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Old 06-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #1
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New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

So I finally got everything situated to where I can go to my PCM (primary care manager) to get a referral to actually see a TMJ specialist. I do have an appointment on the 20th of June to see my PCM and then of course I will have to wait again to see the specialist.

I have been dealing with issues for almost 2 years, that up until now, no one could tell me what was going on. When we moved here, the first thing I did was go to a new dentist, and he gave me a referral for the specialist but come to find out I need it from my doctor and not the dentist.

For the past two years I have been dealing with just a pressure tingling feeling on my top front teeth (canine to canine) and there are times where individual teeth will hurt. Here within the last few months my pains have increased.
I now get shooting pains going up to the back of my head and shooting down my neck, my jaws are starting to hurt, pains going along my chin and down my throat, there is one spot of my throat that feels swollen every so often, there are times where my check bones feel like they are burning, my ears are starting to hurt, not sure if this has anything to do with it but my arms will hurt on and off throughout the day and my shoulders and back will hurt as well.
I do wear a night guard at night because apparently I grind my teeth. This was custom made for me, but nothing was said about TMJ and when I brought it up to the dentist that made it, he said that he doesn't think that is the cause of all my problems.
I know sinus can cause some of the sensitivity in my teeth along with some of the pain, but I have been to an ENT and he said that my sinus were fine. My new dentist said that my teeth were healthy, no infections anywhere.
The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is brush my teeth and then take my vitamins along with a Motrin 600 and a claritin. Then a couple hours later I will take a day quil just in case it is sinus. Even though none of this helps the situation, I still take it just in case one day it will.

Again I don't even have my appointment with my PCM until the 20th let alone an appointment with the actual specialist. What can I do to ease some of the pain. I just want it all to go away, but I don't think that is going to happen. I do have a dentist appointment on the 13th of June.. Is there anything that he can prescribe until I can see the specialist or at the very least my doctor. I know the last time he said to use Aleve instead of Motrin, and I did that but it didn't help either.

I have a 16 month old daughter and a husband that I try to put on a brave face for, but honestly it is hard to do sometimes.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

 
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:11 AM   #2
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

armywife2007
your facial/neck and back muscles are clearly out of alignment, and that is causing the pain and pressure. I was exactly in the same boat before I got my splint. Therefore, from what you have described, I think your teeth as such are fine so I wouldn't worry about that.
In my unprofessional opinion, I think this is what you need to do:
1. Get the doc's appt ASAP (looks like you have done that).
2. Have the CT or MRI done on your joints to see if there is any problem with the joint itself or if it's mostly muscular;
3. If the muscular cause is ruled out, get into the splint ASAP. There are many types of splints, my doctor used the most simple flat plane hard mandibular splint and it's working. Some doctors prefer to start the repositioning splints right away. It is really up to you and the physician.
Remember: the goal is to separate the teeth to let your muscles relax.
3. See if it provides relief. My was evident the same day, as my tight as a rock muscles on the right side of the jaw relaxed. It's been about 3 weeks and I am NOT symptom free, but am doing MUCH better.
4. Hopefully you feel better; if no improvement is seen withon a month, you should discuss this with your doc.
5. In the menatime, you can ask for flexeril (muscle relaxer) and some painkillers (vicodin?). None of them quite helped my jaw pain, but vicodin kind of took the endge out.

I feel for you and wish you the best of luck with your therapy. I also have a 22-months daughter and a husband and I work full time (I am the only one working in the family), so I know how you feel. Please be strong and keep us updated!

 
Old 06-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Well the doctor's appointment is just to get the referral to see the specialist. Then once I get the referral I can call and make an appointment with the TMJ specialist. So who knows how long that is going to take to get into them.

I have been having random pains and honestly I don't know if it is all connect or just random. My right upper arm randomly has a pain shooting through it. Along with my ribs and shoulder plate.

I know there isn't any over night cure for this if this is what it is, but I just want to feel normal again. Normal, I mean waking up in the morning and my mouth isn't the first thing I think about. Or being able to play with my daughter without clenching with pain. Or actually be able to kiss my husband without feeling like everything is falling apart.

 
Old 06-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armywife2007 View Post
I have been having random pains and honestly I don't know if it is all connect or just random. My right upper arm randomly has a pain shooting through it. Along with my ribs and shoulder plate.
Let me tell you, I have had jaw, teeth, neck, shoulder (and especially shoulder blade), spine, low back and ribcage pains. I know it was all connected to my bad messed up bite and the muscles going crazy because of that. In my case, they were not at all random, by the way. I was biting harder on the right side of my mouth and that uneven torque force has caused my skeleton to turn a few degrees to the rigth due to muscles going into permanent spasms.
Just try to watch for the pattern, would you get teeth pains first, followed by the shoulder and ribs pain?
Was your suspected TMJ caused by something specific? If so, recollect if you had bodily pains like that before. If you did not, I bet you anything this is all connected. The integrity of our body is truly AMAZING, too bad I learned the hard way. The good news is that this is muscular and thus should be potentially resolvable...

