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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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My TMJ success story

Dear Readers...
I posted on this board a few years ago confused and having no idea what was wrong with me. I had seen countless doctors and knew it was TMJ related but had no way to prove it. I lived in a small town with hack doctors who thought I was seeking medication. After spending a small fortune I figured it was my ear and planned on moving to Oregon to get a less expensive myringotomy. After the ENT there told me there was nothing wrong with me even though I was screaming in pain and severely dizzy, I wanted to die to end it.

It began in May 2006 which was 1 month after a bunch of dental treatment, one of which being a root canal. The root canal itself was not 'successful' per se as I experienced chronic pain that night and then started having vestibular disturbances.

I was finally able to get a doctor to Rx me valium because I ended up being assaulted a year later. The valium helped the pain enough to where I could work but I still got no answers.

Earlier this year, after living in pain for 3 years, my husband couldn't stand to see me in pain any longer and sent me to a TMJ doctor in Chicago. It was then that everything was confirmed. I had several charley horses in my head. It was then I learned TMJ is a tooth gearing problem. When your teeth do not fit together correctly muscles will compensate giving you all kinds of other issues. Mine affected the inner ear.

My jaw was out of alignment by 5mm. While I could not afford to stay in Chicago and continue treatment I moved to Atlanta and I am seeing specialists here and getting the help I need. My teeth are out of alignment from the dental work I received and we are slowly working on putting my jaw back in place. I am on valium still, pain meds, and anti-depressants because before my diagnosis I thought I was dying.

So many doctors are out there that don't want to help you and I don't understand why. I suffered for years and tried ending my life and no one would step up to help me because no one wanted to admit they didn't know what was wrong. Now that I am in good hands I am getting relief and being taken seriously.

It was the pterygoid medialus and tensor veli palatini that were in spasm giving me 24/7 head pain as well as various neck and shoulder muscles. I was grinding my teeth at night as well.

I wanted to share this because TMJ IS TREATABLE. It may flare back up but you can see what is wrong and what can be done to treat it. It's a silent disease creeping up without warning and no one understands it yet. Most of the people who treat TMJ are using methods that are 40 years old and unaffective. If you have life debilitating TMJ seek a specialist; not a dentist or orthodontist.

I really hope I can be of assistance to other people as I was in a spot where I had no answers and no one to turn to. I got called a drug addict, lazy, and that there was nothing wrong with me. I'm glad I was finally able to prove them wrong and get the help I needed.

-A

 
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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Re: My TMJ success story

It's great to read that you are on track and in good hands. I am also amazed that you seem to get real info from the specialist you are seeing. Most of the dentists I see tell me "You know too much" and then tell me to go somewhere else.
By now, after 10 years of dental work which caused my problem I know quite well what is wrong with my bite and what and even how it should be fixed. But dentists don't like this understanding and they do it "their way" so they just repeat the same things which I tell them at the consult never worked for my jaw. Well, they get paid and I am left again where I started or usually worse b/c they manage to do smth to my bite which I can see clearly won't work.

Whom did you see in Chicago? And who is the TMJ specialist you are in good hands of? Maybe they can suggest someone in NJ who is really concerned about helping people and not just taking their money.

What do you mean by "your jaw was off by 5mm"? Is this the vertical dimension of the bite or what? I know mine is kind of skewed but I think that due to the unevenly worn out disks (well, caused by dental work) the jaw is adapted to this state and aligning it structurally wouldn't be a good thing even if it would be possible.

I am seeing a prosthodontist now and they all claim to know the TMJ.
I do need the restorative dental work. I think TMJ specialists mostly do splints but not the restorations of the teeth. Is this so?
I'll appreciate very much your reply.

 
Old 08-16-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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Re: My TMJ success story

HI--Just curious, did you see Dr. Goldman in Chicago? I had a phone consult with him..

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-23-2009 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Removed Quote from previous post, please use Quick Reply rather than Quote Reply

 
Old 08-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #4
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Re: My TMJ success story

Velvetrance, whom do you see in Atlanta? Thnak you very much

 
Old 08-16-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Re: My TMJ success story

A well rounded TMJ specialist will do restorations of your teeth. After the jaw has settled in the position it needs to be in they will make sure the bite fits that comfortable position. All (GOOD) TMJ therapy is is finding where your bite needs to be in order for your muscles and bones to quit straining as if you were injured. When they relax they will go to that position naturally.

The reason I know a lot, aside from years of research, is because I'm an artist. I have to know the names of bones and muscles in the face to properly draw them. So...using that as an excuse they tend not to feel intimidated. I design tattoos so I need to know how to draw a skull and where the occipital bone is.

You need an honest up front doctor who is confident in whether they say they can help you or not. I actually went to one doctor and after explaining my condition and how much I knew about it he actually admitted he could not treat me.

If you want you can tell me or get in touch with me about what your symptoms are like and I can try to help or find you someone. The Dr in Chicago said he could direct me to other people but I don't think he wanted to lose me as a client. It's important to note, when you are healing from this you need to be in a safe environment. I was alone and away from my husband in Chicago and at times had no where to live which is why that didn't work. Also, his treatment plan was long and expensive although he had excellent bedside manner. The doctor I am seeing now has different techniques, is cheaper, and was able to explain the same thing to be AND THEN SOME. If desperate enough, I would even consider a move.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-23-2009 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Removed Quote from previous post, please use Quick Reply rather than Quote Reply

 
Old 08-16-2009, 06:14 PM   #6
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Re: My TMJ success story

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmitchell View Post
HI--Just curious, did you see Dr. Goldman in Chicago? I had a phone consult with him..
I did and was under his care for about 3 months. Problem is with this treatment if you miss a session it can really set you back. Also he is not keen on medication so I was in a lot of pain during the beginning. He's a nice doctor and wrote a very informative book on the matter but the treatment itself was pricey and lasted forever. I moved there and was going to live with a friend but this 'friend' didn't understand the severity of my condition and they didn't get why I couldn't work. I was also away from my husband which was very painful for me and I felt alone. It's really important that when you are healing you are with people who can help you and understand your condition.

