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    Old 12-09-2004, 05:40 PM   #1
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Posts: 56
    kikaida01 HB User
    TMJ and OCD

    Hi Everyone,

    I have OCD--Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and I have been obsessed with the tmj. Ever since I started having the tmj symptoms 9 months ago, I have been having a hard time dealing with it. My pain level is very minimal...from on a scale from 1-10 its about a 2 to 3. I am the one who is creating my own pain by compulsively grinding my teeth and clenching during the day and opening my jaw. My dentist told me I need to get grinding habit under control and also the opening of the jaw. What triggered the grinding of the teeth is when I had an occlusal bite adjustment and I have been feeling every detail of my bite by rubbing my teeth together. The tmj dentist who did the occlusal adjustment told me that my bite is normal and I had my own dentist check my bite as a second opinion and he said that I should leave my teeth as is. I also have tried wearing mouth splints at night but I tend to clench on it which tightens my jaw muscles making my jaw muscles freeze up. I seem to function better without the splint. Has anyone had any problems wearing a splint? Also does anyone have any suggestions on how I can quit the habit of grinding my teeth? Remember I do have OCD which makes it hard for me but I do know if I don't stop my habit my jaw muscles will never get a chance to heal.

    Last edited by kikaida01; 12-09-2004 at 05:42 PM.

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    Old 12-10-2004, 07:06 AM   #2
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Newburgh, Indiana USA
    Posts: 588
    westin4 HB User
    Re: TMJ and OCD

    I can totally sympathize with you in creating your own symptoms. I have anxiety/panic disorder and tmj. When my pain gets bad from the tmj is makes my anxiety out of control and when my anxiety is out of control it causes me to clench and grind which in turn makes my tmj SO much worse. It is a vicious cycle. I am in counseling for anxiety not only to treat it, but to also help learn how to keep my tmj from becoming overly flarred due to stress. I take anti-anxiety meds for the panic disorder and they help with both, the anxiety and in turn that helps the tmj. You cannot escape tmj symptoms if you clench and grind and wear out your muscles.

    Are you getting any help for your OCD? Any kind of meds? Also, I have had splints that made me clench and grind worse, but it was the fact that the splint wasn't adjusted correctly. Now that I have a splint to sleep in only it has stopped my clenching all together.

    Use what heidi recommended.......lips together, teeth apart, tongue against the roof of your mouth. I have "made" myself do this position as my natural way of holding my teeth instead of my teeth always clenched together.

    Hope you get some relief.


    Old 12-11-2004, 11:54 AM   #3
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: May 2004
    Posts: 1,155
    seriousperson HB Userseriousperson HB User
    Re: TMJ and OCD

    Ditto on the tongue resting the top of the mouth. It's the only thing helping me right now.
    But, um, is it okay if I push my tongue hard on the roof of my mouth?

    Before I was on OCD meds, I only clenched in my sleep, which caused my jaw to click a lot.
    But now, taking the meds (and I've tried different ones) it's a real problem (I have pain and can barely open my mouth). I also 'jiggle' my foot or leg a lot.

    BTW, I had braces many years ago when they used an appartus attached to my upper back molars to pull all my top teeth back so they would align more nicely. The result is my naturally straight bottom teeth are crooked, and, in order to bite, my jaw must go back further than it would have without the braces.

    Old 12-11-2004, 02:17 PM   #4
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Newburgh, Indiana USA
    Posts: 588
    westin4 HB User
    Re: TMJ and OCD

    I wouldn't press hard on the roof of your mouth.....only lightly. Any type of hard pushing will only serve to exert your muscles in that position.

    I have read that many people with braces end up with tmj.


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