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New to TMJ and severly depressed

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:23 AM   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Singapore
Posts: 16
sweetness467 HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Hi Missy,
Thank you for the response!

How did yours start?

You think so? . . . . I saw the NM in Orchard. . . .
If, they're the ones, then please beware . . . cause if you've read my previous post, I mentioned that one of the doctor said, I'm initially going to feel pain in my jaw joint, that's worrisome and they charge such a huge amount . . . .

How much are braces after phase 1? I haven't check with them.

I'm so sorry . . . . What are you issues? And, what have you tried?

Ohh, so you've already started treatment?? So, you've already started the TENS?

You'll be flying in and out of Singapore a few times I suppose . . .

I don't like taking medications either. I just take Willow Bark as a painkiller and I have always been taking Magnesium, Calcium and electrolytes (sp?) and that's supposed to have helped the muscles relax, don't know what it's doing . . . .

I'm feeling pain all over, head, jaw, mostly neck, shoulders and lower back. I think all my muscles have gone into spasm and the muscles are pressing against nerves in my head and not letting blood flow right, so I'm feeling spaced out.

2 weeks ago, when I started icing my neck and stuff, I started hearing creaking noises in my neck, and I believe it's the muscles again tightening, the sound stopped after a few days. All this is scaring me. That's one dumb doctor to ask me to use ice . . . . I've been using moist heat now . . .

Is your TMJ cause by muscle spasms too? Or something else . . . ?

Thank you for posting and sharing! I appreciate it, I'm going out of my mind from all this . . .

Last edited by Administrator; 11-27-2013 at 02:25 AM.

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Old 04-26-2012, 08:54 PM   #17
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MissyJ HB UserMissyJ HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed


Actually, I myself am not 100% sure how I developed this condition, but I'm quite sure my chronic grinding and clenching in my sleep definitely has a lot to do with it. I went through 3 different night guards/splints over the last 8-10 years. They may have protected my teeth, but who knows if they did any damage to my joint/muscles? I stopped wearing them 1 year ago.

The other possibility is that I did a root canal treatment on the top right last molar. I had to get it done because one day the right side of my head was in a lot of pain. I was already having a few symptoms before the RCT, but not too serious. But this pain on the right side of my head was when the nightmare really started. And during the RCT my mouth was wide open for well over two hours and I was in a very uncomfortable position. At the end of the RCT, I was in tears. I'm not sure, but maybe this process may have overstretched my jaw?

I've never worn braces, never removed teeth, never had any jaw surgery, never had any accident/fall/whiplash, and my teeth 'look' quite straight and good.

My primary symptoms that bother me the most are:
- Swelling in the right TMJ. This is there all the time 24/7. When it gets bad, there's lots of spasms with crazy pulling and tugging and that's when I have to take my muscle relaxants. It also spreads to the back of the ear, below the skull.
- Grating sounds in the right TMJ every time I open my mouth. Sometimes I have clicks and pops as well.
- Neck and shoulder stiffness. I need to stretch them all the time.

My secondary symptoms are:
- Chills that run through my body randomly. This is not painful, but I know it's definitely not normal.
- Facial pain / tension across my cheek and around my eye/temple. I get this on both right and left.
- Pain / ringing / stuffiness in my right ear. These happen occasionally.
- Teeth sensitivity and headache from clenching in my sleep. I get this maybe 2-3 times a month.
- Tremors in my jaw and head when it's cold. I had this in the initial stages, but haven't felt it in a few months.

Treatments I've tried:
- Medications. The only thing that helps temporarily is the muscle relaxants.
- Prolotherapy (one shot in the right TMJ)
- Acupuncture (3X a week for one month)
- Botox (34 units into the right temporalis)
- Chiropractic adjustments (once a week since Feb 2012 - I'm still going for them now)

I've read some good feedback about prolotherapy, acupuncture, and botox on forums, but unfortunately, these did not help me. The only thing that I found helpful was the chiropractic adjustments for my neck. It doesn't fix the problem, but I think does help a little. I would suggest checking your neck as well. I found out I had a loss of lordosis and some misalignments.

I counted the number of doctors I've seen in the last 16 months, and the figure was more than 20. So really, I'm so tired. I'm going to go with my guts and stick with the chiropractic adjustments, and also the orthotic which I will receive in a few days.

So yes, I already started the treatment with the TENsing and the K7 jaw/muscle evaluation. I would say the first consultation and evaluation was very lengthy and comprehensive, much more than any other dentist that I went to previously. Also, the technology used was quite impressive. It showed that my muscles in my right were more tensed than the left (especially in the temple and neck area). Overall, it was a good visit.

I didn't ask about how much Phase 2 is going to cost. Because right now I'm only concerned about one thing: to be out of pain. My phase 1 has to work first before I even think about Phase 2. But I will ask in my next visit just to be prepared. And yes, I will be flying in and out a few times.

