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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:21 PM   #1
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TMJ = Sunken Cheeks

I am new to TMJ issues caused by dental malallignment. I am at week 8. During week 3 1/2- 4 I developed sunken/sullen cheeks and temples. I started a more active exercise of the TMJ muscles during the 4th week. I don't look as sickly as I did, but still have sunken cheeks. I only lost a few pounds during the "soft food" phase and have gained SEVERAL pounds in the last 4 weeks (everywhere except my face). I am in my mid 40s. I am scared that I will not gain back the soft tissue and collagen that has been lost due to this TMJ nightmare. I have always looked extremely young. Now, I look older than my age with sagging skin due to the tissue loss. Has anyone out there experienced this AND had their sunken cheeks disappear and regained the cheek tissue at an older age? If so, did you acheive this without a mouthguard? My TMJ issues have almost disappeared. I am 90% better than when I started and haven't found the need for a mouthguard. I would love to hear any success stories!
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

How did you get TMD? Did you clench and therefore needed a nightguard or was it caused by something else (then why the nightguard) ?

 
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

I have never had TMJ problems before a new dentist did an occusal adjustment (sanding down) on 2 teeth fillings and a crown all on one side of my mouth. They were 8 year old fillings and didn't need adjustment. I had a leaking (fine fissure line) in one filling giving me occasional pain that just needed to be replaced. The second filling the new dentist adjusted because she thought that I was experiencing nerve confusion and that the pain may be actually in the tooth next the tooth that had a leaking filling. She thought I might be having the pain from the high fillings because she couldn't see any problems in the teeth via an xray. The crown was originally high causing the 7 year old crown to create fissure lines all around the tooth and could potentially break off. With the other two teeth sanded down, now the crown sat even higher. She adjusted the crown down to the point that when I bite it is similar to a missing tooth (the teeth dont touch at all). From all this, I began to have most severe TMJ symptoms- I had them all. I finally saw a prosthodontist who suggested a nightguard but I may not need it since I was healing naturally by the time I saw him. The original dentist thought my issues may be from clencing, but the prosthodontist says that it is from a severe alignment issue. His suggestion of the nightguard was to help relax my teeth and jaw at night. I was having spasms. It was explained to me that there is a type of orthotic device (night guard mouth piece) that has expanders to expand the muscle of the jaw/cheeks to help some of the sunken look. My sunken look is right under the cheek bone closer to my ear. I am now at week 11. My TMJ pain is very little and I only have tightness. My doctor, prosthodontist and myself are hoping I am almost healed from the damage that was caused to my TMJ. After I experience no pain, I can then have my teeth finally fixed the right way. I have no need for a night guard at this point, but I do still have the sunken cheeks. Because of my age the tissue may not grow back. I am hoping though that I can some how naturally gain it back. I am also hoping along with my medical professionals that this is just a TMJ issue that just needs time to heal instead of it turning into chronic TMD.
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Last edited by NikkiSp; 04-20-2013 at 11:46 AM.

 
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:25 AM   #4
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

I have tmj issues since 2010. My temples have hallowed from muscle atrophy. I don't have sunken cheeks (yet at least) but my dentist has said I that my massiter has no muscle tone. I think the sunkeness is probably from muscle atrophy. My dentist said that you can build back up your muscle up (its still there hasn't gone away) but how easy this is or how long it will take, I don't know. Best to ask your dentist. Take care and good luck.

 
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

I also have hallowed temples. They have come back a little but still have an indentation. The joints originally were swollen. Then when taking anti inflammatories and eating soft foods, my muscles atrophied also. I am not worried about my temples as much because I know it is mostly muscle and I just hide it with my hair My cheek however looks like someone took their thumb and made an indent and the skin didn't bounce back. They have a purplish hew in the indent due to the loss of soft tissue. It is right where the cheek muscle ends and the jaw bones and joints begin. To tell if it is the muscle or tissue or both, I have to have a radiograph and a model done. It is expensive and I would rather spend that money on my teeth getting fixed. Sadly enough, 4 weeks is pretty early to have sunken cheeks and temples. I don't know if that is good news or bad news for me. Either it will come back quickly or it will never come back. Thanks for the encouragement. I really need that right now. Canuck65 good luck to you also!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:55 AM   #6
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiSp View Post
I also have hallowed temples. They have come back a little but still have an indentation. The joints originally were swollen. Then when taking anti inflammatories and eating soft foods, my muscles atrophied also. I am not worried about my temples as much because I know it is mostly muscle and I just hide it with my hair My cheek however looks like someone took their thumb and made an indent and the skin didn't bounce back. They have a purplish hew in the indent due to the loss of soft tissue. It is right where the cheek muscle ends and the jaw bones and joints begin. To tell if it is the muscle or tissue or both, I have to have a radiograph and a model done. It is expensive and I would rather spend that money on my teeth getting fixed. Sadly enough, 4 weeks is pretty early to have sunken cheeks and temples. I don't know if that is good news or bad news for me. Either it will come back quickly or it will never come back. Thanks for the encouragement. I really need that right now. Canuck65 good luck to you also!
I usually hide my sunken temples with bangs too. _ I know its discouraging. But I think you are wise to get your teeth fixed first and then see what you can do about the sunken cheek. Who know - maybe getting your teeth fixed will help with sunkeness? Take care.

