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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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violet89 HB User
Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

Hi

Sometimes I feel that I have no choice but to get an arthroscopy done to get my mouth to open normally again. My mouth opens at about 25 mm, just wondering from a practical point of view how you can survive with such a limited opening long term. I'm only 26 and have had this problem for nearly 2 years, but how am i going to do the following- surely the below things will need to be done during my lifetime:-

- get my teeth cleaned, any fillings/extractions if required- currently I'm starting to get tartar buildup etc but can't go to the dentist. How would they get their tools into my mouth to do the cleaning?! Im also scared that if I ever need a filling- it would be impossible to get done....
- even things like surgery- if i ever needed an operation done, they usually put big tubes down your throat, how would they go with that when my mouth doesnt even open?
- Never being able to kiss my partner properly- currently i can just do little pecks....60 yrs of that doesn't sound too good
- never being able to eat properly...

I would like to hear from people who havent been able to open their mouth widely for numerous years & how you deal with these difficulties/issues long term???

-violet-

 
Old 10-26-2010, 08:02 AM   #2
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MM1873 HB User
Re: Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

Is your limited mouth opening due to muscles related issues or due to joint dearrangement. If its just muscles you can go through physical therapy to help widen it.
I couldn't open my wide either for sometime. I would take a muscle relaxer before I went to the dentist so I wouldn't clamp down on her. They can clean your teeth and do all the work with the limited mouth opening. My dentist and assistants would do a part and then we would take a break. to clean the back teeth they only needed enough space to fit the tools in.

As far as plague buildup currently, get a waterpik it may help you scrub the issues easier. I used that for sometime to help with the back teeth.

 
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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navymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB User
Re: Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

i agree with MM1873 if your problem is muscular, physical therapy will help. if not, you may need surgery. i would see a specialist who can get an MRI to determine the cause of your problems.
as for dental appts, a good dentist and hygienist will be able to clean your teeth with the limited opening. just let them know that you have TMJ issues so they will not make you hold your mouth open for long periods of time.
as for surgery, they will put the tube down your nose instead of your throat when you have TMJ surgeries.
and eating, you just get used to eating soft foods and not chewing. you get really good at blending things!
my advice is to get to a specialist who can figure out the underline cause of your problems

 
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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Re: Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

Hi

I have spent the last year trying to determine what's wrong with my jaw. i got an MRI done a couple of months after my mouth locked in Jan 09, and it suggested nothing was wrong with my disc as it was in the normal position.
Therefore the specialist suggested hopefully it was a muscular issue & i had physio/myotherapy for months.i also took anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants for a couple of weeks- no improvement. I also took a massive break from life & my stresses & went for a long holiday, and there was no change.
i don't think its muscular- it has also been suggested that since conservative treatments arent working, an arthroscopy would help. Apparently since disc is normal per MRI, the disc probably has not enough fluid due to my clenching problem putting pressure on the joint- so needs to be relubricated and flushed out.

I feel relieved that dental care can still be accessed even with a limited opening....

 
Old 10-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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navymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB Usernavymid HB User
Re: Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

I'm so sorry to hear you have had such a hard time figuring out what the problem is! I would just be hesitant to get any sort of surgery as scar tissue easily builds up afterward. I have had 7 surgeries and just recently had another arthroscopy two weeks ago. The surgeon couldn't even get into my joint until two hours later and quoted it as being a disaster in the joint. He stated there was so much scar tissue in there that the joint isnt even functioning anymore. Plus he couldnt even find where the disc is!
An arthroscopy may help to flush out the joint, but it seems like there may be more negative outcomes if the disc is in place. Its so hard to know!!

 
Old 10-28-2010, 12:00 AM   #6
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violet89 HB User
Re: Limited mouth opening- how do you get dental treatment/cleaning

Hi,

its been 2 years, but i think ive had the wrong conservative treatment done. I think so far the physio ie massaging facial muscles & stretching the jaw haven't targeted the issue causing the lock. Also i have a splint- but it merely protects the teeth from bruxism and doesn't reposition the jaw in anyway. I think so far my treatment has been too passive. I have a feeling that something that has been overlooked was the fact that i had braces when i was 16-19 yrs old, now at 26, I think despite my teeth looking cosmetically OK- my jaw has been moved in a way that has affected my joints. I got 4 perfectly fine teeth pulled out cos the orthodontist said my mouth was overcrowded n was required for my braces treatment.Only thing that doesnt make sense is that MRI showed nothing wrong with my disc or joint- but maybe they arent being read properly?!
I am now looking into neuromuscular dentists who look at whether your jaw is correct and causing issues- that's the only thing I can think of. I think they can make splints etc to help your jaw joints. They use machines etc to measure your bite n if your jaw is operating correctly.
I think if i have an arthroscopy, it may help shortterm, but probably not long term if my jaw is not in the correct position and also i continue to put pressure on the joints with my clenching. Also it could make my situation worse, I know that its not great to not be able to open your mouth, but at least the pain at the moment is low.

 
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