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    Old 12-01-2007, 10:00 AM   #1
    Mich5
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    My face looks pathetic

    I can't believe how "odd" my face looks. Good Lord, looking in the mirror I want to cry. Just to give a description, I've been told by many that I'm attractive... well that was before this TMJ hit me because I feel like I've lost my looks and it's so depressing.

    My face looks like my chin is somewhat twisted to the left and my jaws on both sides look super long. What on earth causes this? My face looks totally different! I also look like I've aged 10 years!

    Of course my internist notices nothing and I'm like, "I notice it, my family notices it, my significant other notices (though they said I still look fine but at least they're honest with me that what I'm seeing IS real!) it because we all know what I looked like BEFORE TMJ hit like the destructive tornado that it is!"

    I can't wait to get to my first neurodentist appointment but if anyone has any insight on why your face can have a distorted appearance, that would be great. I sincerely hate this. :-(

    PS: I have been told by the dentist that my teeth have shifted, is this contributing to why this is happening? And why I slur my words sometimes, mainly the sounds "Sh" causing a slight whistle sound to take place?

    Last edited by Mich5; 12-01-2007 at 10:24 AM.

     
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    Old 12-01-2007, 10:40 AM   #2
    pipdog
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    Sorry to hear about your distress.
    Two points to make:

    If your cheeks look bigger it could mean that the masseter muscle is oveworked. I had really puffed out hamster cheeks before I started wearing the splint, then very quickly I went back to the way I used to be.

    If your jaw is off to one side it sounds as if your bite is way off and needs correction to realign the jaw mechanism. A well designed and adjusted splint can do this but remember treatment is more like a marathon than a sprint unfortunately.

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 11:30 AM   #3
    Mich5
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    Thanks for the response.

    I actually, in addition to appearing like my chin is twisted to the left side, my right side of my face appears like it's sagging a bit, like the muscles are almost "thinner" as they're being twisted and pulled, if that makes sense. I have no idea why this is taking place, though. Is it muscle spasms? Is it my jaw being out of line? Of course my internist said that she didn't notice anything significantly wrong with my jaw when she felt it. The dentist said for sure my teeth have shifted though, my teeth are flattened and worn down as a result of grinding, and he could instantly tell that the minute I opened up my mouth for him. He's the one who said I need to see a neurodentist for TMJ.

    I don't even know what it means when the dentist said my teeth have shifted. Does that mean my teeth no longer line up properly in the resting position? I'm so thoroughly confused on all of this, all I know is I look and feel horrible, 24/7.

    [Please do not use cuss/slang words. Thanks - Well-come Moderator.]

    Last edited by Well-come; 12-01-2007 at 04:43 PM.

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 01:06 PM   #4
    Mich5
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    I was just searching for some explanations as to what can cause my facial appearance as well as even my speech problems and two things I read are interesting:

    Quote:
    Bruxing can, over the years, set up a viscous circle involving changes in the the shape and position of the teeth, which in turn cause changes in the muscles of the muscles of mastication. People who chew or grind their teeth much more on one side than the other will tend to take on an asymmetrical facial appearance. The muscles on the side of the face in which the hyperactivity takes place tend to become larger and more bulky, while the muscles on the underutilized side tend to become atrophied.

    As the muscles change in strength and length, the teeth wear unevenly on both sides causing more and more shifting in the position of the jaw's centric relation which causes more and more pathological changes in the anatomy of the TM Joints, more bruxing and more muscle deformation.

    Malocclusion and Orthodontics - Symptoms
    The most obvious sign of malocclusion is crooked or protruding teeth. Physical symptoms of malocclusion can range from mild to severe. Have your general or dentist evaluate whether a poor bite is causing:

    Difficulty chewing food.
    Problems with biting the cheek or roof of the mouth.
    Slurring speech, trouble saying certain words, or other speech problems.
    Pain in the facial muscles or jaw.
    Permanent teeth coming in (erupting) at the wrong position.
    Adult malocclusion symptoms will typically remain the same or get worse over the years. Symptoms in a child who has mild malocclusion may improve over time. Through the teen years, the jaw grows dramatically. This growth period may correct mild crowding of teeth or teeth shifting as a result of thumb-sucking.
    I guess that's a good description of what has happened to my face. The slurring speech is in there as a symptom of having an off bite, too. Interesting. Still don't understand how I can make these things better, lol, especially the other host of other symptoms like the neck and shoulder stuff, pain, stiffness, weakness feelings, tingling and numbness, even the leg symptoms... I suppose the neurodentist will assist me so I have to tolerate the distress, both physical and emotional, until I see him.

    Last edited by Mich5; 12-01-2007 at 07:44 PM.

     
    Old 12-01-2007, 06:21 PM   #5
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    Hi Mich5.

    You can contact LVI.. Las Vegas Institute. I was there for a 3 day course in January, and then again in February. It was based on everything you discribed.. If interested in getting help, and all your dental problems solved, I can get the number for you for the clinic. They have a great system of wires and such in which it is hooked up to you to figure out your proper bite relation.. To have a full mouth reconstruction it can be well over 20,000.. But it might be interesting to have a consult and see your options.

    Take Care

     
    Old 12-05-2007, 01:29 AM   #6
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    Mich5- are you from MI. Yes my face is longer looking and my bite keeps shifting back and forth. I feel I look different. My facial cheekbones don't look even. I understand how you feel.

     
    Old 12-06-2007, 03:32 AM   #7
    Mich5
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    holly117, thanks for the info on LVI. Might give me an excuse to head there, get an eval and do a bit of gambling at the same time. lol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luvtocamp View Post
    Mich5- are you from MI. Yes my face is longer looking and my bite keeps shifting back and forth. I feel I look different. My facial cheekbones don't look even. I understand how you feel.
    Mich stands for Michelle, I'm a Cleveland, Ohio native, though I'm currently living in Minnesota temporary. Not far from Michigan, though. lol

    Thanks for the words about understanding how I feel. It just sucks, these facial changes, and the weird part about it, for me anyway, is it seems like it just happened overnight. Perfectly fine one minute, bam, look in the mirror and I suddenly don't even look like my real self.

    Along with this and the constant pain, I also feel like I'm producing more than the normal amount of saliva and this symptom is driving me mad. It feels like the corners of my mouth are wet, like I have to wipe them, yet I know I haven't actually drooled and it's more of a sensation that's going on.

    TMJ is really horrific. People don't even understand, they think since it's such a common disorder, it's not a big deal. Right on. This condition for some, many even, can be debilitating in endless ways.

    Last edited by Mich5; 12-06-2007 at 03:36 AM.

     
    Old 12-06-2007, 05:55 AM   #8
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    Mich5- Hey there! I'm the opposite, I was living in Minnesota and now I'm in Cleveland! I just started to see a TMJ specialist here, so I don't know if you are coming back any time soon, but if he seems to work - maybe you could see him- I could give you his name. I also have noticed that since my TMJ started my face has changed. Before I was diagnosed I just thought it was that I was getting older, but now I know it must be partially due to the TMJ.

     
    Old 12-06-2007, 03:28 PM   #9
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    Re: My face looks pathetic

    My face had gotten very thick on my left side and things looked quite uneven My face also looked longer than it had before an accident that aggravated my TMJ. Good news is that when I got my neuromuscular splint that left side settled down quite a bit within about three months. Didn't get rid of all of my pain, but it helped some.

    And yep, people don't understand how painful and life-changing this can be. If I hear "my mom/sister/brother/co-worker has TMJ too" again I'll scream. But, I have to remember to try and be positive and keep taking the baby steps toward a healthier me.

     
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