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catscardle 02-02-2020 11:16 AM

TMJ and wisdom tooth removal
Facing a difficult decision -

I've had TMJ since I was a child, but significantly worse the past five years. It started when I was 26 and woke up one morning in a closed lock, severe pain, you know the story. I had an mri which found a disk displacement without reduction on one side, and a normal disk on the other. I went through splint therapy, and conservative treatment and maybe 6 months after the closed lock I was doing well, had very low pain levels and a normal diet. I have continued to do well ever since.

Fast forward to 2020, I am 31. I have a partially erupted lower wisdom tooth. I've seen a number of doctors who have told me to have it out, because the way it's positioned it really prone to infection. I've procrastinated, because I don't want to go through another tmj flare, or worse, another closed lock. I've read a number of stories of people who's tmj was started by a tooth extraction.

This December, my wisdom tooth got infected, it was pretty painful, and I had to take antibiotics to clear it up, but once again was told to have the tooth out.

Right now I have the surgery booked for Feb 19, with a surgeon who was recommended by my long term tmj specialist. They're going to do a full general anesthetic, because apparently this is often less traumatic on the jaw muscles, and they should have access to my full tmj medical history ... but I'm still afraid

I don't know what to do. I don't really want to take this risk, but keeping the tooth in my head seems risky too. An infected wisdom tooth can come on suddenly and be serious. I feel damned if I do, damned if I don't.

If any other tmj patients have stories of going through a big dental procedure, like a tooth extraction, and getting through it ok, it would be really appreciated

quincy 02-03-2020 10:09 AM

Re: TMJ and wisdom tooth removal
Wow, youve been through a lot of serious stuff. I don't have TMJ, but having a troublesome tooth that is easily infected is far worse on your general health, including heart..
You will most probably have to have it out eventually....why not now?

Yes, you will have discomfort possibly in the upper chest muscles (although, I have neck issues so that could have been the reason for my discomfort). I had pain meds.


catscardle 02-12-2020 04:41 AM

Re: TMJ and wisdom tooth removal
Hi quincy - thanks for the reply, I guess the reason not to have it out is that the procedure poses a risk to my joints, which could cause further pain and disability.

I'm finding it really hard to assess the risk, and also to find surgeons/dentists who can advise

quincy 02-12-2020 12:16 PM

Re: TMJ and wisdom tooth removal
I can understand your turmoil....and the possible physical high cost. Hard to speculate what future outcome would be if you dont have the surgery....infection can get into bone and cause further destruction.

If you are stable at this point, it might be worth the've talked with the surgeon?


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