I'm a 19 year old female who has been suffering from severe tmj symptoms that have been steadily getting worse.
All of this started when I got my wisdom teeth out last may. 4 days after I got my wisdom teeth out, this horrible pain happened in my ears and kept getting worse.
I was also having bad headaches,back pain, and all that jazz.
After I went away to college, the pain eased up a bit. I didn't have to take the pain medication I had been on for so long.......I felt great.
Then, the pain reared up again,only this time,worse than before. The pain is so bad that now it hurts to do anything. It hurts to chew it hurts to pretty much do about anything. My ears feel like they are always constantly blocked and the pain went from being bearable to unbearable now im at the excruciating level.
I have jaw pain all the time now. It feels like I have a sore thorat all the time too.
I've been on medicine to help control the pain, but nothing makes it bearable.
Currently, i'm on flexeril and naprosin. I went to the oral surgeon last week whos fitting me with an nti but I need results now.
I've tried exercising and eating softer food,but i'm starting to lose it.
I'm a 19 year old freshman in college and this pain has pretty much started to ruin my life. Every four hours on the dot no matter what im dong,if the pain goes away, it comes back.
Im really starting to lose it and can't take it anymore.
Please,can someone please please help me so I can
b: not have to take medication so much
c: live my life
i know tmj is partly from stress. The fact that I had to go away to college and go through that and having my grandmother have a stroke and fights with relatives probably aren't helping.
I'm too young to go through this. I've tried eating soft food, and if the ear pain doesn't go away soon.............................
By the way, in two weeks I'll be away at school again-and I already know there is no resources for my TMJ problems near my college.
(I'll be 4 hours away from home).
Last edited by svolleyball88; 12-30-2006 at 04:03 AM.
I'm so sorry you are in so much pain - many of us know exactly what you are going through. Unfortunately pain meds are the best thing right now until you get the NTI or a nightguard or splint. Here are some suggestions that you can try based on my experience and what I have read from others:
purchase an OTC night guard at a drug store but if it hurts or makes things worse stop using it;
baclofen is good for facial pain during the day - maybe your PCP or OS can prescribe it - it makes you only slightly drowsy, a lot less than flexeril. Keep the flexeril for nighttime use if it is making you drowsy. Most members use neurontin. Also, try taking tylenol PM to help you sleep - lack of sleep as I'm sure you already know lowers your body's ability to handle this type of pain - if you can take naps during the day (despite the pain) do so. Even 15 mins here and there will help; ( the first year of my tmj I slept at most 2-3 hrs each night so I know how you feel)
Try warm moist compresses to the head and neck and face or a heating pad - on and off for for 10-15 mins several times;
stuff the inside of your cheeks or mouth with gauze - not pretty but it helps the facial muscles relax a bit;
tie a bandana or scarf tightly around your ears and head - I don't know why but this made me feel a little better when things were really bad. It probably has the same affect as doing a head and facial massage - another thing you can try;
give a quick jerk or yank on your ear lobes - one at a time; you should hear a pop, squeek or snap sound if its done right - the chiro showed me how to do it and it helps relieve ear presure and pain. If you can't do it ask someone to do it for you;
go see a chiro before you go back to school - preferrably a NUCCA or one trained in tmj or sports medicine;
Hope those help some. I think you are going to need some help such as treatments, etc. while in school so if possbile either ask for referrals or start searching in that area now.
I am so sorry for you. I know how you feel and I am here to listen and to help. The splint or nti you have made needs to be made right and I mean exactly right or it won't work. Please make sure your dentist has the right equipment to see if your bite is correct when he inserts your new mouthpiece..if not..it could be a failure from the get go. I know this because my dentist was too lazy to hook me up to this machine they had and by the third time I came in complaining he FINALLY decided to hook me up and then of course he fixed the problem and my pain subsided. You have absolutely got to go to someone who knows tmj inside and out...Mine was a dentist who specialzed in tmj and had extensive training and knowledge. I had a migraine or tmj headache for 8 weeks..yes 8 weeks before I got diagnosed and the help I needed. I hurt all over....my body would literally jerk all by itself...my jaw would clench all by itself ...I would involuntarily swallow..it was awful....so I do know how you feel..and I want to tell you to please please dont give up!!!!! There is help...you have to get the right kind.....TMJ can be very serious....I dont know your situation...but if you could put school off I certainly would until you were completely better...because stress will only make it worse or make it harder to overcome. I never ever dreamed that I would get help...I did and I did get to go back to work..pain free..it was great...but now I am in pain again because of overworking my back..I am dealing with it just fine...I know I will get better and you have to know that too!!! Try to relax...I know its hard....I had panic attacks and had to get on paxil and xanax just to deal with it all...and if you have to...you just have to.....to get better!!! Again..so sorry you are going through this so young. I will say a prayer for you! Please feel free to respond. Thanks!! Tina HANG IN THERE!!!!!
