Thanks to my increasingly chaotic life, I have not been able to bring myself to sit in front of a computer and type a coherent update, but this evening I did manage to sit on the floor and speak an incoherent update, so hopefully that counts for something.
So behold – my first ever video appearance on the internet. (Outside of social media, y’know. Who wants to follow me on insta?! I know you all do, after seeing this masterpiece.)
I forgot to mention in the video that I did have a one-month ‘holding period’ of sorts, since my first AGGA broke and I had to be in a retainer for most of December while the new one was made.
Also, I highly recommend peeping the “Recent Comments” section of the sidebar for more of the latest. Because although I suck at posting regular updates, I do reply to everyone who leaves a comment. Eventually. And usually my commenters have far more valuable contributions to the broader conversation than my blog does.
Enough preamble. Here’s seven minutes of me talking.
Thanks so much for the update! I’m going to have to decide on AGGA soon and your posts have been the most helpful thing.
I have a few questions about where you are now –
1. How are you feeling about the experience overall so far? Has it been super uncomfortable?
2. Have you seen anything concerning about the changes so far, or are they totally positive? Have you gotten the front tooth pain and/or tilting?
3. Have you experienced any symptom relief? (not sure if it’s expected at this phase)
Again, thank you so much for your time!
Alyssa Luck says
Hey Ryan! Aw, thanks for that! Always love to hear that my posts are helpful, however sporadic they may be.
1. I’m feeling positive about it overall! It has been pretty uncomfortable in several ways (I’ve had my share of mouth ulcers/irritations from it, I LOATHE the bite pads, it’s hard to get used to talking/chewing properly, not to mention my job has high visibility to a lot of high-level company execs, so looking 16 and having a lisp doesn’t make me feel the most professional…), BUT, I’ve been through much worse, and I’m very goal-oriented, so it’s easy to suck it up knowing it’s for the greater long-term good.
2. No front tooth pain, although definitely soreness anytime the AGGA is “activated.” Only very minor tilting, and I actually needed some tilting, so that’s a good thing. The “washboarding” of the gums/buccal bone loss like I talked about in my “concerning CBCT results” post is always a minor background concern, but I’ve decided to not worry about the possibility of pushing my front teeth so far forward that they lose integrity, and rather just trust in the process. So far denial is working out well for me this time around 🙂 Only other concern is if/when I’ll be able to re-train my jaw and neck muscles adequately enough to have my lower jaw exist naturally in a forward position, but that’s less a “I’ll regret doing AGGA if I can’t fix this,” and more a “AGGA needed to happen regardless, and getting the lower jaw to catch up will just be the next hurdle that needs to happen.”
3. This is a hard one to answer, because I never actually had bad symptoms! I’d have occasional jaw pain, and I can’t say that’s resolved simply because my bite is still so all over the place, I haven’t found a comfortable chewing pattern yet. Doing AGGA more as a preventative, rather than having to intervene later on for symptom relief/damage control.
Thanks Alyssa, that all makes sense to me. Good luck!!
Alyssa Luck says
Thank you!! Good luck to you too, whatever you decide – and please come back and update us! It’s so great to have people share their experiences here, whether positive or negative, and the more people who do, the more it helps others who are trying to learn.
Just stumbled upon this, really cool you’re posting about this! I did AGGA through December ’20 and am onto ACB now. The transition stinks a bit, but once that’s done, the bite pads get easier and easier each visit. After 3 ACB check ins I could bite/chew ~80% like normal again, though there is still a slight gap. Also, I felt like I had more lower jaw movement with ACB, because the top wasn’t expanding. It didn’t feel natural until recently. I was surprised how much continued to change after AGGA overall, especially Maxilla movement to “unscrunch” my face.
Looks like you’ve got a positive attitude and great progress. Just wanted to share that it gets better and it’s cool to see someone else going through this.
One question, is part of your exercise routine taping your mouth at night? I was advised that and found it basically worked out my tongue while I slept. Looking forward to when you post the exercises you’re doing.
Alyssa Luck says
Hey Michael – thanks so much for this! Very cool that you’re doing AGGA/ACB as well, and hearing about the changes that continue during the ACB phase is extremely helpful (and reassuring). I mean, I knew in my head that bite, jaw position, function, etc would probably continue to improve as long as I put in the effort (even after the entire process is done), but it’s great to hear from someone who’s actually experiencing that first-hand.
And as far as the extra unscrunching…I can only hope that happens for me too! I imagine a lot of that is the tongue being able to do its job better, and thus the positive effects accumulating over time?
To answer your question – it is not, and it should be!! There was a reason I didn’t start it sooner, but I can’t remember what it was, so I don’t think I have any excuse to not be doing this. Very much appreciate the reminder! And I’ll go ahead and post the tongue exercises now! Not me doing them, but at least the sheet I got from my dentist.