 
Old 06-10-2011, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Honestly I don't think there was anything in specific that caused all this. All I know is that I started feeling the tingling pressure in my front teeth when I was pregnant with my daughter. And it has progressively gotten worse over the last two years. The pains in my neck, shoulders, back, and ribs just started about 4-5 months ago. But yes, the pain starts in my teeth, mouth, jaw area then descends downward as the day progresses.

 
Old 06-10-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Hmmm... What you describe very much remains me of my own case; however, mine started after bad dental work and progressed really fast, so I was able to track it all down. Have you had braces or teeth extractions earlier in your life?
The pressure in the front teeth is probably because the jaw muscles are distorted and cause slight teeth movement to the front (haven't you noticed any changes to your bite?). As the teeth move even very little, this in turn disturbs the equlibrium in the facial and ear muscles, that by chain reaction further disturbs neck, shoulder, back and finally rib muscles. As the circle finishes, the new one begins. Mine used to repeat every 3-4 days. Do you by chance also have the following: eye pain or pressure, bloody shot eyes, and nausea/dizziness? Any changes/assymetry to the midline of your top front teeth?
My advice would be to get a TMJ splint made to let the muscles relax. I would start with the simple flat plane splint on your lower teeth. I don't think that the night guard is the cause, but you can replace it with the TMJ splint as well. I hope it helps, as I've been in the same boat just recently and I know how bad it feels. And please, keep us updated!

 
Old 06-10-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

I have just read in your other posts that you have had 8 teeth removed and braces. I have read that braces with teeth removal often cause TMJ later in life. I cannot post any specific information here about the websites, but you can look it up online by keywords like TMJ, braces, teeth removed.
I have also read that one of your teeth shifted during pregnancy. This would indicate to me that, as I said, something is going on with your bite and jaw muscles. Please do not have braces until you have the TMJ issue resolved. And if you can, consult a functional orthodontics as well; they are usually skilled in tracking down the cause of TMJ and correcting not only position of the teeth, but also ensuring that teeth, muscles, jaws and the rest of the body work together, and not against each other. Again, good luck!

 
Old 06-11-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

I have had braces when I was 14 and got them removed when I was 17. As for my bite, there are days where it is impossible for me to find the correct bite and then other days it is right there. I have noticed that my left front top tooth has moved a little. Instead of being inline with the other tooth and straight, it is now pushed out a little and kind of over lapping the other front tooth. And again like everything else, I didn't notice that shifting until I was pregnant. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing it had moved a little bit and then a week later a little bit more. Thankfully the night guard that I do have was made with impressions of my teeth. So at least I don't have the feeling that that one tooth is moving more. I am now just so self conscious about it. I feel like I don't smile as much as I use to but wait that is also because the more I talk, smile, laugh, ect. it starts to hurt more. There have been times where I am nauseated, and I have noticed that I have a lot more ringing in my ear. I am thankful that my dentist here in Louisiana gave me a referral and he said that all he needed to hear was that I grind my teeth (which I didn't know I did until after I gave birth). So now I just have to wait to get a referral from my doctor as well and I will go from there. I just don't know why it has taken this long for someone to give me a referral for it. I even mentioned it to my old dentist and my second opinion dentist and they both said that they didn't think that was the issue. I am just happy that hopefully I am on the right tract to getting this fixed. I want to be able to actual enjoy my daughter and not feel guilty because I am always in pain.

 
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:58 AM   #9
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Yeah, I have the same thing going on with my front teeth, my right tooth moved and kind of overlaps with the left, and the right one also sticks more. This whole thing had my midline shifted to the left, and I will have to get damon braces to expand my arches (yes, they did get V-shaped while they used to be U-shaped) and bring the midline back to the center.
At this point it is a skeletal problem more than anything else; so unless the underline cause is corrected, the teeth will continue to shift, the pains will go on, and you might start seeing additional unpleasant changes to your face (like growing assymetry, one eye higher than the other etc).
I do not understand why you have to wait so long, I did not have any referrals - I just went straight in. But at this point, I think it is worth waiting IF only you get to see a good specialist.
How do you know you grind your teeth? I was also told that but this is not true, and even if I am - it has nothing to do with what I am going through. From my experience, this is how far the majority of dentists will go in their treatment of TMJ. Do not waste your time with them, go see a TMJ specialist or a functional orthodontists who also specializes in TMJ. Let them know what all your concerns are. Good luck!

 
Old 06-11-2011, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

I just found out I have TMJ and that my jaw is bad. The left side is so bad that the joint is almost gone. So I am undertaking TMJ therapy and also acupunture. I have arthritis in the jaw.

The thing is I never knew this until the dental specialist told me to take MRI. Now we know what is going on. It took me forever to know this. I didn't have any idea at all until this past May!!

It is important for me to know this. But it takes the right guy to tell you what you need.
Perhaps I should have complained more about my jaw pain to my own dentist 10 years ago... Anyway, now I know. Also, I was born with the bad jaw, so I am different.
My mouth is too small for a splint. But I am still trying to see if the doctor can make it larger so I can use one. I had one 12 years ago but it was not working anymore.

Here is also another thing: the specialist told me about surgery - about how it would happen and how it would not work or how I would not be able to have it and so on. Scary. It took me 2 therapists to comfort me that I may not need surgery.