My 19 year old daughter, who is also a freshman in college, has had some TMJ type related problems for a couple years. Unfortunately, it took us over a year to get a correct diagnosis and spending a considerable amount of money along the way. It's a very long complicated story and one big lesson learned from our experience was to seek more than one opinion before starting any treatment. It sounds like this may not be a possibility for you since you are leaving to go back to college soon. Hopefully, you have a good dentist that knows what he is doing! My daughter has a serious clenching problem that she does while sleeping. Before getting treatment, she was clenching so hard it caused her to wake up every morning with a headache, sore jaw/face muscles, earaches and sometimes a sorethroat. It was absolutely affecting her quality of life and she was in considerable pain. She is a Type A type kid that has always excelled academically in school putting lots of pressure on herself etc. She does not handle stress well and it comes out at night with the clenching! We had no idea that she had this problem and apparently it had been going on for some time. She has been wearing a special nightguard for over a year that was made by a good dentist. It has helped her a lot! She wears it down after several months and we go back to the dentist and he builds it up again in the area that is worn down. During this past semester finals in December she actually chewed a hole in the back part of the nightguard! She was under lots of stress with lots of work due and finals. It is very possible that you may have a clenching problem like my daughter. The NTI, which basically does the same thing as the type nightguard my daughter wears, should help you if that is your problem. Once you start wearing it every night you should see improvement. If this does not help then you need to seek out a TMJ specialist that can do more extensive testing and find out what is going on. A good TMJ specialist is hard to find and you have to be very careful as to who you go to. My advice is get recommendations from other patients and travel to see one if you have to! My daughter took Flexril for a while and also was put on a very low dose of Elavil (an older type antidepressant) for a few months. The Elavil helped relax her at night, also helped with sleep and the bad headaches. Antidepressants are often used for several other conditions besides depression. I hope you have luck with using the NTI and get better soon!
"tie a bandana or scarf tightly around your ears and head"
I suspect it helps to take some of the pressure off of the masseters and other muscles supporting the lower jaw. More comfortable than a bandanna or scarf, is one of those head straps used by people who people with snoring and sleep apnea problems, who use forced air in a tube to help relieve their problems. It can also be used if you are using some sort of splint or night guard that is designed to hold your lower jaw forward, such as a Bionator.
It's possible that the dizziness is being caused by the Soma and Valium. This is a side effect of both medications according to what I have read. If you have a problem tolerating them together you may have to ask the doctor to change one of them, especially before you return to college. I'm not sure about the weight gain of either medication. My daughter was given Valium in the past due to her pain levels/anxiety at her worst time and she did not tolerate it well. In addition, she was very concerned about the addictive nature of this drug. The Elavil seem to work much better for her, but she was a little dizzy in the mornings, but not so bad that she couldn't tolerate it. As I mentioned in my earlier post, she took Elavil (25 MG - low dose) for a short while to get the clenching problem under control after beginning to wear the nightguard. The Elavil was prescribed to her by a very well-known/respected oral surgeon with TMJ experience, who was previously the head of a major university dental school in VA for years. Some medications are great to treat specific medical problems, but unfortunately the side effects can be hard to handle for some patients. I hope the nightguard begins to help soon and you won't need the take some of this medication. Once my daughter got stablized with the nightguard she does not need to take muscle relaxers nor anything else now - the nightguard has helped a great deal! Good Luck!
I just read your post and I had to reply to you. I live in Maryland and have suffered with TMJ for 8 years. I have been through a lot to say the least! I just wanted to tell you what helped me. I originally saw a Doctor who completely screwed up my bite so I am going to tell you to be very careful about who you see. Since you are in PA, I wanted to recommend a fantastic TMJ specialist for you. He is in MD but he is worth it. If anyone can help you, he can. Dr. Michael Baylin in Pikesville, MD. Good Luck to you and if you have any questions, you can contact me at [removed]. I want to help you any way that I can. I am the mother of three, 33 years old, and I know what you are going through! Hang in there.
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