I hope I've answered your questions. If I've missed out anything just remind me again. I'll be happy to share my experience. But do bear in mind that we're all individuals so what works for one doesn't mean it will work for the other. We mostly just have to go with trial and error. I'm still trying....

Last edited by MissyJ; 05-01-2012 at 09:44 PM.

Old 04-27-2012, 12:04 AM   #18
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sweetness467 HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Hi Missy

You mentioned that you'd had this problem for 2 years but you've gone through guards and splints for the last 8-10 years?? I've read that mouthguards aren't to be worn for the long term.

I've read that theory about RCT and dental procedures causing TMJ from the mouth being open for too long, but I'm not sure what to say, as I don't know too much about that and certain people come off okay . . . I had wisdom teeth surgery and came out okay, before my braces were put in. My mouth was also kept open for the jaw surgery that was 2 - 3 hours and I came out okay after the surgery, no issues for the entire time I had my braces on (7 months) . . .it started after I took it off.

If you haven't had braces, surgery and anything done and your teeth look good and straight, then do you know that the NM procedure with the orthotic, is going to change your bite?? It's going to change your face shape too. I believe, they will be pulling your jaw forward? I recently went to an Oral and Maxo(sp?) surgeon and then he also said that, he disagrees with what they said about my joints and that they're not even specialists, they're just dentists. You never mentioned if the NM dentists you saw were the ones in Orchard?

Your symptoms sound painful too =/ I'm sorry . . . . To me, clicking and popping sounds like your jaw joints are moving around? Since, you've seen so many doctors, have they told you anything about your joints?? And, you said, at the beginning, that you don't know if there is damage to your joints from the mouthguard and stuff, why haven't they told you about it?

Maybe, you might get upset with me, cause I know you're only wanting to be out of pain from all this suffering you're going through but, you're planning to change your bite and paying a lot of money and not knowing if this non-reversible process will actually put you in less pain. Although, everyone is different, that's true but, NM seem to apply one method for everyone and gave me answers like my jaw joints are too far behind . . . . . which two other dentists disagreed.

The reason I asked about Phase 2, is because, that's what you have to do . . . eventually you're going to have to do bridges or crowing or something, or opt for braces since after Phase 1, your bite is change . . . . . You have to do something permanent after Phase 1, otherwise your teeth will stay in a mess . . . . .

I don't want to mess around with Chiropractioners, I've heard a lot of bad reviews from them making adjustments which have in turn made me things.

Right now, my neck has a lot of lymph nodes, I'm battling an infection and I think it's an ear infection. I'll be going to the ENT to get it checked.

Something I read about that machine K7 was that it wasn't accurate all the time. And, different dentists gave different results. That worried me. You know . . . . since you're clenching and grinding, do you think that you're lacking some minerals and vitamins in your body, causing this physical habit to surface??

Also . . . . have you ever considered trigger point therapy, which seems to have been successful for some people? Have you gone to other TMD doctors, here in Singapore?

Last edited by Administrator; 11-27-2013 at 02:25 AM.

Old 04-27-2012, 01:25 AM   #19
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MissyJ HB UserMissyJ HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Hi sweetness467,

Years ago I complained to my then dentist that I was grinding my teeth at night in my sleep. The dentist said if I don't do anything about it my teeth would eventually become worn down. This was the reason why I started wearing a night guard. The first one was a soft one that went over my top teeth and I chewed through it. So I had to change to another one, which was a hard acrylic one that went over my bottom teeth and I cracked it on the right side (imagine the amount of force I was using). So the last one I changed to a smaller one that went over my top 6 teeth, and I still clenched on it using my front teeth.

I didn't have any problems or symptoms the first few years. It was only the last 2 years I started feeling it. All the dentists who made me those splints said I can wear them long term, and so I just followed their instructions. But yes if I had a chance to turn back time I wouldn't have worn them for so long.

I haven't seen any other TMD doctors in Singapore, but I've seen many dental specialists in Malaysia. All they can do is refer me to 'other specialists' or prescribe me medication. I've also done 2 mris, and many dental x-rays, and everything came out 'normal'. I tell you though I definitely don't feel normal. The only tests that showed something not right were: 1. upper cervical x-ray ordered by the chiropractor, which showed a loss of lordosis. 2. As I mentioned earlier the K7 evaluation that showed my tensed muscles on my right.

I know there's a lot of mixed reviews about NM dentistry, but as you can see, I feel I am out of options. I really want to try everything. Yes the dentist I saw was in Orchard. He did mention that although my teeth look quite straight, the occlusion (bite) is very bad, and the back teeth are quite worn down, maybe due to eating too much sweet stuff?

Thanks for expressing your concerns, I understand you're also trying to help. But I've already put my foot in this so I'm jut gonna go with Phase 1 and take it from there. If Phase 1 doesn't work, then all I have to do it stop wearing the orthotic. If it works, then I'll go on to Phase 2. I will let you know how it goes.

