Voice Problems due to Jaw Misalignment

by Marilyn
I developed breathing problems which progressed to tight and difficult speech in 1995. It took several months to get an ADSD diagnosis and I began unilateral BOTOX injections in Houston in August of 1995. I didn’t like the voice I got. I couldn’t sing a single note and since I am a singer that was extrememly frustrating. But it did make speech easier and it dramatically improved my breathing.
When my 4th BOTOX (March 1996) started to wear off I began to see an improvement in my voice. My speech and breathing did not get bad enough to send me back for the BOTOX. I now consider myself not to have a voice or breathing problem.Several things contributed to my improvement (including speech therapy, relaxation techniques, aerobics with awareness of proper breathing, medicine for gastric reflux) but the biggest reason for my recovery was bite guard treatment for TMJ problems.
The bite guard approximated a good bite and I quit clenching and grinding. I was amazed at how much the muscles in my face, neck and shoulders relaxed. I had not been aware of how much tension I was carrying.Jaw misalignment was a big part of my problem and I had surgery in December to correct the misalignment. My lower jaw and chin were moved forward and the upper jaw was moved up.
I am still healing, but I expect good results from this. A major reason I did this was to protect my TM joint from further damage. I have been told that some thickening and healing of the disk can even take place as the pressure is eased.
I tell you all of this because I know that it is not easy to tell the difference sometimes between SD and MTD. I do believe that most SD patients develop some MTD, too. I think you just have to honestly explore and do what you think is best for you.
There is a comfort in having a label for something, but if there is any chance you could have MTD it is worth investigating. You might want to check with a good TMJ dentist. Mine was trained at the Pankey Institute in Florida and I think he has training and expertise in treatment of TMD (temporal mandibular dysfunction) beyond what a lot of dentists have.
I have lost some connection with the SD community because I no longer believe I have SD. That is sad, but I am very glad I did not have an incurable neurological disorder. But I still keep in touch. I will always be grateful for the support I have received here and from other SD groups. Again I say that you have to do what is best FOR YOU.