Friday, May 26, 2017

A note about bite guards...

This seems to be the standard prescription when dentists don't know what else to do for this injury. Bite guards are designed to prevent unintentional teeth grinding and clenching. It's prescribed for people with  TMJ...which lingual nerve injury is NOT. 

That's not to say that some people may have, or develop, TMJ as a result. But certainly not everyone has it, nor does everyone need an expensive, overnight bite guard. Mine cost over $1,100 US! 

To diagnose whether an overnight bite guard is necessary, they should look at the surface of your teeth; this will reveal if you are grinding at night while you sleep. My tooth surface was NOT worn down... but I do notice that I clench, keeping my jaw tight/tense, because of the pain.

One thing a guard may help with is having a smooth surface to press your tongue against when burning is the worst. Beyond that, for me at least, it was just an expensive piece of plastic that ended up in the back of a drawer.

I wish I had that money back hindsight, I would never have bought a bite guard. I share this information to hopefully help others save the money, although I can't be sure everyone will have the same results I did....Has the bite guard helped you? If so, please describe what you use, and how often.

Best, jf :)


  1. Hi Jane, Glad to see you are still posting! but hope that you are not still in a lot of pain. I have actually found bite guards to be quite helpful. The "distraction" from the bite guard is just enough to keep the pain level down quite a bit, so I often wear it during the day, and it cuts down the amount of topical anesthetic I use. I also wear it at night. In the beginning, I did have some bruxism (as evidenced by my teeth) but I think that has gone.

    I use the cheap ones that you can make with kits from the drugstore. Some of these actually work quite well (the ones with a separate tray for forming are my favorite). I have also worked with a company on the internet that can help you make a good quality bite guard for about $150. So I think going that route is something that would be worth investigating for anyone with dental pain issues. I can't stomach paying what the dentist wants for a bite guard.

  2. I came across your blog early last year after having a wisdom teeth extraction. My lingual nerve was damaged during the procedure. The right side of my tongue was dead. I couldn't taste anything on that side and I kept biting it when I ate. I often like to play basketball, but the first time I played after the injury, my tongue would burn and I felt extremely thirsty. My tongue was no longer functioning with saliva so no matter how much water I drank, I felt like I was dying of thirst.

    I started to notice that strong smells such as candles or cleaning supplies would make my tongue "taste" the smell. Very hard to describe and I felt crazy telling my wife how I could taste smell somehow.

    On top of all this, I would randomly feel jolts in my tongue as if licking a battery, and it would just begin to hurt for no reason. I tried using vitamin B12 pills but they didn't seem to help much. After a while, I sort of just got used to it. I think sometime around a year, I was lucky that my tongue went back to mostly normal. If I focus on it, I can still feel that side of my tongue is not 100% but it is certainly no longer an issue I deal with. I am sorry to hear that your injury isn't fully recovered after so many years, but I wanted to thank you for the info I learned from this site the past year.

  3. Hi Jane,

    How have you been? I hope you have been improving slowly but surely. I was wondering if you could do a post about how you are now, compared to 7 years ago? I was injured just a few months before you (Aug 2010) and your blog was (and still is) a great source of comfort and encouragement. I've commented a few times on your blog too (as "M").

    As for me, I think progress stopped 2 years back. The pain is less than the early days but there are days when it flares up and hurts and hurts and hurts :(

    I still visit the dentist every 6 months for checks though. But I'm an emotional wreck every time.

    Hope to see you posting soon,