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TMJ Anyone?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any problems with TMJ. I have it and was wondering if any of you do and would like to share your experiences with it. I ask because right know it is hurting and I don't really know anyone with it that I can share experiences about it with.
post #2 of 19
It had gotten to the point that I couldn't yawn, kiss my hubby, eat anything like red meat, corn of the cob, go to the dentist, and the clicking and the pain was driving me nuts! I finally went to see a specialist and he determined the surgery was essential. They did both sides and my discs were so deteriorated that he took a bone from my forehead and fashioned two discs out of the bones. When I woke up, I had these two paper cup kind of things over my ears to catch the drainage. Hubby said I looked like a doberman pinscher who had their ears clipped! LOL It was at least 2 months before I could eat anything substantial. I lived on ensure and boost and McDonald's shakes. It was grueling physical therapy, but when it was all over, to be pain free after living with it for so long was amazing.

What I would suggest for you if you hurt right now is to alternate heat and ice on the socket of your jaw. That was the only thing that helped me and even though it wasn't a long lasting fix, it did work for a little while. Hope you feel better soon........
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was diagnosed with it when I was 19 by my dentist. I had always been able to pop my jaw out of place (open it really wide and it locks open). He asked if it bothered me and at the time it didn't. He said if it ever did I might want to see an orthodontist, that braces might be a good idea. Well when I was 20 I started noticing that eating hamburgers and other sandwiches of that size started to become difficult and painful. Gum and candy like jelly beans would do the same thing as well as any meat that required a lot of chewing. So, I went to the orthodontist and he said that I had the worst type of bite for people who suffer from TMJ (he called it a class 2 division 2 - whatever that means). He said braces were a must because the angle of my bite was forcing my lower jaw to rub the joint and if it stayed that way the entire joint would be gone by the time I was 40. He said braces would realign my bite making my lower jaw move out just enought to quite rubbing the joint. He said braces wasn't a 100% cure, that I would still be able to lock my jaw open and might have some pain but that it would be worth it just to save the joints.

Well I am out of braces. I have a much easier time eating the things I mentioned (I have to eat jelly beans in limited quantities or it still bothers me, basically I can't eat half a bag of them), but now I have noticed a clicking sound in my jaw on occasion wich I never had before. I can usually manage the pain with ibuprofen but sometimes it's so bad that my ears hurt. I really have problems with it when my sinuses are stopped up because it puts pressure on the joints.

I never knew there was a surgery nobody mentioned it to me. What type of a doctor did the surgery, an orthopedist? No one ever mentioned surgery to me. It funny since I have been out of the braces I seem to have "spontaneous pain" where as before it was mostly triggered by eating. Now it isn't triggered by eating too much but I seem to have a lot more "spontaneous pain."
post #4 of 19
It was so long ago. He wasn't a doctor, he was a dentist, oral surgeon who specialized in TMJ had a special title. There were tons of tests I had to go through first, and he made me this little tool that you insert in between your teeth and crank it up so your mouth would open. I could only get it open as wide as one finger.

The surgery itself, he went in and made a cut around the top of my head following my hairline and made a wider cut into my ears stopping at the where the discs are. Today, you can barely see the scar as the hair covers it fairly well. For over 6 months my earlobes were numb, and like I said, it was grueling physical therapy work following the surgery. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I had suffered TMJ since Jr.High when I tripped and fell and split open my chin. I also had braces for 2 years, but they really didn't help all that much. The surgery saved me from a lot of pain. Good luck Sabra. They call it Tempo-Mandibular Jaw Replacement, the surgery I mean.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've heard that most people with TMJ can't open their mouths wide (like you said as wide as a finger). It's funny with me I can open wide but when I do my jaw locks open. This is especially bad when I have to go to the dentist. I usually have to massage my jaw a little bit to help close my mouth.
post #6 of 19

I'm having sympathy jaw pains just reading this thread!

Sabre you poor thing!
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well AP just don't chew any gum, lol. I just hope I don't get to the point Hissy did and need surgery. If the orthodontist was right then I wont.
post #8 of 19
I have it & it is horrible because I talk all day for my job. The more I talk the more my jaw slips out of joint. It isn't bad enough for surgery. I do the heat & ice thing, but the best thing I do is go to the chiropractor at least once a month for a jaw adjustment. It hurts when he does it, but man does it feel great after!
post #9 of 19
I don't have any experience with TMJ, but after reading this I just wanted to say I feel so bad for you! Just like Colby said, I am having sympathy pains now!!!
I hope you find something to cure the pain.
post #10 of 19
I have never even heard of TMJ, until now....it sounds horrible! I am so sorry you have it! Could someone please tell me more about what it is?
post #11 of 19
TMJ also known as tempromandibular jaw displacement is when the person suffering from this cannot do things effectively, such as chew, talk, yawn, eat without a lot of pain and the sound of popping. The popping is the jaw joint where it is connected to the discs of the joint (near your ears) these discs slip out of their connection to cause the noise and the pain. TMJ can be caused by a fall, by improperly fitted braces, by wisdom teeth, by grinding of teeth at night, poor posture, anxiety, stress or depression, and is even in some cases genetic. In my case, all I had to do was lightly press my fingertips to each side of my face right on the discs and it would cause pain. These discs in an unaffected person are perfectly round and fit correctly into the joint sockets, but on a TMJ victim, the discs can be misshapen, or so deteriorated that they cannot bear the weight of the jaw at all. There is a cream out that is new that is supposed to help with the pain called capsacion, but back 7 or 8 years ago, the only way to help me out of the immense pain was the surgery. Since that time, my jaw has only popped twice, and that was right after my accident so I must of dislodged something temporarily. There are dentists that specialize in TMJ patients as the patients are unable to keep their mouths open long periods of time, and sometimes can't even open wide enough to fit that block they put in your mouth to take x-rays. Most dentists if you have TMJ will not even work on you if they don't specialize in doing so.
post #12 of 19
Thanks for explaining it to me, Hissy!
post #13 of 19
I have suffered from TMJ for over thirty years and it boggles my mind that they have not found anything in those thirty years to help ease the pain and "cure" it. I started as a guinea pig at the UConn medical center - they caused more pain then the TMJ. I have learned to live with it but if you touch the left side of my face with any type of pressure I will yell with pain. Change of weather or stress brings on pain and pain pills - otherwise I try not to take anything and just live with it.
post #14 of 19
You might want to ask your doctor about the cream Capsacion. It is supposed to relieve the suffering for 45% of the people suffering from TMJ perhaps you will be one of the lucky percentage?
post #15 of 19
I've heard of TMJ ...... Does your jaw actually get frozen? I'm trying to imagine like if you yawn ..... does it get stuck?

If I wiggle my jaw back and forth it pops ......
post #16 of 19
In my case my jaw slips right out of joint & I have to get a chiropractic adjustment to get it back in place. When it is out of joint I can barely move it. It is actually out of joint now & I am in severe pain right now. I can't get an appointment with my chiropractor until tomorrow. It has also triggered a nasty headache.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Oh Addy I'm sorry you are in such pain.


Most people with TMJ have their jaw lock partially opened. They can open their mouth a small bit where maybe they could fit two fingers wide.

With my TMJ when I open my mouth wide, like when I yawn or am at the dentist. It pops out really easy and pops in fairly easy but when I'm at the dentist and have to keep it poped out to keep it opened wide it really starts to hurt and I usually have to rub my jaw to help close my mouth when they are done.
post #18 of 19
I feel so bad for you, Ady, it is so sad you have to go through all that pain! I hope you can get it fixed soon!
post #19 of 19
Are you feeling better now? HOpe you are ....
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