, their prior history of trauma or pre-existing conditions, and the fact that the term TMJ disorder is an umbrella term representing 30 TMJ-related disorders, whiplash and concussion share common pain amplification characteristics with TMD and yet have been considered separate diagnoses.