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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:59 AM   #1
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Post Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

In May, my dentist said she thought I had TMJ. I finally saw someone at UCLA Dentistry Department. Initial visit was $195.00. They only open Monday and Friday. I get the clicking, popping, the dizzies, severe headaches, neck ache, left ear ache and now right ear too, pain under/behind my right cheek bone and pressure in my throat which makes me feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen. The specialist circled TMJ Arthralgia/capsulitis on my form, so I guess that's what I have. They did a lot of poking until they found a tender spot in front of my right ear and jaw joint. They taught me a mouth exercise. Open my mouth about half inch and put my tongue on the roof of my mouth, hold for six seconds, six times a day. They also taught me how to stretch my neck by taking my hand to the back of my head and press my head down into my chest for six and six also. They said the soft latex night mouth guard isn't helping anything and that I should stop wearing it. They prescribed Naprosyn 375 mg and Medrol. They wanted to take an x-ray, but I had to stop there because they don't accept the HMO I have. I have another appointment Oct. 15, but I'm waiting to hear from my insurance to see if they're going to allow me to continue treatment with UCLA because they can't seem to find a TMJ specialist for me. I hope I'm allowed to continue at UCLA because I'm in some level of pain everyday. Good luck with your treatment.

 
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

It is good to hear that you have had a positive experience with your doctor. So many have not. Hopefully, the Medrol and the Naprosyn will help you with your pain.

Keep us up to date with how you progress.

Johnna

 
Old 10-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

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Glad you found someone to help you. What is the name of the dentist you saw there?
Please keep us posted on your progress.
Wendy

 
Old 10-10-2004, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

Heidi, Johnna, and Wendi thanks for your kind words. It's nice to know I'm not alone. The first specialist to see me was a Dr. Bokhar. I think he was a resident there. He seemed caring, calm and like he still enjoyed his job. Then I believe the cheif of the department/staff Dr. Merrill came to see me and did a quicker analysis to verify Dr. Bokhar's findings. There was also a really nice female assistant there. I didn't get her name. She reviewed the exercises with me and reminded me not to stress over things and to find ways of relaxation. During my examination, a four-year medical student sat and observed the whole process, and he too reviewed the exercises with me. I have high blood pressure, so they took my blood pressure, 155 over 99, not good. I got there with a headache from driving for three hours. I had to drop off my three year-old at my parents' home then go to UCLA, so I didn't get there with full brain function. It is so conjested in that Westwood area. I think it took about 20 minutes to travel from the freeway exit to the UCLA parking which is about a mile, and in the morning heading anywhere near Los Angeles is a nightmare. By the way, parking is $7.00. I haven't heard from the insurance, but I know they received my request to continue treatment there because I sent my letter certified mail and they've received it. My appointment is October 15 so I'm not too optimistic. You know big companies. They don't really care about people, just money. If I get any new news, I'll keep everyone posted.

Last edited by plus1more; 10-10-2004 at 07:33 PM.

 
Old 10-12-2004, 05:58 PM   #5
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

You know I have those same exact symtoms. It's really scarry for me b/c I am only 20 and can't afford all of the high price therapy and doctors. I just shutter at the thought of me having this for the rest of my life and thinking this is the type of stuff that I'll have to go through.

 
Old 10-13-2004, 12:23 AM   #6
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

KES04, TMJ aside, try to keep healthy. I try to take a multi-vitamin everyday, if I remember to, and walk about four times a week. I noticed I function a little better if I get enough sleep too. From time-to-time I hear about free community health fairs which have knowledgeable doctors and a whole lot of information under one roof. My husband got a free flu shot at one these just a couple weeks ago. They seem like they're disappearing, but the community low-cost clinics are still out there if you really look for one. Maybe we only have both of these in California. Advil stopped working for me, but over-the-counter Alleve is working for the headaches and jaw pain. I went to the city library and found: The Truth about TMJ How to Help Yourself by Jennifer Hutchinson and Cynthia & Bill Still. It's been quite interesting, but I've only read to Chapter 4. I haven't heard anything from my insurance. They know where to find me. Take care and stay positive.

 
Old 10-16-2004, 01:13 PM   #7
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

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Thanks for letting me know the names of the doctors. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Yep, you're definitely not alone!
Wendy

 
Old 11-19-2004, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: Finally saw a TMJ specialist at UCLA Dentistry Department

I went to UCLA today. They didn't find it necessary to take any type of x-ray. I'm pretty sure my problem is muscular because I've been feeling a lot better by doing those mouth exercises, being on a soft food diet, walking 4x a week, getting enough sleep and taking the Naproxen when the pain returns. I'll get a pretty bad headache and sore jaw when I think I can go back to eating steak, something chewy or snacking in between meals. I get the headache in the same place: right lower part behind my head, top of neck. Doc says he can give me an injection in that place in the muscle when I'm in pain, but I don't want to take the chance of side effects, doc missing the spot and hitting my brain or some new problem. Compare to how I was feeling and what I went through to find out my problem was in my jaw, life is manageable: ER 3x, ENT 2x, spinal tap, CT scan 2x, an MRI and countless visits to my PCP. Next visit to UCLA is in December. I'll let you know how that goes. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

 
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