I have been reading through the posts here, and I am wondering if anyone ever improves. It seems like most people aren't faring very well in treatment. Is this true?
I am awaiting an appointment with an orthodontist next Friday, and my whole head is so tight and in such spasm, I can hardly take it. I had an overbite to begin with but now my lower jaw feels like it is even further back, like it's being sucked into my skull.
I am in so much pain. I have just as much head, scalp, and neck pain as I do jaw pain. I am barely getting through the days. I don't take medications because I am too sensitive.
I am a night grinder/clencher, and I pray that there is help out there. I've only had symptoms for about 10 months or so, but they have progressed rapidly it seems.
From what I've researched, tmj can get better with the proper treatment. I'm still searching for the right treatment myself, but, I believe things can get better. I've been reading a lot of the posts and it seems like many people are doing well with splints. That's what I'm going to try. I hope you feel better soon.
One thing you have to realize, and this was a big thing for me to open my eyes to.
On an Internet Health Messageboard, it's people who are seeking information and sharing their symptoms. Most people who are "fixed" don't want to come back and talk about it all the time.
So, you have to understand that you are coming to a place where people who are suffering are sharing ideas, thoughts, encoruagment to get better... There have been many people I assume who have been to many healthboards, and when they get better they don't feel the need to hang out anymore. I guess it's like beloging to a CAR club, and then you sell your car and buy a Motor Bike.
Anyways, we are lucky that we have people like Marlene who do hang out and share her stories and experiences with us. It is much appriciated and gives us people who are "hurting" some hope.
The search for a diagnosis is long and painful...
I am seeing a great deal of progress with splint therapy. I have only had my spint for about 3 months or so but in that time I have seen so much progress. Before I got my splint I was in so much pain that I considered ending my own life. The thing with TMJ is that there are no guarantees at all and that tends to make us all a bit nervous. But there have been successes with splint therapy. Don't give up until you try.
There are still a few of us "Hanging around" to let you know there is hope and treatments that work.
Less than a year ago, I was almost hopeless.
I was diagnosed over 25 years ago and had tried everything. Splints and orthodontics in the early years. Surgeries that made the pain and symtoms worse. (And added some) I even ask for a Total Prosthesis and was turned down due to prior surgeries.
The last few years Theraputic Massage had helped many of the muscular problems. The one treatment I had not looked into for 10 years was Splint Therapy. Surgeons had told me it would not help with the mess I was in.
I have been in a Splint for 9 months, designed for my condition and I am almost symtom free. The symtoms started to go away almost immediately.
I still wear it and most likely will for a long time. Maybe forever. I have no disc and a lot of damage from surgeries. It's design is to unload the joint and keep the muscles from clenching around the damaged areas.
I know finding a Dentist/Specialist who understands your particular problems and knows how to treat them is hard. There are many who can put you in a splint, but without the knowledge and understanding of treating TMJD, they don't work very well.
There are those who do know how to treat TMJD, you just have to find them.
Someone did ask earlier in the week, how to find these people. Maybe you? I apologize that I have not made too many posts latety, my Mother is ill and I have been away from home a good bit.
I don't know how to tell you to find such a person. Word of mouth sometimes is the best way. Asking other Doctors if they know anyone who has success with TMJD patients. Asking on this board and other mediums about someone in your area.
Checking out Dentist/Specialists credentials in regard to extended education in treating TMJD. Not just week-end seminars, but years of study in this area.
My own Dentist was one of these people. He does not advertise, so I didn't know until I asked. He didn't make any suggestions about treatment because I was still seeing my last surgeon. I guess there was some type of ethical situation there.
When I became desperate, ditched the surgeon and ask my Dentist if he knew of anything or anyone that could help me, he said yes.
I understand how hard it is to search for help when you're in pain and don't know where to start. I know how discouraged you can get when you have been mislead or made worse by prior treatments.
All I know to tell you is to keep trying. Don't give up. This is not something you have to live with.
There is hope.
looney - i know what you mean. at times, i feel extremely frustrated and saddened because it appears that no one gets better from TMJD. like jamie said, i have to remind myself that the people who get well generally do not stick around.
anyway, im pretty sure that you can get [some] relief from your symptoms. it just takes time and finding a good dentist.
let's hope to god that my new splint will help me out.. it'd be awesome to be a "success" story.
Im worried I may never be able to afford treatment
Its pretty obvious health insurances will never pay for splints and the like...let alone surgery.
And with my situation I am NEVER going to be able to come up with thousands of dollars for treatments.
So Im just trying to deal with treating the pain for now...its very depressing...I can relate, Looney.
needanewhead - i know what you mean about not feeling like you'll be able to afford the treatments. i identify with you 100%. but im positive that there's got to be some way for you to find money.. please dont give up.
i was saddened to read your message - you seem like you've given up hope, and feel that nothing is going to work out for you. i want to give you encouragement that it will work out.. someone will be able to give you money.
is there anyone [friend, family member, church] that could give you a loan?
i really hope that you'll be able to get some money. please dont worry about it.. it'll work out.
[This message has been edited by saaraah (edited 09-28-2003).]
Sarah, as of now I already owe my Dad 6000+ from being out of work. I have a pension check coming but its going to go all to him by the time I get it. I have GOT to get back to work by December but I have surgery coming up to biopsy a lymph node in my neck and I just dont see it happening.
I am really really scared
Thank you for thinking of me