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  • tmjd desperate for relief!

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    Old 03-09-2015, 09:36 PM   #1
    jewell123456789
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    tmjd desperate for relief!

    Hello,
    I have been having issues with my jaw for about 2 years. I can only open it so wide. I made lifestyle changes to reduce sensitivity, such as quit chewing gum or chewy foods, sleeping on back as opposed to my side, and trying to be more aware not to clench my jaw when I'm cold or stressed.

    My dentist and doctor are both aware. I have no reason to suspect the cause could be grinding my teeth and also I tried using a mouth guard which seemed to make it worse, so I stopped that.

    In the past 3 months, it has gotten significantly worse, being pretty constant in tightness and locking. i have no clues as to why it's worse now. At my wits end, I am now seeing a massage therapist who specializes in tmjd relief, and it does have instant relief. But after a few hours my jaw already begins to feel tight again. I've been going about once a week or 10 days for 6 weeks now.

    I am getting very frustrated and don't know what to do.
    please help.

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 06:24 AM   #2
    IndyGirl1
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    Re: tmjd desperate for relief!

    Hi Jewell

    I notice my tmjd flares up the most when I am stressed. Might this be the cause? I also love my moist heat wrap, it is designed specifically for the jaw. I believe it is called face caddy or something like that. You may want to look into getting one.

    I don't know what kind of work you do, but make sure you do not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs and avoid repetitive motions that can aggravate your neck muscles.

    Have you tried a muscle rub on your neck and jawline? I use a product called Biofreeze which is a pain relieving gel and it takes away the pain while also loosening up the muscles.

    If you enjoy bubble baths I would also suggest that. They are relaxing and all the hot water will really loosen up those angry muscles.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I have been battling tmjd for about 8 years, and I have learned how to manage my symptoms quite well.

    Indygirl1

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 10:11 AM   #3
    jewell123456789
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    Re: tmjd desperate for relief!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post Indy. These are wonderful suggestions - mostly that I have not tried yet and now will 😃

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 10:51 AM   #4
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    Re: tmjd desperate for relief!

    Jewell,

    Happy to help.

    I was wondering what you believe might be the cause of your pain. Did you have an injury to your jaw/face? Do you think it is solely muscular in nature or do you suspect a disc problem?

    I'm curious if you have ever had any neck/back problems/injuries when you were younger or prior to the jaw pain.

    Did either your doctor or dentist suggest an MRI of your jaw joints? If you haven't had that done I think it would be beneficial to do so. You might want to see if there is a TMJ specialist in your area.

    IndyGirl1

     
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    Old 03-11-2015, 07:12 PM   #5
    jewell123456789
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    Re: tmjd desperate for relief!

    No, no one has suggested an mri before but I will ask my dentist in my upcoming appt since only recently has the problem become more of a concern.

    I have a few theories as to what may have contributed to being this way but I'm really not sure - no major car accident or something of that sort. I'd love to hear your opinion if my theories are way out there or potentially valid.

    1. Been to orthodontist from age 8 to 18 for lots of reasons (24 now). Had braces for 2-3 years, in that time had to wear rubberbands. They wanted me to train my jaw to naturally hold it in a position with less of an underbite than I was born with. So I wonder if in learning that and being more aware, (plus my lack of much of a chin or jawline has always been an insecurity of mine) even though I'm not biting down if I'm putting tension on my jaw could be the cause? Ps- I'm not overly sticking my jaw out at all times like Gaston by any means.

    2. Had to change dentists when it conflicted with my schedule, the new guy told me I had 9 cavities when I'd never had one in my life (traumatizing in itself). He treated them all in 2 visits - over extending my jaw for probably way too long. However I don't recall having symptoms at this point either.

    3. The first time my jaw locked was at a new and current dentist (since the one mentioned above seemed questionable) getting only 1 cavity filled. Jaw locked, they freaked out warning me to take pain medicine before the pain kicked in and it really made me panicky not knowing what was going on or ever hearing of Tmjd, later I realized it really wasn't nearly as bad as they made it seem.

    I've been a cosmetologist for 4 years, so I don't think I'm lifting heavy things generally but I definitely use my arms and shoulders a lot so probably factors as well, but could that alone be a cause do you think?

     
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    Old 03-12-2015, 06:38 AM   #6
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    Re: tmjd desperate for relief!

    Jewell,

    It is possible that your orthodontic work could have made tmj more likely to occur. I have read of other tmjd sufferers who have claimed for certain that their issues began right after or during orthodontic treatment. Since your symptoms did not begin right after these changes I believe this may not be the case for you.

    9 cavities! Wow, that is an insane amount of work to do in two visits. Was your jaw very sore after that was all complete? Did you feel any difference in how your teeth fit together? It is possible that when your dentist filled your cavities that he altered your bite- the way your teeth touch and fit together. A change in bite- with one tooth being too high or too low and hitting the opposing teeth incorrectly could cause an alignment change which would irritate the muscles and the discs. A common form of treatment for alignment and bite issues is a re-positional splint(s) that aim to re-align your bite correctly. Don't confuse this with a simple night guard that prevents you from mashing your teeth together at night- definitely not the same thing.

    The fact that your jaw locked leads me to believe there is some disc/joint damage. Please try and get an MRI of your jaw joints. Afterwards you will have a much better idea of what is really going on. If you do not have a TMJ specialist in your area- try to find an oral surgeon to go to for a consultation. They will be able to get you scheduled for an MRI and any other imaging they feel necessary.

    Just remember that surgery is an absolute last resort. Don't even consider it without trying EVERY other conservative option first. Surgery has made many people a lot worse.

    It sounds like you could really benefit from a properly made re-positional splint combined with other conservative therapies such as massage and heat/relaxation. Do your research and consult with as many doctors as you can until you find one you are confident in. If you have any reservations in their treatment method or if you feel like they are rushing to get you out the door and on to their next patient- run for the hills and find someone who is really going to pinpoint your true cause and take the necessary time to find a treatment that works.

    Although repetitive motions you do during your workday can irritate the muscles involved in the head and neck- it is most likely not the cause of your issues.

    You haven't mentioned as to whether you take any pain medication. I found that advil helps when my symptoms get aggravated. I avoid taking them daily but they are helpful when I am having a rough day.

    Remember that I am just a patient like you- not a medical professional but I have learned a lot with my 8 years of experience with TMJD. I wish you luck in determining the best course of treatment.

    Indygirl1

     
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