Hello all I am a 25 year old male who has yet to be diagnosed with TMJ but am 95% certain that I have it. I have popping sounds when I open my jaw, pain in the jaw, headaches, neck aches, balance problems, etc. My dentist recently told me that I need to have my wisdom teeth removed because it is very difficult to floss and clean inbetween the wisdom teeth and the molars beside them and that infections could develop easily. I've had a consultation with an oral surgeon and now have an appointment to remove all 4 of them in a couple weeks. During the consultation with the oral surgeon, I told him about my TMJ and he actually said that removing the wisdom teeth could actually remove some of the pressure on the jaw joint and help with my TMJ symptoms. This made me quite excited but now I've read on this board by several different people that wisdom tooth extraction actually just makes TMJ worse. I did some searching online for a connection between TMJ and wisdom tooth extraction and was able to find some information suggesting that wisdom teeth coming in could actually trigger TMJ. Has anyone else heard anything like this before or know if there really could be a benefit to having wisdom teeth removed in relation to improving TMJ symptoms? I'd like to hear anything anyone has to say on this matter because I'm seriously considering cancelling my appointment due to the cost financially as well as physically.
I am in a similar position to you. I have been diagnosed with TMJ and recommended by a TMJ specialist to get my wisdoms out. He recommended that to me in January. Since then I have been worrying that it might make it worse cause I can't open my mouth that wide. Also reading here poeple seem to think it can make it worse. Its hard to decide what to do....my yTMJ had definately not got better of its own accord though, so I am thinking the wisdom teeth could be the problem. I know this doesn't really help answer your question but I do think there is a link between wisdoms and TMJ. If you search on this board there are a couple of posts from people who were helped by wisdom teeth removal.
And if you do go ahead with it let us know how you go.
There have been patients who have developed TMJ problems after wisdom tooth removal, but there is probably an equal number who have been helped by the removal of the wisdom teeth.
In the UK removing wisdom teeth that have never had any pathology or given repeated problems is seriously frowned upon. The potential for wisdom teeth giving problems is there but thats got to be weighed up against the risk of a surgical extraction which obviously has its risks (which I hope have been explained to you and a consent form signed by yourself).
Will it solve your TMD... it might... but did the Oral surgeon assess your bite? using coloured paper or wax bites... if not he doesn't really know if the wisdom teeth are causing the problems or not.
If you are unsure about going ahead with the extractions... don't... get another consult and discuss your concerns...
I hope you are feeling better. I was just reading your thread and I am new to this site but I am afliated with other tmj sites. I had a wisdom tooth removed 12/82, my mouth locked down that same day. When I left that oral surgeron's office my face was so huge, swollen, I was in severe pain, I had to eat out of a straw for over 3yrs. I am not a dentist but I can tell you "my mouth locked down" after that extraction, that day. I saw an ENT the next week he told me I have TMJ and sent me back to my oral surgeon, only he would not see me. I wrote a small book, it should be out by December
entitle, "my life with TMJ" Get some splint therapy, don't let them start cutting on you.
I have heard of many stories that wisdom teeth removal caused or aggravated the TMJ symptoms, BUT there are probably many more that caused no problems. The thing is, nobody can guarantee you anything, let it be improvement or vice versa. The decision is yours.
If I were you, I would have probably let it alone for now, unless it causes active problems. But, again, the final call is yours. Good luck!
The Following User Says Thank You to TMJ82 For This Useful Post: energizer21 (09-06-2011)
Hi, I couldnt help but notice your post and had to respond. I would highly advise NOT to get any wisdom teeth removed. I had one removed and my life has been hell for the past 8 years. Before I had it removed I just had limited mouth opening function and my jaw would lock sometimes, but not bad..i had never heard of tmj until i was diagnosed with it. Had I known about it I would never ever let my dentist pull my wisdom tooth. I know some people say it helped them, maybe so, but the ratio im sure is very low. Ive also talked to numerous people who have tmj that said theirs started with a wisdom tooth being removed. I had to wear a splint for one year to get better, physical therapy, exercise,...etc. The main thing to do is get your bite checked by a tmj professional dentist. Start there and go forward. I wish you the best of luck. Hope this helps you!!