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  • Crying and TMJ

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    Old 05-15-2001, 12:58 AM   #1
    nervous_ned's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2001
    Location: Vashon, Wa. USA
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    nervous_ned HB User
    Crying and TMJ

    I made an interesting connection today.

    Just to give a bit of background on my situation, hopefully without boring you to tears, I have been in the last few months experiencing the worst case of unrequited love I have ever known. There's a woman in my hometown that is the textbook definition of my type; smart, tall and possesing a voice like melted butter. The bitter truth is that she is simply not interested in me romantically, and I have found this fact to be profoundly distressing. There has not been a single day sice I met her that I have not thought about her, pined for her and ultimately cried buckets of tears for her. It's as though I fell into a well of sadness and there at the bottom I sit, watching life parade merrily by. Words simply can't describe my infatuation with this woman or the despair I feel without her.

    When I was a kid, I noticed that there was a certain physical agony that I would feel when I cried. It was a tight, aching glow of pain in the area below my eyes and around my cheekbones and jaw.

    Today I was thinking that maybe it's possible that too much crying can be deleterious to one's health, especially for someone who may be prone to TMJ problems. My jaws have made popping and grating sounds before when I was a kid, but only when I actually tried to make it happen. I demonstrated this talent once for a dentist and he blanched and told me never to do that again! I took his advice and never gave my jaws any more thought, until recently. One morning a month ago, I woke up and ate some food and was amazed at how much popping and clicking had suddenly started. At first, there was no pain, only annoyance and a feeling of dread as I read about TMJ and people's accounts of the syndrome. Gradually, I noticed more pain, some intense and centered in certain areas and other more generalized. I have also become aware of my very subtle tendencies to grit my teeth. It's not like I'm grimacing, cartoon's more of a resting of my teeth together with a slight pressure. I have "chomped" in my sleep for some time now; I know because it wakes me up sometimes when I take a chunk out of my tongue or cheek. Often, I wake up with a headache and facial pain, and notice that my teeth are together. I have been practicing the "lips together, teeth apart" excersise since I realized that I had this problem.

    I guess the upshot of this whole thing is that, although a good cry is often necessary and doubtlessly healing, insessant sobbing is not good for the TMJ. Maybe that's obvious, but I just got it.

    It's time to crawl out of the well, before I drown.



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    Old 05-15-2001, 12:51 PM   #2
    Join Date: Nov 2000
    Location: Peoria, AZ, USA
    Posts: 263
    Allen HB User
    Re: Crying and TMJ

    Hi Stan: I doubt that excessive crying is a factor in TMJ: the dirty secret is that usually docs don't know the cause! It has absolutely nothing to do with one's bite, no matter what some dentists will try to tell you. You may need to see a facial pain specialist who can give you a good diagnosis and careful help. Your odds of recovery are actually very good. God bless, Al

    Old 05-16-2001, 12:29 AM   #3
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    lorij's Avatar
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    Location: joliet, illinois usa
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    Re: Crying and TMJ

    hi stan, it may not be that crying is affecting the tmj, but from what i read, you seem to be a deeply emotional person (much like myself) which makes us prone to stress and i think stress is my biggest enemy. under stressful conditions i revert to teeth clenching & jaw popping. so, maybe it's your teeth clenching & other things you aren't even aware of that are the real culprits. i wish you luck in crawling out of the well, and if you find that you can't do it alone, please seek professional help, you see, i also suffer from depression & it ruled my life for many years til i was diagnosed & got on meds. it has changed my life to be on meds. good luck.

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