 
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #7
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

I have the sunken cheeks/temples too. I think it's due to muscle tightness. When I tilt my chin up and look in the mirror I can see my masseters protruding right up to my cheekbone. It gives my face a very "carved in" look. You say you still have tightness..you may have the enlarged muscles as well.

 
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: TMJ= Sunken Cheeks

Mine are the same way- I noticed it today... my TMJ issues came back a few days ago and it feels like something is sucking away the muscle inside on my left side and into the ear. It feels like it could be permanently locked maybe? Since I can't open wider than 1 finger tip. Last week I could, I got better and healed and thought YAY! Started wearing the custom night guard as my dentist told me I clenched years ago when my new filling was cracked. Now I am thinking "do i clench?" maybe the mouth guard has made me clench. I dunno. I need muscle relaxers though and they aren't easy to get. I know my dentist won't prescribe them to me. I have a few left over from when I hurt my back. So I will probably take one tonight. I just don't know if I should continue wearing this acrylic guard. Some say to tough it out and maybe the pain is back because it is fixing me, but it feels like I'm getting worse. My dentist told me to see an oral surgeon but my family is saying not to, as they think this will heal on it's own and the guard will be good at night, even though I used to wear a soft guard and now I'm wearing a hard guard. I'm just so frustrated and don't know which path to take with this...MONEY of course being the main issue. I have other health problems that have cost me quite a bit over the past few months as well.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: TMJ = Sunken Cheeks

I have developed TMJ since January. It started with what I thought was an ear problem, but ended up in my jaw. It actually locked and I ended up at the oral surgeon to get steroid shots in my tmj's. It helped some, but then the mouthguard I was wearing from my previous dentist ended up putting too much pressure on my temples. I ended up with sunken temples and cheeks the day before easter. I just woke up and my face had completely changed. I was very upset and didn't know where to turn. I am seeing a neuromuscular dentist now and wearing a new orthotic all the time. But during the time I was waiting for it to arrive the new dentist started TENS treatments and I wasn't wearing anything at night. The sunkeness actually got some better on my left side, but slowly my jaw started aching again. NOw with this new orthotic my jaw has subsided but my temples are aching again and more sunk in now. I am seeing him every week and I hope they know what they are doing. They say they specialize in tmj and are the only ones around who do, and they do have the equipment for it where as before I was seeing an orthodontist who wanted to just do invisalign and seemed not to care about my jaw issues. I pray that I am in the right place for treatment and I pray that my face will eventually heal once they put my jaw back in the right place. I think my muscles are just so tight and pulling. I hope it's not atrophy, but I think they are just pulling and pushing too much. They actually tested my muscles on this machine with electrodes and said that they were firing too much. I don't know. I know the frustration. I read my Bible alot and pray that I am in the right place. I guess when and if the pain is gone and they fix my bite and if I am still sunk in I'll look to cosmetic procedures to fill in the sunk areas, but the dentist told me that once the muscles are working properly again it should fix itself. I know that I clench worse on a nightguard than I do without it, but the problem wasn't going away without one it just got some better as far as the sunken problem, but then my jaw just started getting worse. So maybe once they put my jaw back in proper alignment I won't need a mouthguard. I don't know THis is my first week with the new one so I;'m going back wednesday for another tens treatment and to recheck the mouthguard. I will let them know the issues with my temples hurting worse then. At least they are checking me every week instead of the other dentists. LEt me know how you are doing. I know it's frustrating. I am 30 and feel like I'm 70. It's awful. and I have a 3 yr old to keep up with, but the worst is the self conscious feeling that everyone is staring at my face. I have a thin face anyway, but now i look like a walking skeleton. I have never had problems with my looks until now. My child is 3 and I can't even be in any pictures with her. It's awful. I'm just grateful we had family portraits done earlier this christmas and easter ones done earlier as well before I got this problem. I hope I'm better by november. We are planning and trip with my parents to disney and I don't want to look horrible then.

 
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