At the start of every appointment, my dentist (Dra. Ge from Bolaños and Associates) would ask me if anything’s been bothering me. I just always said two things:
1) I wish I didn’t have that old silver filling I got when I was a little girl because it always made it look like I had a rotten tooth. That’s me back when I was a college freshman with the little brother of my classmate. Hehe. A couple of months back, my dentist discovered that my bruxism (my very bad habit of unconsciously grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw) had caused an abrasion on my silver filling. This meant she had to fix it so YAY my silver filling is now gone (except the grinding and clenching is not cool)!
2) EVERY time I open my jaw more than an inch wide, it makes a very loud popping sound. My mandible gets dislocated when I stretch it too wide or even when I’m sleeping on my side. It’s very painful, annoying and it causes migraines. I think it’s one of the reasons why I’ve always been very temperamental.
It’s called Temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJD) and I’ve had it since high school. Maybe even before that, I just don’t remember it being so much of a bother back then. One of the top causes for TMJD is bruxism which I’ve always had.
How strange that when I googled bruxism, Charice Pempengco came out.
So that’s what her controversial botox injections were for! I read that botox helps relieve bruxism which causes TMJ pain. Except I don’t think I can ever consider botox… Too scary. Wikipedia says “Botox can be successful in lessening effects of bruxism, though serious side-effects are possible. Less than one microgram ingested or inhaled is sufficient to kill an adult human.” Uhhh no thanks.
My dentist kept telling me to go to a TMJ specialist in Magallanes but being the lazy little girl that I am, I never made the time to go there. Too far!! Of course, I didn’t stop complaining about my TMJ pain to my dentist and she couldn’t really do anything to cure it so she gave me a mouth splint to be worn every night while sleeping to relieve the pain (because it stops my teeth from grinding).
It doesn’t really stop me from clenching my jaw though so it can still be painful. Finally, I had the brilliant idea of asking my dentist for a TMJ specialist closer to home (yes, I did not think of that sooner hahaha) and she recommended a dentist from Dentista, Inc. right in Shangri-la Mall. Great! So I scheduled with her and last Sunday I finally got checked.
She felt my jaw popping and I’m not exaggerating when I say she was alarmed by how bad it was.
See this is what happens when you have TMJ disorder. I hope you’re reading up to this part because this is a very common disorder and people often don’t think much of it but do you see that disc that gets displaced? That can deteriorate and your jaw can lock completely. Scary, right? Augggh.
The problem with may jaw is that the frame for the bottom set of my teeth is too small for the rest of my mouth. The TMJ specialist’s verdict: I need braces. I was so shocked because I didn’t expect to ever wear braces. I was lucky enough to be born with straight teeth!! I asked her how long I’d need to wear the braces for and she said 3 years lang. LANG?!
See, the moral of the story is to NOT be lazy. If I had this checked earlier then I would have worn braces when I was younger and still in school. I mean, you might think that I’m making this such a big deal but I do plan to eventually continue my “showbiz career” and I can’t be wearing braces, it would be harder to get roles. Okay haha I’m not really in any rush to start working on screen again, I’m obviously trying to justify my vanity but, hey, you never know… I just don’t want to wear braces, okay?
I know I should be thankful that it’s more acceptable in our country to wear braces compared to America (the country) and how they see America (the actress).
When we talk about braces locally, it’s like something out of #sentisabado. I remember when I was in an exclusively all girls grade school, all the tomboys would have crushes on the girls with braces and vice versa. When we discovered boys in between grade school and high school, we were instantly attracted to those with metal in their mouths.
I guess as kids we’re just attracted to all things shiny. Then we grow up and discover the wonderful world of kissing heehee.
I can’t imagine kissing with braces on! I never kissed anyone with braces either (because I don’t kiss just anybody, thank goodness haha). Wait, I think my “first boyfriend” had braces. Did he? Wow, I’m such a bad ex-girlfriend… Or a really good current girlfriend because I don’t remember much about exes haha!
The TMJ specialist suggested lingual braces (braces placed on back of teeth) so they’re not visible to others.
Still not sure about the whole thing, I still need to get my TMJ x-rayed and stuff. Maybe I’ll just need braces for my lower teeth (I’m hoping!) so I’ll update you guys after I ask for a second opinion.
Wish me luck!