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Old 07-13-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 18
Spax99 HB User
TMJD Newbie

Well, it's official, today I was diagnosed with TMJD. After finding I had an abscessed tooth in February, and having root canal treatment in March, it's been a rollercoaster ride of problems - facial pain (oh, the pain), sinusitis (I thought, but perhaps not), tooth pain, suspected gallbladder problems, chest pains, reflux (possibly because of diclofenac, or maybe there already), countless doctor and dentist visits, a sudden diagnosis of gum disease, visits to the periodontist, three teeth extracted and a night guard made for what he said was obvious severe tooth grinding and clenching, root planing (one more session of that to come) - today I had my hospital appointment for the grinding and clicking in my jaw, and they were in no doubt about TMJD.

Thinking about my list of recent problems, and reading a lot of the posts on here, I wonder exactly how much could be down to the TMJD rather than unconnected. The doctor seemed to be suggesting some of it could be because of my overbite, which is pretty big but not unusually so - my daughter's was bigger when she was being measured up for braces. With all my problems though, I'm wondering if getting her teeth "fixed" isn't just going to save up loads of trouble for the future, as messing about with your bite can cause problems.

My bite - well, it isn't one really. My back molars meet, and that's about it - a few more teeth used to meet, but never all of them, and I've never been able to properly bite food with my front teeth. If I pull my lower jaw right the way forward I can get the right incisors to meet - but thinking about it, I'd better not do that any more. I would love to know what came first, the teeth problems or the TMJD - and I'm now wondering if my sometimes clicky uncomfortable hips and knee might be connected, and the feeling I sometimes get that I just can't walk properly, and the crunchy neck, and...

I would love to know why we are never told that the jaw isn't supposed to click, and that if it does there could be a problem and you should watch out for it. Or was I not listening that day in school, the same as I obviously wasn't when they told us that grinding your teeth can end up breaking them, stripping all the enamel off and making it so you can hardly eat.

Anyway, it's no good being bitter and feeling let down, I know we just have to do the best we can with what we've got. I was told today that I'm not to eat anything harder than cooked pasta, not to open my mouth wider than the width of two fingers, not to chew on pens, fingernails or anything like that (as if I could bite anything that hard without it being agony anyway!), and to use ibuleve gel on the joints as well as sticking with my lovely Amitriptylene painkillers. What I don't know, because I was in no fit state to take it all in really, is if this is a short term thing or if I am doomed to never eat anything harder than cooked pasta, etc. I go back in two months for them to have another look - I also asked if anything can be done about none of my teeth meeting, and they talked about braces and possibly breaking the jaw to reposition it, but looking on here I'm not sure if particularly the latter would be a good idea.

What have people found helpful, or really not helpful, so I know what to aim for and what to avoid?

Thank you so much for any help at all with this - and it's really good to know I'm not alone.

 
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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bassclari HB User
Re: TMJD Newbie

I'm so sorry you have to go through all this. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. But, I'm glad that you now have a definite diagnosis. It makes a world of difference.

I'm just going to touch on a few things...your daughter. If you choose for her to have braces, make sure you ask the questions about her bite, arch and tmj. If you don't get satisfactory answers, move onto another ortho who takes the whole picture into account.

If you are going to look for treatment for your tmjd, go with a practioner who knows his stuff. Don't trust your regular old dentist, or someone who kind of knows about tmj, look for a highly trained specialist. Don't go immediately for permanent, invasive, irreversible treatments. Try the less invasive treatment options first.

Good luck, and just remember that you have lots and lots of support!

 
Old 07-13-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
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Re: TMJD Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spax99 View Post
Well, it's official, today I was diagnosed with TMJD. After finding I had an abscessed tooth in February, and having root canal treatment in March, it's been a rollercoaster ride of problems - facial pain (oh, the pain), sinusitis (I thought, but perhaps not), tooth pain, suspected gallbladder problems, chest pains, reflux (possibly because of diclofenac, or maybe there already), countless doctor and dentist visits, a sudden diagnosis of gum disease, visits to the periodontist, three teeth extracted and a night guard made for what he said was obvious severe tooth grinding and clenching, root planing (one more session of that to come) - today I had my hospital appointment for the grinding and clicking in my jaw, and they were in no doubt about TMJD.

Thinking about my list of recent problems, and reading a lot of the posts on here, I wonder exactly how much could be down to the TMJD rather than unconnected. The doctor seemed to be suggesting some of it could be because of my overbite, which is pretty big but not unusually so - my daughter's was bigger when she was being measured up for braces. With all my problems though, I'm wondering if getting her teeth "fixed" isn't just going to save up loads of trouble for the future, as messing about with your bite can cause problems.

