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  • Morning Jaw Spasms after Jaw (Condyle) fractures

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    Old 10-03-2017, 05:39 AM   #1
    MyToeHurts
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    Morning Jaw Spasms after Jaw (Condyle) fractures

    Hello all ~~
    I had an unfortunate bike accident in April (endo'd over a small child who biked out in front of me suddenly) and fractured both my condyles. This messed up my bite to an extreme degree. I consulted with an oral surgeon who confirmed fractures on both condyles and wired my jaw shut for two weeks, followed by three weeks of strong elastics on the arch bars. This brought my jaw back into a good position with molars touching on both sides again.

    During the time I was wired, I noticed that on the left side (only), I would get very brief spasms of the jaw muscles from time to time, but since I was wired, my teeth could only move a very slight amount.

    Since getting unwired and taking more time to heal, I have proceeded with getting braces on my teeth, as my oral surgeon said that he had gotten me most of the way back to normalcy, but not all the way, and although far better than before, my bite was still not what it was before the accident (slightly open on the right side, also an overjet in the front).

    My jaw opening is great (oral surgeon was impressed!), I have no pain, clicking, headaches, locking of the jaw, or other symptoms of TMJD, save for one: I am still having jaw spasms, only on the left side. These occur only at a very specific time: in the early morning, when I am partly asleep or drowsily drifting off back to sleep.

    Right as I am getting really relaxed, my jaw will either snap shut suddenly, or, if my teeth were resting together, I'll get a very brief grinding of my molars on the left side caused by the jaw spasm. It is very quick but violent; not something I can even reproduce voluntarily. This will of course wake me up, and I'll have to work on getting back to sleep all over again. I have never noticed this happening when falling off to sleep at night or in the middle of the night, only towards morning when I am in a lighter sleep stage.

    I did buy an over-the-counter mouth guard that fits between my back molars only and prevents them from touching. I don't like wearing it all night long but will slip it in in the early morning when my jaw spasm almost invariably start. It definitely helps.

    I've never had any problems with my jaw or TMJ's before my accident, so this is obviously a result of that. I am hoping once my bite is corrected by braces (I've only had them on a month), the jaw spasms will be eliminated, but I have no idea if that is realistic.

    Thinking of talking to my dentist about it the next time I see her. Any other advice or insight you could offer would be appreciated! I thought about asking for muscle relaxers, but since this only happens in the early morning (say 5-7 am), anything I take before bedtime would probably be worn off by then, so I'd have to take them in the middle of the night -- not ideal!

    Emily

     
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    Old 10-03-2017, 06:27 AM   #2
    marku1999
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    Re: Morning Jaw Spasms after Jaw (Condyle) fractures

    Emily,

    That accident sounds terrible. Being a cyclist, that concerns me even more - EEK!

    I am sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time recently, but I do see a lot of cause for hope in your story - "My jaw opening is great (oral surgeon was impressed!), I have no pain, clicking, headaches, locking of the jaw, or other symptoms of TMJD, save for one"
    This is fantastic news!

    I'm not sure how best to address the spasms, but I do like the idea of a bite guard. I would recommend speaking to the dentist about having one made. This could equilibrate your bite so when you bite down at night your teeth touch evenly against the bite guard and reduce stress on your jaw - this alone may help keep other symptoms from coming on.
    The dentist would have to determine the right time to do this in your therapy....
    I will say the bite guard has helped me quite a bit!

    I wish you the best in your continued recovery!

     
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    Old 10-03-2017, 07:38 AM   #3
    MyToeHurts
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    Re: Morning Jaw Spasms after Jaw (Condyle) fractures

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marku1999 View Post
    Emily,

    That accident sounds terrible. Being a cyclist, that concerns me even more - EEK!

    I am sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time recently, but I do see a lot of cause for hope in your story - "My jaw opening is great (oral surgeon was impressed!), I have no pain, clicking, headaches, locking of the jaw, or other symptoms of TMJD, save for one"
    This is fantastic news!

    I'm not sure how best to address the spasms, but I do like the idea of a bite guard. I would recommend speaking to the dentist about having one made. This could equilibrate your bite so when you bite down at night your teeth touch evenly against the bite guard and reduce stress on your jaw - this alone may help keep other symptoms from coming on.
    The dentist would have to determine the right time to do this in your therapy....
    I will say the bite guard has helped me quite a bit!

    I wish you the best in your continued recovery!
    Thank you! Yes, it was a freak accident. I am 56 and have been a fairly serious recreational cyclist for decades. I was coming around a blind curve on a one-way, wooded street, coasting downhill fairly fast. The little girl on a push bike pulled out right in front of me, and I couldn't avoid her. It was truly awful. Thankfully, she was fine, but in addition to my jaw fracture, I fractured my left thumb. Too bad I wasn't wearing a full-face helmet!

    I appreciate your comments. I am sure I'll probably end up in a custom bite guard, but since I am in braces now, this is not the time to do that, since things are shifting around on a monthly basis, and my bite is not where it will end up. Once I am done with braces, I will have retainers similar to Invisalign trays, and those might help with the problem since I'll be sleeping in them.

    I did a little more research and am going to try magnesium at bedtime, as apparently it can help with muscle relaxation in some cases.

    Keep the rubber side down (unlike me!)

    Emily

     
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