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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?


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Old 01-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
gristy
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Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Are there any? I'm in need of some optimism.

I've had it about 9 months now. It hurts a lot.
It affects my everyday life and makes things that much harder.
I'm slowly resigning myself to the fact I might have this for the rest of my life.
Whilst it's a depressing thought, I think accepting this is healthy.

Regardless,
who can make me feel better!?
Or have those who have beaten TMJ no longer hanging around, I certainly wouldn't

 
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Re: Success stories.

Theres some very knowledgable people here, I can help too much as I wear dentures so, its different. I've been going thru it for 3 years tho and I completely understand how your feel.

Maybe a little more info will help, do you remember how it started, after dental work, or an accident. Do you grind at night. Have you seen anyone or had any treatment , xrays, or mri. Knowing this stuff people may be able to
help you more.

I think most success stories are long gone, but I think there are alot of them.

 
Old 02-02-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
gristy
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Hi luvtocamp, thanks for replying.

It started a month or so after going to the dentist to have a few fillings and a crown. Not sure if this is coincidence.

I've had a night guard made, costing 200 pounds. It hasn't helped! I shouldn't of bothered really as I was 99% sure I don't grind my teeth at night. I think maybe it's more likely that I "gurn" during the day. I had very crooked teeth when I was young but braces soon straightened them.

However, it's never been comfortable for me to have my mouth closed with my upper and lower teeth resting against each other. That position has always felt unnatural. Instead, my natural relaxed position is to suck my lower gum into between my top and bottom rows of teeth and almost gentle bite it. It's as if I need a cushion between the two of them. This said, I have no idea if this is contributing to my TMJD.

Does that resonate with anybody else?

I've got my first specialist hospital appointment next week in London.
Anybody here from London? x

 
Old 02-02-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Hi gristy,

LTC asked very good questions. It is NOT the coincidence what you tell about the dental work or your lip habit. I'd need more details about the dental work to tell more but it is already clear that your bite is off which contributes to your TMD. It also seems that you might have an "open bite" and this is why you place your lip there trying to compensate.
Or your back teeth could be too low, then you protect the fronts from too much contact.

Where were you braces on the upper or lower teeth? Were they moving the teeth forward?
Is your natural biting position further back or more forward than where your teeth make good contacts?

You do not need to suffer from TMD for the rest of your life if and when you will find a dentist competent in occlusion (and tmj). Just keep in mind that it is very easy when it comes to bite/ tmj to make any bad situation even worse. So ask your dentist first about his experience in dealing with occlusion (not just one tooth at a time); ask him before doing any work all the details of his plan and ask for a back-up. I mean try to have everything which will be done reversible until you will be comfy. This is very important.
Another useful thing is to get educated. Don't be afraid that it's too complex for you. Ask questions, read...

Certainly, I understand how you are feeling and other people on this board do too!

 
Old 02-03-2009, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

StillHope,

That's some great advice, thanks so much.

I had two or three fillings mostly in the bottom row at the back and root canal/one GOLD crown in the top row at the back. I guess I had to expect this having not been to the Dentist for 4 years so it's my own fault!

You've given me a lot of terminology that I will hopefully aid my relationship with a specialist. Doctors in England seem to be so hit and miss, I've got my fingers crossed. Thank you.

My braces were on both rows.
On the top row I think they were pushing teeth backwards.

Nowadays, I have to move my top row forwards to rest both rows together.

StillHope, luvtocamp, what are your stories? How long have you been suffering? What have you tried to treat it? Does it get easier?

I seem to go through phases of it being really bad and not so bad. I'm a very anxious person and have taken medication for this is in the past. TMJ only makes my anxiety worse unfortunately.

Thanks again for the advice x

Last edited by gristy; 02-03-2009 at 03:39 PM.

 
Old 02-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

I still didn't quite understand what the braces were doing and what is the situation with your current fronts.

