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TMJ or not quite?

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
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guidway HB User
TMJ or not quite?

I went in for dental work (a cavity on my wisdom tooth) about a year ago and had jaw pain for a few days later (since it was a wisdom tooth my mouth was open pretty wide for an extended amount of time). Went to the dentist again when it wouldn't stop and he said it could be TMJ but let's give it a little more time to heal (told me to take Ibuprofen, which seemed to work).

The pain went away a few days later, however every once in a while (every few months) it seems to get irritated (maybe talking too much, or chewing, etc...). If I let it relax for a bit, it goes away. This didn't seem to happen before I had the dental work done (I don't ever remember having problems with my jaw before then).

The symptoms are jaw pain, but I have no clicking or popping that I can feel/hear, just the pain. Can you have TMJ without popping or clicking? Is there anything that could be done for it or should I just take an Ibuprofen when it happens since that seems to work?

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 3,232
Thelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB User
Re: TMJ or not quite?

You may want to have an endodontist examine the wisdom tooth in question; if the cavity was deep it could be you have a slight infection in the root or the nerve was damaged when the tooth was prepped for the filling and need a root canal. He/she should also check to make sure there is no hairline fracture of the tooth, a common occurrence in back molars.

If the tooth checks out ok, since the pain seems to respond to Ibuprofen which suggests inflammation, ask your regular dentist to check to see if the filling was either left too low or too high; if he feels its fine the way it is, you could buy an OTC night guard that you can wear at night - if this helps, then the problem lies within the occlusion of this tooth with the one above that it meets, it could be the filling needs to be adjusted to provide a better "bite".

If this was just an aggravated nerve or disc by now it should have been able to recover and resolve itself - the persistent and recurring pain suggests something is going on, if not addressed at some point it will progress, unfortunately sometimes that is the only way for a dr to then accurately diagnose the problem.

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