Last edited by MissyJ; 05-01-2012 at 09:45 PM.

Old 04-27-2012, 02:04 AM   #20
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sweetness467 HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Ohhh I see. Yes, this is the reason why I wasn't given a mouthguard, because it's a foriegn object, and most people will just clench and bite on it and that just causes the muscles to stay in a tightened state.

Wow . . . . you cracked it . . . . that was indeed a lot of force. . . . . Those covering only a few teeth seem to be a bad option, since it'll cause changes in bite if worn for too long. . . .

I think you could give it a chance when you come here, just go to a Oral & Maxo or Prosthodontist who deals with TMD, if this NM is able to say that your occulsion is bad, then other dental "people" might be able to see it too.

If, the bite is really bad, then several different people will be able to see. They told me my bite is bad too. Like it's not suitable for me, it made me wonder, do they tell everyone the same?

I'm sorry you feel out of options, but it does seem like a problem, if your back teeth are worn out and since you've used mouthguards for awhile, shouldn't it show something? Idk where these Malaysian TMD doctors study . . .. but I think checking with a bone specialist is best . . . that's why I asked you to give an Oral surgeon a try . . .

Teeth worn down from eating too much sweet stuff?? . . . . I think it's more your grinding if anything, don't you think?

What I was trying to say is that, after Phase 1, you can't change just not wear the orthotic, the orthotic was meant to change your bite, so by the time phase 1 ends, your bite is already changed. It's not reversible, like you take it out and everything goes back to normal . . . .It's a repositioning splint, meant to pull your jaw forward by messing with your jaw joint, and when used for a long period of time, like Phase 1, even if you stop wearing the orthotic, it don't matter, it's already changed?

Please be careful. I know that they just want money off people. I wrote an email back to the head of the branch after he emailed me, but then he never emailed me back after I asked him, if there were any solutions besides changing my bite . . . .

Old 04-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #21
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia, MD
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pamo810 HB Userpamo810 HB Userpamo810 HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Sorry I'm entering into the conversation late, but I can sort of relate to the things you are going through. I get muscle spasms which are called myofascial trigger points. I've also had a bilateral total joint replacement (but my joints were in really bad shape - I originally had surgery when I was 30 [I'm in my 50s now]). Post surgery I have had repeated problems, some of which are entirely muscular. I tend to grind/clench my teeth, so I take valium to relax the mouth enough at night so that I don't do this so much. I also see a pain management specialist, who will do trigger point injections (lidocaine + steroids) every 3-4 months as needed. This has help me in no uncertain terms!

One thing that I was struck by in your posts is that you never mentioned having an MRI or CT scan. These are much more definitive that simple X-rays - the MRI will also show soft tissue status (like your muscles). If you haven't already done so, I'd get an MRI of both TMJs. You may also try trigger point injections into your neck - this can be a major source of trigger points in the face.

Is there a dental school anywhere near where you live? If so, can you get in to see one of the faculty members such as an associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery? These schools can be a great source of help in managing TMJ Dysfunction.

Re the prothodondist - if the first one is no good - find another one. They specialized in making splints and other plates that won't harm your bite. Also, getting a feel of how a bite is doing by biting into cotton is absurd - you need something sturdier that will maintain the outline of the bite.

I hope this helps you a little. I really do feel for you! Let me know if any of this works!


Old 04-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #22
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sweetness467 HB User
Re: New to TMJ and severly depressed

Hi Pam,

Thank you for the reply.

That's okay, don't worry about it.

I went to see a Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon on the 25th of April and he said, it's called mysofacial pain and it's hard to treat and offered to refer me to a pain clinic. My right joint some wearing and I'm in the remodelling phase after my jaw surgery, last year. So, he said, you're young and as long as you don't have arthritis, you can give it time to heal. One of my joint is smaller than the other too, the problem TMJ joint is smaller.

I'm very sorry that you had these problems . . . . That's really good that you're not in pain!

I did mention that I had a cone beam CT scan done on the 4th of April. I haven't had an MRI done, since it's very expensive and am thinking of it, but not sure if I should or not . . . . I would have to do it at the hospital so that it'll be cheaper . . . .

What would the trigger point injections into my neck do? . . . I'm pretty sure I'm having an infection in my ear, hence the reason why these lymph nodes appeared on my neck . . . .I don't see the need for the injections, if they will go away when the infection does . . .

I prefer trigger point massages not injections, as I don't like to deal with drugs, since it only slows and interupts the healing process of the body.

As what, MissJayKay said, that she bite through her mouthguards, I don't wish to have this done. As, I think, I probably bite on my retainer since it was something new in my mouth, so I don't want this problem.

It is weird, but I've read that it relaxes the bite, however, I was told to push forward and then bite on the cotton, to show me somewhat an idea of what my bite change will look like . . . . but, they will use those K7 TENS machine eventually to get a position . . . .

Thank you for the reply and suggestions.

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