Just wondering if anyone has ever had this situation. I woke up one morning about 7 months ago with my jaw clicking/popping when I moved it from side to side. Went to the dentist and he said I have TMJ and I need to wear a mouth guard 24x7 for at least 4 months to strengthen the muscles near the disc near my ear. The splint did not work - as a matter of fact, when I wake up in the morning my jaw in almost completely locked shut. Once I'm up for about 3-5 minutes the jaw opens. I still have the "clicking and popping" whenever I move my jaw from side to side. Some say this will go away eventually - the dentist says it is something I will probably have the rest of my life and I need to learn to live with it. Can anyone provide any help? Can this strictly be a stress related problem?
when I am tense, upset, tired and stressed out my jaw hurts so bad I can't eat. Then I get ever more upset from the pain.
If I am relaxed and not stressed out I am pretty much pain free.
For example last Friday at lunchtime I was all fired up due to incidents at work that day and tried to grab a quick lunch. I was so tensed up I couldn't barely eat a bite of food or drink a cup of water without terrible pain.
Just 6 hours after that, I was at home, relaxed and was able to eat a whole steak dinner, 95% pain free. I was then pain free most of the weekend.
Stress will mess you up bad....I am living proof. And when I am in physical pain from stress it upsets me even more, it's a vicious circle.
Although stress can surely cause and aggrevate your tmj there is no way that you should just have to "live with it". That is ridiculous for a dentist to say! If you mouthguard didn't help you, than it didn't fit right. You probably need an actual splint made and of course it has to fit correctly and be adjusted to your particular bite. These so called "nightgaurds" that are all the rage are not at all for tmj sufferers. My dentist actually showed me where the info that they receive on these guards warns that they may in fact induce and worsen tmj disorders. Very maddening! See about getting to a dentist that treats tmj and can make you an actual splint.
They're right, your dentist needs to get a clue! If TMJ is affecting your quality of life,then you deserve treatment! For me, my jaw not only clicks and pops when i move it side so side, it currently makes about 4 different noises when i open it all the way (which is getting harder and harder to do). The noises are definitely a problem, and can cause severe pain if left untreated (trust me).
as everyone said you must get that splint fitted for you otherwise it will cause more damage on your jaw joints which it sounds like it is and giving you more problems such as not being able to open your mouth etc.
Thank you for your messsage. The appliance that I was wearing for 4 months was actually a splint that the dentist made (took impressions of my teeth) and I kept going back every week to have it "adjusted". I wore it for 4 months 24 x 7 and my jaw still clicks and pops when I move it from side to side. There is really no pain associated with this clicking/popping - just the annoyance of the noise. I have been told by others that eventually this popping/clicking will stop in time. The realy annoyance is when I wake up in the morning - my mouth is locked shut for about 3-5 minutes until I'm up and around and then it opens. I'm going crazy with this!!!!
Your symptoms sound very similar to my daughter's. She didn't have an unbearable amount of pain, but her jaw would lock. At first it was like you - a couple of minutes in the morning. Then it would stay locked longer and she would have to get up an hour earlier for school and alternate heat/cold while I did a little massage before it would free up. Then around last Christmas it stayed locked for days.
During all this time, she had been in splint therapy (over a year). I am happy to say that the last re-positioning splint she was in did the trick. She has been symptom free for 4 or 5 months.
So...what I am trying to say is that it can take time. The question is always the expertise of your doctor...that often tends to be a bit of a crapshoot. If you don't feel confident with the person you are seeing, I would do a survey of dentists/orthodontists in your area and ask who they refer their TMD cases to.
Mosmom is sooooooo right about it being a crap shoot. If you don't get your bite position done with finesse, than I don't think the popping clicking and locking will go away. I am concerned for you that after this much splint therapy you are locked in the morning! Can you see another dentist and get an opinion? I am wondering if your splint is not correct. I was locked at around 8mm with this last flare up and just a week and half in my hard splint I can open twice as wide. Now I wouldn't be biting into any food or anything, it is way to soon for that, but I can at least get a spoon in my mouth now.
If you aren't happy with what is going on with yourself, don't be afraid to go get another opinion. I have found that even when I have had to pay out of pocket for things, it has been well worth it just to get as much information as I can about this. So many times you gut feeling is right about a dentist. I have had this condition for 10 years now and I "know" as soon as a "professional" tells me something if it is going to be correct for my particular condition.
I wish you all the best and hope you can get this straightened out!