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  • Extreme unilateral muscle spasm around right TMJ after dental treatment

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    Old 06-24-2011, 04:55 AM   #1
    Linav's Avatar
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    Extreme unilateral muscle spasm around right TMJ after dental treatment

    I would be very interested to know if anyone experienced a similar story.

    In April 2011 I developed a severe unilateral muscle spasm around my right TMJ after a dental filling placed in my lower right wisdom tooth. My mouth was overstretched during the intervention, the filling was left high for 20 days, and I chewed only on the left side for a month and still don't chew much on the right.

    My dental problems went away but my spasm and pain are still there in the right TMJ. I have no problem on the left side and I dont have bruxism. I am treated by a very caring neuromuscular dentist using the Jankelson technique, who gave me an orthotic splint. This relieved the spasm in my TMJ but in turn strong new spasms developed in my neck and shoulders.

    An orthopedic doctor and a maxillofacial surgeon also saw me and said my asymmetric jaw and two missing molars predisposed me for this condition. Yet, my occlusion is not judged to be too bad. They say my problem is mainly muscular and put me on muscle relaxants (eperisone hydrochlorid) and NSAIDs, then recently on steroids (betametasone disodium phosphate) to cure the inflammation in my right TMJ. The splint helped for about two weeks but then it began to cause pressing pain in the right TMJ so now I am not able to wear it despite the several adjustments the dentist has made. I am told to discontinue soon with the medicines but then how will I improve?

    The medicines and hot packs helped a lot with the pain, and I am now comfortable when lying down, with my head laid back and keeping my teeth apart. I feel best in the morning when I wake up with relaxed muscles and my pain gets progressively worse during the day. An MRI examination will be done soon.

    Furthermore, a deep cavity developed in front of my right ear, this is really scary, has anyone had this (see attached image)? What could cause it? Muscle athrophy possible?

    Any advice or comment would be greatly appreciated.
    Attached Images
    File Type: jpg face cavity.jpg (97.4 KB, 3 views)

    Last edited by Linav; 06-24-2011 at 05:16 AM. Reason: Please don't post unapproved websites, per Posting Policy. Thanks.

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    Old 06-27-2011, 06:24 AM   #2
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    Re: Extreme unilateral muscle spasm around right TMJ after dental treatment


    I am sorry to hear about your pain. Your cavity does look troubling to me. I dont think muscle athrophy that prominent can develop in just 2-3 months. I might speculate (and this is only a speculation!) that the rigth TMJ got misplaced and this is somehow causing the cavity. But your are on the right track with an MRI I think. That should show any structural abnormalities. Hang in there and let us know what your MRI results are and what's your treatment plan! Good luck!

    Old 07-03-2011, 10:17 AM   #3
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    Re: Extreme unilateral muscle spasm around right TMJ after dental treatment

    Dear Tmj82,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I now know that not only an MRI but also an EMG (electromyography) will be done within a few days. Moreover, I will acquire a TENS unit soon to help relieve the pain because I am at my rope's end after nearly three months of continuous pain.

    The pain is so bad, I feel like half my head will be ripped off! Or, to be honest, I think the pain is actually getting better very slowly but my tolerance is getting worse.

    Is there anyone else who now suffers from a severe, painful, continuous, unilateral spasm in the TMJ area? Is there anyone who has healed from this? How does this thing go away?

    I would be so grateful for sharing some ideas.... For me the only thing that still helps is lying down with the hot water bottle pressed to my face, and letting my jaw drop and relax. But this confines me to bed... can't work, can't get out of the house... eating hurts.... talking hurts...

    I was told not to wear my orthotic until the EMG but it was giving me pain anyway...

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