[Nowadays, I have to move my top row forwards to rest both rows together.] We can't really move the top row, only the lower jaw. Do you mean that you have to move your head forward and up, like the chin up?? When you mean to bring both rows together, do you mean that the teeth will touch on their edges? Or is this just to bite on the front teeth at all?

Yes, ask your dentist/specialist to tell you what is the problem with your bite.

It was certainly NOT your fault even if you did not go to a dentist for 4 years. Did your fillings/ crown feel too high or you simply have not noticed once they were made (which can easily mean that they all were too low and not in contact).

Dentists seem to be "hit or miss" everywhere and mostly miss, unfortunately.
This is why keep things under your own control as much as you can.

 
Old 02-03-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Oh yah, our stories are so long that are worth a book, I guess!

 
Old 02-04-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

I had crooked teeth as a teenager, the braces were on for a year and a half just to straighten my teeth out. Pretty straight forward. This was about 10 years ago, my teeth have remained straight since.

It's difficult to describe my bite is in words. Basically, it's uncomfortable for me to close my jaw so that my top row is in contact with my bottom row of teeth. It's not painful to physically move my jaw, but when the top and bottom rows are together in what some people might call a "resting position" it feels un-natural, and so I kind of suck my bottom gum in between as a cushion. Either that, or it feels more natural for me to push my lower jaw forwards so that my bottom row of teeth are infront of my upper row. I'm just talking about the position we assume when we're not talking, eating. Your idle jaw position. It could be a completely irrelevant point. But it's as if I don't know what to do with my jaw when it's not supposed to be doing anything. Does this make sense?

I was saying it was my fault that I had to have so much dental work done, I clearly haven't been looking after my teeth properly! There was no evidence to suggest it was shoddy (this could be a British phrase for bad) dentistry, but I don't know if it was coincidence my symptoms started a month or so after going to the dentists.

Thanks for your time again, I really appreciate it, I owe you!

 
Old 02-04-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Don't mean to butt in here but it sounds like you have developed an underbite where your lower jaw feels comfortable in one position but in this position your upper teeth then fall slightly behind your lower front teeth - is that correct? And to line them up you need to bring your lower jaw back - or as you describe it, since it must feel this way - you bring your upper jaw over your lower jaw a bit and this gives you the uncomfortable position or feeling on the lower jaw?

Was your bite comfortable before the braces - or did you have the same issue before then? It could be the braces addressed the aesthethic appearance of the teeth but did not address the orthopedics of the jaw themselves.

Have you had your bite checked to see if the new crown is of correct height for your bite - sometimes all it takes for someone with a somewhat compromised bite is a slight change to it which topples the apple cart so to speak.

Its easy to blame ourselves for this kind of thing but whereas you feel you are the blame for not taking care of your teeth and thus requiring extensive dental work that contributed to your problem now - many others have always done what was supposedly the right thing in terms of care and preventive measures all their lives and still ended up with problems. For many the real culprit is dental work - not necessarily shoddy or poorly done work, but work or changes to our bite that do not work well with our innate neuromuscular and musculo-skeletal structure.

Last edited by Thelma-Louise; 02-04-2009 at 02:07 PM.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Was unberbite a typo? Do you mean underbite?
Just want to know so I'm using the right lingo

I think you did well to describe my bite, I think I agree with most of what you described. I'm a little confused myself. It's almost as if when I bite down so my rows are together, my top row needs to be a little further forward. I can feel my bottom row stretching it forwards. It's not natural for me to bite my teeth together, which I assume is how most people relax their jaw. But is this the reason I have TMJ? Is that why my jaw aches on a daily basis? It could be the sole reason. It could contribute. It could have nothing to do with it. I don't know.

Interestingly, two years ago, before I had TMJ, or maybe I'll just call it jaw ache, I noticed that my bite was considerably different in the evening to how it was first thing in the morning. It felt like by the evening, it was more difficult to get my top rest to fall infront of my bottom row. And this feeling was amplified if I'd been out and had a few drinks. This doesn't seem to happen anymore, perhaps because I wear a night guard. Has anybody ever noticed this?

