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Changes and widening taking place + jaw pain
First of all, I have gotten what seems like a couple mms of widening within the last 1.5-2 months. I used to get measurements of 37-38mm intermolar width. Yesterday I measured around 40mm and today I measured ~40.5mm. I have calipers that measure very small distances. I've been focusing mostly on using my neck muscles to put the back of my tongue up to the point that it hurts, and also chewing chios mastia gum semi-regularly, open mouthed.
A couple things to note is that when I go from not putting hard pressure, to exerting more pressure on the palate, there is a certain sound and feeling of movement around the jaw joint, mainly on the side that has tmj, and crowding/narrow arches.. The somewhat underdeveloped side. There is also noticeable pain around the ramus and the soft tissue surrounding, especially when I bite down there. I'm hoping that this is just adaptation, and not an actual issue that should be looked at.
Currently, I am waiting for my y-plate palate expander to arrive, but I'm thinking I probably won't need it as I'm making measurable improvements with oral posture alone. Sometimes I wake up with my jaw hanging down and my mouth closed, and sometimes it's up all the way, it seems to be mostly a matter of habit, and masseter and submental/neck muscle endurance. I recently had a dream recently where I got my palate expander and put it in, and there was intense pressure on the roof of my mouth, I'm thinking that that meant that I was keeping my tongue up while sleeping.
Great job on getting expansion using just chewing and mewing. Did you start with 37-38mm?
As for the jaw pain around the ramus, I used to get the exact same pain. Mine came from overdoing the chewing and it went away for good after I stopped chewing chios so much (multiple hours per day, every day). It might be some sort of inflammation of the joint. Yours might be caused by something else but that was my experience.
I suspect the main culprit of the jaw joint pain is some sort of CFD though. Perhaps you can push through it. Who knows.
I most likely started with considerably less width. Originally I heard about Mewing and oral posture about 1.5 yrs ago. I've been putting conscious effort into doing it correctly and regularly for around a year. Then I had braces on for around 4-5 months, I had orthodontists who were moving the teeth too fast it seems, and I already had problems that should've been addressed through expansion, but they brushed over my concerns. The brought my front teeth back slightly, probably pulling the maxilla back slightly with their aggressive maneuvers and rate of teeth movement. I got them taken off 7 months ago, before the time that they were supposed to be taken off. My front teeth have returned to their original position (at least, if not further forward now), and one side even has considerable space between some teeth that never existed before braces.
Only recently have I started stressing the correct neck muscles to get the back of the tongue on the palate, and that's when I've noticed this change, but that's also the time when I started measuring, so I could've been getting solid expansion before, but most likely not.
3 months ago I measured using the bracesshop imprint, around 37mm. Then around 1.5 months ago I measured between 37-38mm a few times. And then just measuring yesterday and today, after chewing and getting the posterior third of the tongue up and training those muscles within the 1.5 months, I measured 40 and 40.5mm. I've also been taking Vit K2 100mcg a day, 5,000iu D3, then a supp that includes calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D3 every day.
The thing that has made the most difference is focusing on having a good spine curvature, as well as head and neck posure, while getting the very back of the tongue on the roof of the mouth. I also got these measurements of increased width soon after starting vitamin k2. Thinking about it in a sense of muscular training and balance has been the main thing, and I've only recently started relaxing my lips correctly. But working your neck and holding your tongue correctly for as long as you could, just as if working out until your're tired, through progressive overload, is the quickest way to make changes I believe.
The main facial changes I've noticed have been increased bone mass under my eyes and a wider jaw, although the main thing I'm wanting to get out of this is straight teeth and a face that functions correctly. I can best observe these changes after sweating a good bit, but my lower third/mouth area looks completely different than it did a year ago, and I'm still not done.
Chin tucking helps a lot, but I've found that once you strengthen the muscles enough it's a lot easier to do it with any head tilt, although still better to keep a chin tuck when you can.
It should feel like you can't breathe almost, the muscles that I feel working to do this well are just above the adam's apple, in the neck. Also the sides of the tongue seem to have some muscles connected to it running on each side of the submental region, i.e underside of the cranium/face/skull. I notice when I put more pressure on one side, the left side of this muscle contracts, and when I put pressure on the right, the right side contracts. So it helps you to know when you have a good balance of tongue pressure on both sides equally by thinking about how the muscle is reacting, rather than the tongue itself. But knowing that the tongue is also a muscle, there should be some buildup of endurance of the tongue as well.
As you undergo correction in the near future, please consider keeping records for your own sake and for others. Pictures of dental impressions, scans, medical reports reports can be very helpful even with all personally identifying information blocked out.
Your input could help many, many people