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Old 11-04-2010, 09:34 PM   #1
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Angry TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

My TMJ problems became very serious last year. My opening was less than 20mm for an entire year and my doctor told me both joints are now arthritic. Over the last year, my face has changed dramatically. It went from round and full to angular and hollow. Suddenly I have cheekbones that came out of nowhere and my face looks sunken both in the temples and the cheeks.

My friends and family started asking if I had lost weight or had cosmetic surgery. Some just remarked that my face looked more "mature" (aka aged). In fact, I do look several years older than I did last year.

I also have a slight asymmetry and deviation to the left upon opening. But I am far more concerned about the skeletal cheekbones and hollow cheeks. It hard to look in the mirror these days. I want my face back!

Anybody else experience facial changes like this? What could cause this and will my face ever return to normal? Please share your experiences

 
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

I'm still fairly new to the TMJ thing, but my specialist showed me how much my face had shifted when he did my initial exams. I'm very asymmetrical. He is taking multiple pictures at each of my follow-up visits as well. I'm hoping that in the end, I'll be able to see a difference. It is hard to see the small changes as they happen.

He recommended an ALF (Alternative Lightwire Functional) appliance in addition to my splint therapy. The ALF appliance is a wire that is placed against the upper palet and applies gentle pressure to help shift the cranial bones back into place. I'm hoping to begin this phase of treatment fairly soon. It can be done in conjunction with phase I and phase II. It might be worth looking into.

I'm also hoping that through treatment, my muscles will eventually "loosen" up and that part of my deformation caused by the constant tight/spasming muscles improves.

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

my face has become very asymmetric over the years due to tmj. My chin point is way off to the right. I'm not sure what you do about it though!!

 
Old 11-05-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

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Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
He recommended an ALF (Alternative Lightwire Functional) appliance in addition to my splint therapy. The ALF appliance is a wire that is placed against the upper palet and applies gentle pressure to help shift the cranial bones back into place. I'm hoping to begin this phase of treatment fairly soon. It can be done in conjunction with phase I and phase II. It might be worth looking into.
Thanks MountainReader. This sounds like something I should look into. Can an ALF be worn at the same time as a splint? You mention shifting the cranial bones back into place. Other than the mandible, do you know if TMJ can actually cause other cranial bones to shift, like the cheekbones? I didn't think that was possible. But I suppose it would make sense in my case. I always wondered if it was masseter and temporal muscle atrophy due to lock jaw which caused my cheekbones to pop out.

Navymid: my chin is off too. For me, it was caused by bone resorption in the left tmj. My mandible has actually shortened on that side. My specialist said that I could have orthognathic surgery in the future to lenghten it. I wish there was a less frightening and less expensive fix!

Last edited by moderator2; 11-05-2010 at 11:11 AM. Reason: fix quote tags

 
Old 11-05-2010, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

Hey there....I have the same thing going on with my face...the narrowness, sunken cheeks...high cheekbones protruding outward....I was told that once the expansion phase of my tmj treatment was over, I would see a dramatic change in the facial appearance. This can be achieved with Functional Jaw Appliances.....NOT surgery. IMO, that is way too invasive. Usually the tmj specialist that are neuromuscular...and Functional Jaw Orthodontists understand this concept. My daughter is going through this phase as we speak as well.....and getting remarkable results.

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

According to my tmj specialist, the ALF can be worn easily in conjunction with phase I and II treatments.

He explained to me that the cranial bones are not "fixed" completely and that the appliance exerts a gentle pressure to help realign bones that have shifted out of alignment due to the TMJ.

I will say that while I have a lot of problems, mine aren't as severe as Jill's. So far, using an expander isn't part of my treatment plan, but the ALF does do a bit of that.

 
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

HI there....Yes, I do have pretty severe tmj problems..but with treatment, they have gotten much better, thanks for that. Anyway, you may want to also seek out a good craniosacral therapist to address possible cranial misalignments as well when the time is right. That has helped with addressing dizziness, brain fog, and of course, cranial misalignments. Also, on a positive note, when I started neuromuscular treatment, my masseters on the EMG testing were not even firing at all...meaning, they were in so much spasm that there was no proper function of them really at all. I believe that the constant pulling and spasms of my muscles contributed to the sunken look that I was getting, and the protruding cheekbones. The facial issues can all be addressed easier in phase 2 treatment, after the muscles have better function, and calm down a bit. BTW--expansion in phase 2 is very very common. Even the most slight of tmd cases sometimes need it to correct overcrowding and palatial narrowness.

Last edited by Jill 227; 11-06-2010 at 07:45 AM.

 
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloomfield View Post
My TMJ problems became very serious last year. My opening was less than 20mm for an entire year and my doctor told me both joints are now arthritic. Over the last year, my face has changed dramatically. It went from round and full to angular and hollow. Suddenly I have cheekbones that came out of nowhere and my face looks sunken both in the temples and the cheeks.

My friends and family started asking if I had lost weight or had cosmetic surgery. Some just remarked that my face looked more "mature" (aka aged). In fact, I do look several years older than I did last year.

I also have a slight asymmetry and deviation to the left upon opening. But I am far more concerned about the skeletal cheekbones and hollow cheeks. It hard to look in the mirror these days. I want my face back!

Anybody else experience facial changes like this? What could cause this and will my face ever return to normal? Please share your experiences

LOL I am so sorry to laugh but when you say (aka aged) i cracked up i understand what you are going through though i am so depressed because my face has changed too. i have a unique face to begin with and i had low self-esteem most of my life like hwen i was a teenager and my early 20's although in my 20's i started to get prettier. then when i turned 26, 27 i really got really attractive and i felt amazing because i was also starting to not care what people think either way because i was getting more mature so my life was going GREAT. then i started the damn teeth grinding and its getting worse. i dont' know if i have tmj or not but i noticed that my face now is looking so tired and old and i am in pain and tired every day so the beauty that i had in my face is not as much there anymore. i am so depressed about this. i have dark circles under my eyes - do you have that too? and my face looks like its shaped wierd. and my nose looks like its caving in its just horrible. i thought all this was because of my hip hurting or a bad mattress - i don't know if that is possible or not. i'm seeing a specialist february 10th i will let you all know how it goes.

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: TMJ is DEFORMING my face!

hello i totally understand you because i felt the same horrible thing with my tmj. i have had a beauty face and after the problem all change for worse...I I think that i have solutions to this problema, because I used to research a LOT of all this problem. I researched more than the dentists to have my nice looking once more time as before, and to achieve my pain and teeth problems, so i guess may be i could help you a little with with this.
So, if you want, keep in touch later.
good luck.

Last edited by moderator2; 09-23-2011 at 05:46 AM.

 
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