Two months ago I heard a loud pop in my right jaw followed by soreness that eventually led to severe muscle spasms in my neck & shoulders and constant jaw /facial pain. To make a long story short I went to a TMJ Specialist and found out I have a displaced disc and a CT Scan indicated pronounced degeneration my right condyle (it's squared off).
Has anyone out there had anything similar? If so, have you found anything that has worked in getting the disc back in place??
My jaw has been locked for 2 months and I still can't chew, I have to severely limit my talking and socializing. The muscle spasms were getting better but then I had family in town last week and was doing a lot of smiling and laughing which set me back quite a bit. There is a delay w/ insurance so I haven't been able to get a mouth guard yet. I am seeing a specialist in PHX and just started PT. I get 1-2 massages a week for the spasms. I'm doing everything I can but still don't have the mouth guard. After researching I'm not sure if that will help anyway.
My condyles both have degeneration, but my pain has been mostly one sided. I found that treatment with a lower mandibular repositioning splint has really helped. That, in combination with my PT treatment. My PT is trained to do orofacial trigger point releases on my masseter and pterygoid muscles. Regular treatment on those areas really really helped with my constant spasming.
My TMJD isn't covered by either my medical or dental insurance. It has been a much slower treatment process for me because of that, but I've taken it one step at a time and I'm in a much better place now than I was a couple years ago.
Hi there -
I have a displaced disc on my left side. Been locked on that side since January, and was able to unlock, but my ligaments are too torn/damaged to hold the disc in place.
I have been in my lower repositioning splint for 6 weeks now and am slowly getting relief. The spasms for the most part have stopped (for now). I do have jaw pain and neck pain still, and the ear popping.
I don't think that my repositioning splint will recapture my disc, but my TMJ specialist said that many people function without a disc just fine. Some people even have pain WITH the disc and no popping at all! The biggest problem with having a displaced disc is not being able to open wide,but what I've read is that people's joints accommodate over time so maybe one day I'll be able to eat a sub sandwich.
On the upside, now that I am not eating a lot of potato chips and candy, I've lost a good bit of weight! Ok - trying to look at the bright side here.
I am paying for my treatment out of pocket since my provider is out of network. He has worked out a payment plan for me. My advice to you would be not to delay getting treatment. In my experience, things to do not get better on their own. I should have gone in for treatment YEARS ago but ignored my problem until it truly got unbearable.
Good luck to you!
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to gretel07 For This Useful Post: Jay32 (06-21-2012), judye (06-04-2012), Kate619 (06-04-2012)
I am in a similar boat, I do not know if my disc on the right side is displaced or not but I imagine in it is due to my symptoms. I had a series of spasms, the last of which was more pulled my bite out of position so that what happens now is that the teeth get pulled together on the right side and often touch in an unbalanced position.
I have pretty extreme stiffness in my neck and shoulders and actually can't move my neck from side to side. Anyway the last spasm I had was more in my face and it sort of pulls my whole face down and to the right.
I tried anything and everything I thought would help but let me start by saying I had absolutely no luck w/ TMJ "Specialist" and mouth guards only gave me excruciating pain and I felt they were messing up my bite so I didn't continue wearing them. (And they cost a fortune!)
What helped me was minimizing everything that caused pain/discomfort which meant I ate only soft foods and I did not socialize - AT ALL. I only talked to my husband minimally and did not attend church, parties and basically became a hermit and kept work to a minimum. I saw my chiropractor, tried acupuncture, got massages 2-3 times per week b/c I had sever muscle spasms in neck, shoulder, face. I stretched 1-2 hours per day and did yoga. I also take lots of vitamins and things like glucosamine and chondrotin, MSM, calcium, Omega 3, magnesium, multi-vitamin. Since I was only able to eat mashed potatoes and ice cream for a few months I'm sure I was depleted of a lot of things. Also, I had vitamin D checked and I was really low so now I take lots of vit D3. I tried to implement an anti-inflammatory diet once I was able to chew a little bit and that may have helped.
Another key to my improvement was to finally see a PT who had experience w/ TMJ and did INTERNAL WORK. My first TMJ PT was totally worthless even though she was highly recommended by the TMJ Specialist. Well, all she did was have me lay on a heating pad and do ultra sound and tens which did absolutely nothing for me. In order to find a good TMJ PT you need to call and ask questions - do they have exp treating TMJ and do they do internal work/ manipulation. My PT massages my neck/ shoulders and even inside my mouth to get to the massaters. She has me do exercises in her office and gives me exercises to do at home.
I think the acupuncture did help but for me it was extremely painful (which I don't think is normal). I'm not sure my gal knew what she was doing but again, I still think it helped.
I now have opening to where I can place 3 fingers in my mouth and my deviation is so much better - when I used to open my mouth it opened severely to the right. I can eat most foods w/ out pain now and can talk w/ out pain as well. I am so much better and really think w/ time (total rest) and more natural methods are what worked in the end for me. Also, prayer. I had a lot of family and friends praying and I'm confident that was huge for me.
Be careful w/ mouth guards - they can really mess up your bite. (This happened to my sister-in-law and she had to go through 2 yrs of orthodontics to fix what the mouth guard did.) At one point I thought my bite was off but it may have been the muscle spasms and disc that threw it off for a short time but there is nothing wrong w/ my bite at all now.
I wanted to share this w/ you hoping it will help. After 5 months of dealing w/ this I'm finding significant improvement to where I'm starting to live a normal life.
I second you on the PT with internal work. I've posted about it a lot. I post it as orofacial trigger point releases. The work on my pterygoid and masseters made all the difference in the world over time. That combined with the neck, shoulder and alignment work she did was a godsend.
My PT left the practice and I'm on the hunt for someone who can do that kind of work. It is hard to find someone, but I know it will be worth it when I do have a good PT again.
I'm so happy you found someone who is truly helping you. Keep us posted on how you progress.