My bite - well, it isn't one really. My back molars meet, and that's about it - a few more teeth used to meet, but never all of them, and I've never been able to properly bite food with my front teeth. If I pull my lower jaw right the way forward I can get the right incisors to meet - but thinking about it, I'd better not do that any more. I would love to know what came first, the teeth problems or the TMJD - and I'm now wondering if my sometimes clicky uncomfortable hips and knee might be connected, and the feeling I sometimes get that I just can't walk properly, and the crunchy neck, and...

I would love to know why we are never told that the jaw isn't supposed to click, and that if it does there could be a problem and you should watch out for it. Or was I not listening that day in school, the same as I obviously wasn't when they told us that grinding your teeth can end up breaking them, stripping all the enamel off and making it so you can hardly eat.

Anyway, it's no good being bitter and feeling let down, I know we just have to do the best we can with what we've got. I was told today that I'm not to eat anything harder than cooked pasta, not to open my mouth wider than the width of two fingers, not to chew on pens, fingernails or anything like that (as if I could bite anything that hard without it being agony anyway!), and to use ibuleve gel on the joints as well as sticking with my lovely Amitriptylene painkillers. What I don't know, because I was in no fit state to take it all in really, is if this is a short term thing or if I am doomed to never eat anything harder than cooked pasta, etc. I go back in two months for them to have another look - I also asked if anything can be done about none of my teeth meeting, and they talked about braces and possibly breaking the jaw to reposition it, but looking on here I'm not sure if particularly the latter would be a good idea.

What have people found helpful, or really not helpful, so I know what to aim for and what to avoid?

Thank you so much for any help at all with this - and it's really good to know I'm not alone.
Sorry about all the tmj stuff--Whatever you do, find a specialist that knows the effects tmj can have on the whole body. Someone that also will be hopefully an orthodontist, specializing in functional jaw appliances, and understanding craniofacial pain, and orofacial pain. I got tmj from a bad orthodontist..I have all the symptoms right now, neck pain, dizziness, neck crunching, tmj pain , muscular pain that's excrutiating, and ear pain. Also, my balance is off, and grating sounds in the joints. Whatever you do, do not get surgery to correct anything--only 3% of patients really need this, you need to find a good tmj specialist, and get referrals, and investigate their credentials before treatment. Read old posts here, and you will learn a lot. Especially about your daughter, please if you are going to have her get braces, make sure they do a tomogram x-ray first to see if she has a predisposition to tmjd, and make sure they understand the jaw joint, teeth relationship. Most ortho's just put teeth where they want to to make us look nice. Many don't take into consideration the jaw joint relationship to the teeth. Visit Dr. Gary Grablin's website in California, and read his explanation for tmj. He is a Roth William's trained orthodontist. They go through a 2yr. advanced course and study this relationship thoroughly. Just google his name and you'll get the website. Take care, and good luck to you. J.

 
Old 07-21-2009, 09:23 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 18
Spax99 HB User
Re: TMJD Newbie

Thanks for the advice about my daughter and braces - too late to think about it first though, she's had them for about a year and a half.

As for me, until I was diagnosed just over a week ago I had never had a stiff jaw, or any pain that was noticeably in the jaw joints, or had restricted movement of it - I do now. The hospital Oral Maxillofacial Department's advice was to eat soft foods, eat using both sides of the mouth (difficult as I have had 3 teeth extracted from one side, and that side was painful for years anyway so I mostly ate on one side), not open my mouth more than about 2 fingers width and use painkillers and ibuprofen gel over the joints.

In a week, I have ended up with stiffness and less movement - was this going to happen anyway, or can it be because I've been sort of taking too much care and not moving my jaw enough? At lunchtime I couldn't get the spoon into my mouth, and I admit that made me panic a little. After spending some time gently easing my mouth open and shut, I could open it enough to eat - it hurt though, and now keeps popping whenever I move it. I don't know if it's just me, but not being able to open my mouth properly made me need to make it happen, even though maybe I shouldn't have - I suspect it's to do with anxiety.

I've read plenty of information and advice, but lots of it is conflicting - I can see that it would be foolish to do lots of invasive treatments, but is it likely that without them I will ever get my teeth to bite together again? Some of them used to, but in the last month or two only the back molars meet, or if I wiggle my jaw around (which is now a painful thing to do!) I can make one or two different teeth meet. This, also, I feel I have to keep trying to do, it just doesn't feel right with them not meeting.

Could this, and the clenching and grinding, and the subsequent gum disease and problems, be a lot down to stress and anxiety? Are there any ways of getting some relief that anyone could recommend? With the crunching I also get in my neck, I'm wondering about seeing if a physiotherapist or chiropracter could help - or are there any other things worth trying, like massage? I'm not good at relaxing, and I'm not currently taking any exercise - I do wonder if all these things could be contributing to all that's gone wrong lately, but I don't know where to start.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

 
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