Don't get scared by the doctors! Get a jaw specialist...
The steps I went through are: regular dentist, specialist in dentist, MRI (ordered by GP for insurance), TMJ therapy, jaw surgeon and etc.
Somewhere there, they should tell you why you have the problem.

Good luck,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 06-11-2011 at 02:15 PM.

 
Old 06-11-2011, 09:29 PM   #11
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninamarc View Post
Don't get scared by the doctors! Get a jaw specialist...
The steps I went through are: regular dentist, specialist in dentist, MRI (ordered by GP for insurance), TMJ therapy, jaw surgeon and etc.
Somewhere there, they should tell you why you have the problem.
I am waiting to see a specialist. But it is a process with my insurance. I have to get a referral from my PMC (Primary care manager) before I can go any further with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TMJ82 View Post
How do you know you grind your teeth? I was also told that but this is not true, and even if I am - it has nothing to do with what I am going through.
After I gave birth to my daughter I traveled 4 1/2 hours to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Army Dental Clinic near Dayton Ohio. There with my first visit with the dentist, she told me that I grinded my teeth. I told her that I didn't know, and she said "I am not asking if you do, I am telling you that you do" She said that she could tell by the wear on my teeth. And when she told me that, I went out and bought some of the OTC night guards. And come to find out I do grind. The night guard that she recommended for me was suppose to last me about 6 months and withing one week, it was split in half. Well at least the part that is suppose to protect my molars.

 
Old 06-12-2011, 06:21 AM   #12
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

armywife2007
if you do in fact grind your teeth that intensely, that might have triggered the TMJD. Especially if you grind/chew more on one side (many people do), that leads to uneven teeth length forcing your mandible to compensate by overclosing on the shorter side and thus, uneven bite. This all causes pathological muscle reaction that leads to teeth movements and pains allover the body.
I think you did good by using the nightguard; however, your bite is already uneven and the nightguard alone would not be able to stop it (although it certainly slowed things down). I think you might greatly benefit from using the TMJ bite splint.

 
Old 06-12-2011, 10:59 AM   #13
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by armywife2007 View Post
After I gave birth to my daughter I traveled 4 1/2 hours to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Army Dental Clinic near Dayton Ohio. There with my first visit with the dentist, she told me that I grinded my teeth. I told her that I didn't know, and she said "I am not asking if you do, I am telling you that you do" She said that she could tell by the wear on my teeth. And when she told me that, I went out and bought some of the OTC night guards. And come to find out I do grind. The night guard that she recommended for me was suppose to last me about 6 months and withing one week, it was split in half. Well at least the part that is suppose to protect my molars.
My dentist told me I grind too 12 years ago and thus my first splint. But now looking back, it is due to my bad jaw, and grinding may or may not happen. It is more about chewing under stress actually.

Nina

 
Old 06-12-2011, 11:16 PM   #14
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMJ82 View Post
armywife2007
if you do in fact grind your teeth that intensely, that might have triggered the TMJD. Especially if you grind/chew more on one side (many people do), that leads to uneven teeth length forcing your mandible to compensate by overclosing on the shorter side and thus, uneven bite. This all causes pathological muscle reaction that leads to teeth movements and pains allover the body.
I think you did good by using the nightguard; however, your bite is already uneven and the nightguard alone would not be able to stop it (although it certainly slowed things down). I think you might greatly benefit from using the TMJ bite splint.
I was kinda baffled when I was told that I grinded my teeth, especially considering my normal dentist (whom I saw just a week before) didn't say anything and I have been going to him for over a year now. And this new dentist told me in the first five minutes of looking in my mouth. I know it can't be because they wanted my money for making the mouth guard, because this was at an Army Dental Clinic, so it was free for me.

But yes, I know that the mouth guard isn't going to cure anything. All it is really doing is preventing any additional damage to be done to my teeth because of the grinding. And honestly I wear it as much as possible, because I don't feel some of the teeth pain when I am wearing it. And even if I am just taking a 15 minute nap, it is in my mouth. I don't go anywhere without it.

 
Old 06-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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Re: New to all this/ still waiting to see a specialist.

I think it is a very good decision from your side. Wearing it as much as possible will minimize your teeth shifting while you are waiting to see the TMJ dentist.
As our cases seem somewhat similar, I'd thought I share something with you. I have a lower TMJ splint (so my upper teeth are free), and although the front teeth movement was gone for 3 weeks while in the splint, it is now back, togehter with the bodily pains.
Because my front (and other) teeth have shifted a lot, I will be getting braces on my upper arch, combined with the lower TMJ splint. I will be making my deformed upper arch back to its original U-shape (push the shifted teeth back) as well as shifting the midline back to the center. When this is done, they will make another very small splint for my lower teeth and brace the lowers. When the arches are proper shape, they will let the molars to erupt to maintain proper vertical dimension and avoid overclosure of the jaw (so all that this does not happen again). They have assured me that when the treatment is complete, the teeth will stay in the proper shape and will not move. I will have to wear a retainer for some nights, though.
I hope this is helpful to you. Please let us know how your treatment goes!

 
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