I'd recommend Dr. Goldman if you live in Chicago and have time and money. He focuses on muscle relaxation via pterygoid injections as well as TENS unit. I did see some success but it just wasn't fast enough. And again, if you miss an appointment, it can set you back a lot.

 
Old 08-16-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: My TMJ success story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doina View Post
Velvetrance, whom do you see in Atlanta? Thnak you very much
I thought there was some rule about not mentioning names of doctors and such but anyhoots it's to help you. I see Dr. Maggan and his staff at a TMJ center. They also do chiropractic care there as well. I am very satisfied with their services and they have helped me out tremendously. They tell you everything about what your body is doing and why you hurt and what they plan to do to fix it. They build two splints for you which at first were uncomfortable and all I could think was "oh great, another one of these" but I really feel results from it and I've only had the splints for 2 weeks or so.

I'm combining that with a pain clinic where I got and get injections into muscles that are tight and spasm. It is very painful but I feel great afterwards. I am also on the patch so I can manage to work and actually get out of bed whereas before I had no social life.

But yes, TMJ specialists is who you need to see! No run of the mill dentists, orthodontists, etc...they simply don't know enough to treat it.

 
Old 08-16-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: My TMJ success story

My bottom jaw goes to the left about 5mm. It shouldn't do that.
I know there are weird rules on this board but I did find a doctor in NJ that sounds like he's got the steps down for TMJ treatment. If I lived there I would seek him out.

His name is Dr. Strauss and he is located in Fairfield, NJ. If you google both of those terms I am sure you can find the website. His treatment and procedure sounds very much like what I am going through at the moment. They refer to it as neuromuscular dentistry.

GENERAL PROGNOSIS:
The three basic steps involved in treating TMJ with neuromuscular dentistry are:

* Relieve muscle pain and spasms: Muscle pain associated with TMJ is treated at Aesthetic Dental Care of New Jersey through the use of Myotronics devices.
* Stabilize the patient's bite: Our LVI neuromuscular dentist will use dental orthotics to create a harmonious bite in which the teeth, joints of the jaw, and head/jaw muscles can work together without undue strain.
* Long-term management: Once a patient's bite is stabilized, long-term treatments are needed to maintain a corrected bite. Methods used include permanent orthotics/removable overlay partials, reconstructive dentistry using dental crowns, reshaping tooth enamel to correct bite, and orthodontics.


I hope that helps.
-V

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-23-2009 at 12:19 AM. Reason: Removed Quote from previous post, please use Quick Reply rather than Quote Reply

 
Old 08-18-2009, 07:49 PM   #9
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Re: My TMJ success story

I wanted to keep you guys updated on how I was doing with my current treatment which I started about a month ago.

I have two splints that I wear. I have a "daytime splint" which fits on the bottom and forces me to have a bite that lessens the spasms from having an out of alignment jaw. My teeth fit differently with it in. I also have a "nighttime splint" which is designed so that I cannot clench or grind my teeth which I am still doing to a degree because there are little divets in the front of the splint that keeps my teeth apart.

I am also seeing a pain doctor and getting injections directly into the muscles. It hurts like hell atm but feels a lot better afterwards. I also wear a fentanyl patch that I cannot tell if it is working or not.

 
Old 11-10-2009, 08:18 AM   #10
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Re: My TMJ success story

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. This is more informative, real and educational then something you read on a doctor's website. Unfortunately most people and even dentists do not understand the severity of TMJ unless they walk in our shoes. Thank you also for the names of those TMJ specialists, they are indeed a rare breed! Would you be able to give us some idea regarding the costs of these treatments?

Wish you the best of luck and a speedy and smooth "rehabilitation" :-)

Cheers!

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-23-2009 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Removed Quote from previous post, please use Quick Reply rather than Quote Reply

 
Old 11-22-2009, 11:27 PM   #11
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Re: My TMJ success story

That is a great success story. Despite the adversity. Searching for answers on how to reduce my Ortho treatment of TMJ < edited >

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-23-2009 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Please don't post disallowed website links, per Posting Policy, Thanks!

 
Old 01-20-2010, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: My TMJ success story

I'm so glad you are getting help, that is actually helping!! I live a hour outside of Chicago and wonder if I could find a doctor close to my home? One with all the qualifications needed to help me. Ah but then there is money which I have none of. I guess I am out of luck

But still it is really good to hear a positive outcome for someone!!

 
Old 01-26-2010, 08:48 PM   #13
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Re: My TMJ success story

Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetrance View Post
Dear Readers...
If you have life debilitating TMJ seek a specialist; not a dentist or orthodontist.

-A
But how do you find that specialist. There is no criteria, a doctor, dentist orthodontist can say they specialize in tmj.

I have seen, dentist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, ENT, Accupuncturist adn Chiro practor.

No releif. Constant Pain, Liquid diet, frustrated, just want releif.

 
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