I wouldn't want to comment on my bite before I had braces. To be completely honest with you, I've only been conscious of my bite for a few years now. I imagine if I wasn't conscious of it before, it felt natural.

I will ask the specialist to check what impact my crown might be having on my bite. I think that is a VERY good point, one I hadn't really considered and yet it seems so obvious. Thanks.

And yeah, I'm sure there are millions who do the right thing but get a rough deal. I'm not a religious person and don't want to go into the ins and outs of what I think about this... but all I will say is: that really sucks and I feel really sorry for them.

You can butt in all you like Thelma!
Thanks guys x

 
Old 02-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #11
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Yes - underbite - sorry - I changed my post for others that might read it - although my brain fog is better these days - I still have trouble with my fingers knowing or hearing what my brain is saying to do. Its like dyslexia but it only happens when I type or write down numbers.

So your lower front teeth are pushing your upper front teeth outward when you are in a resting postion? The "normal" resting psoition should be with your lower front teeth just behind or at the back of your upper front teeth - at this position though all other teeth should be meeting as well. I highlighted normal b/c not everyone has the same bite and what is normal for one is not normal for another. Some people have a more natural posteria bite toward the back teeth and others have a more anterior bite towards the front and others are variations of that or more centrally located right on the middle teeth.

Did you also mention you had some work done on the lower back teeth - new fillings in addition to the crown? - did your problem become more exacerbated after that work was done? - it almost sounds like your lower back teeth were lowered or are flat so your bite is slipping a bit when you are in a resting position which could push your lower jaw forward and account for why your bottom front teeth now push your upper front teeth.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

I wouldn't go as far as saying my bottom row is physically pushing my upper row forwards... But, it sometimes feels as if it's an effort to get my bottom row far enough behind my upper row for it to be comfortable/relaxed in the "resting position".

I had the fillings and crown done at the same time. Before this I didn't have any "TMJ pain" - I was just aware the my bite wasn't perfect. So to answer your question, did it get worse? No, it hadn't even started.

This is making me feel incredibly selfish all this talk of me!
I thank you all so much.

Last edited by gristy; 02-04-2009 at 03:45 PM.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #13
Thelma-Louise
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

So you feel the need to bring your lower jaw backwards for it to feel comfortable? Is it the jaw itself that feels better that way or the way your teeth meet in that position - can you tell the difference?

You mentioned you are wearing retainers since the braces? upper and lowers or a one piece appliance that enscases the top and bottom teeth at the same time and keeps your jaw in a specific location?

 
Old 02-04-2009, 04:48 PM   #14
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Yeah, I feel like it's the way my teeth meet that makes it uncomfortable.
When they are bitten together in this resting position we speak of, it feels as if there's not enough room for it to be comfortable. As if my top row should be further forwards in the bite, or my lower further backwards. I can feel my bottom front teeth digging into/scrapping the back of my top front teeth. Because of this I assume a false bite, which is cushioned by my bottom gum.

My nightguard just covers my top row of teeth and doesn't restrain movement of my jaw. It was my dentist's idea, one which sot me 200 pounds. I think the purpose of it is to stop me grinding my teeth at night - IF I DID INFACT DO THIS, WHICH I DON'T, not to influence the position of my jaw at night.

 
Old 02-04-2009, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: Can TMJ be beat? Did you beat it?

Where is your tongue positoned when you are in a resting position - is it directly behind your upper fornt teeth? Does it ever feel cramped or as if it needs to push forward or extend further than your upper front teeth?

Retainers don't often prevent grinding or clenching - they are usually used to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their former positions after orthodontia and are sometimes used to prevent shifting due to missing teeth or extra space that would allow them to do so. But you are not wearing one on the bottom? did you need teeth removed for the braces and if so which ones?

Have you tried going without the retainer a bit to see if this would help?

 
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