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Pammy
@pammyl66

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 07, 2015

TMJ questions

Posted by @pammyl66, Jun 7, 2015

I clench my teeth at night which has resulted in severe TMJ. I have seen dentist, ortho and medical doctors. I am on Zoloft to help reduce stress and I have a custom mouth guard. My problem is none of this is working. I find if I wear my guard I seem to clench harder, if I don’t my tongue has teeth imprints on the end from pressing against my bottom teeth. I don’t know what to do. This is miserable pain in jaws, neck and ear pain and headaches. My jaw locks up from time to time and my throat even gets sore. Muscles and probably gets scratched because I can’t chew my food properly. Please Help! This has been going on well over 2 years….

REPLY

Hi Pammy! Here is some info on treatment options: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/basics/treatment/con-20043566. Hope this helps!

I was diagnosed with TMJ by my family doctor, my dentist and by an ENT. They all told me it may go away. It has been 6 weeks and it is still there. I have had the TENS machine twice and have changed my diet to soft food. Can I still expect the TMJ to go away on its own.

@reader3013

I was diagnosed with TMJ by my family doctor, my dentist and by an ENT. They all told me it may go away. It has been 6 weeks and it is still there. I have had the TENS machine twice and have changed my diet to soft food. Can I still expect the TMJ to go away on its own.

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Hi @reader3013, welcome to Connect.
I moved your message to a thread started by @pammyl66 about TMJ. I’d also like to connect you with other members talking about TMJ. Please meet @phoebejo @starwitch @catio @ironman84.

You may also wish to read past conversations, such as
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tmj-27ef7d/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tmj/

Was your care team able to identify the cause of your TMJ?

@reader3013

I was diagnosed with TMJ by my family doctor, my dentist and by an ENT. They all told me it may go away. It has been 6 weeks and it is still there. I have had the TENS machine twice and have changed my diet to soft food. Can I still expect the TMJ to go away on its own.

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Sorry to hear about your situation and also sorry to say that it probably won’t go away. There isn’t another free floating joint like this in the body. Total joint replacement was the only fix for me. Unfortunately I had to have 6 operations before my insurance would pay for it. I hope you have better luck. It has been almost 20 yrs since my surgery and still doing great.

@reader3013

I was diagnosed with TMJ by my family doctor, my dentist and by an ENT. They all told me it may go away. It has been 6 weeks and it is still there. I have had the TENS machine twice and have changed my diet to soft food. Can I still expect the TMJ to go away on its own.

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Welcome back to Connect @ironman84. Really appreciate your input. You’ll notice that Connect has been reinvigorated and is an active community again. We’ve got more updates and improvements about to rollout over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Liked by lauren123

I have this ongoing condition that nobody seems to have an answer for. I have been to an ENT, TMJ Specialist (Dr. K), in Alabama, and have been tested for auto immune diseases and those tests were negative. Dr. K said that I have muscle spasms due to clinching my teeth and he suggested that I wear a special $800 night guard. Dr. B, here in Anniston, made the night guard for me and I have been wearing it since October. I recently saw Dr. K said he did see improvement and I should keep following up with Dr. B. Dr. K did not think that TMJ was causing the symptoms that I have had for approx. 1 year. The night guard helps if I use it during the day, however, it is to bulky to wear all the time. The most annoying symptom is that constantly have a gritty sound and sometimes actually feel like I have sand in my mouth. I don’t have constant jaw pain or headaches. I do have neck and back pain. I live in Anniston, Alabama. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Feeling very Frustrated. Thank you!

Liked by HazelBlumberg

Welcome to Connect, @robinray55,

How frustrating it must be to have these symptoms!
I moved your message to this discussion in the ENT group, and I’d also like to connect you with other members talking about TMJ. Please meet @phoebejo, @starwitch, @catio, @ironman84, @fifi, @lauriedr, @pammyl66, @reader3013, @catio,@tatt00edraven, @sunset74, @lauren123.

I also hope @tallteri, @reg131 will return with some more insight for you regarding wearing a night guard.
In the meantime, here is some information from Mayo Clinic that you might interest you: http://mayocl.in/2m3eG1l

@robinray55, have your doctors suggested any tests to diagnose TMJ disorders? What do you do to get relief from the discomfort and pain?

@kanaazpereira

Welcome to Connect, @robinray55,

How frustrating it must be to have these symptoms!
I moved your message to this discussion in the ENT group, and I’d also like to connect you with other members talking about TMJ. Please meet @phoebejo, @starwitch, @catio, @ironman84, @fifi, @lauriedr, @pammyl66, @reader3013, @catio,@tatt00edraven, @sunset74, @lauren123.

I also hope @tallteri, @reg131 will return with some more insight for you regarding wearing a night guard.
In the meantime, here is some information from Mayo Clinic that you might interest you: http://mayocl.in/2m3eG1l

@robinray55, have your doctors suggested any tests to diagnose TMJ disorders? What do you do to get relief from the discomfort and pain?

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Yes, I have had tests done. I take muscle relaxers at times but get no relief

Hello @robinray55. I also have TMJ and similar pain symptoms. I also have tried the night guards and wearing them during the day. I have a narrow upper bit and sleep apnea.
Treatments I have also tried: Chiropractic care, acupuncture, acupressure, ice packs, eating soft diet, all still cause pain and my jaws would fatigue very quickly even with talking which would cause locked jaw. Finally found a relief with the removal of my wisdom teeth.

Has the dentist notice your teeth may be crowded?

Liked by Parus

@dawn_giacabazi

Hello @robinray55. I also have TMJ and similar pain symptoms. I also have tried the night guards and wearing them during the day. I have a narrow upper bit and sleep apnea.
Treatments I have also tried: Chiropractic care, acupuncture, acupressure, ice packs, eating soft diet, all still cause pain and my jaws would fatigue very quickly even with talking which would cause locked jaw. Finally found a relief with the removal of my wisdom teeth.

Has the dentist notice your teeth may be crowded?

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I have tried all the same things. Yes, I have been to 3 dentists and orthodontist and a periodontist

Have you had dental work done or some kind of surgery around the affected area?

@dawn_giacabazi

Hello @robinray55. I also have TMJ and similar pain symptoms. I also have tried the night guards and wearing them during the day. I have a narrow upper bit and sleep apnea.
Treatments I have also tried: Chiropractic care, acupuncture, acupressure, ice packs, eating soft diet, all still cause pain and my jaws would fatigue very quickly even with talking which would cause locked jaw. Finally found a relief with the removal of my wisdom teeth.

Has the dentist notice your teeth may be crowded?

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May I ask what their suggestion was or treatment plans?

Thanks
Dawn

No, it is on both sides. No surgeries

@dawn_giacabazi

Hello @robinray55. I also have TMJ and similar pain symptoms. I also have tried the night guards and wearing them during the day. I have a narrow upper bit and sleep apnea.
Treatments I have also tried: Chiropractic care, acupuncture, acupressure, ice packs, eating soft diet, all still cause pain and my jaws would fatigue very quickly even with talking which would cause locked jaw. Finally found a relief with the removal of my wisdom teeth.

Has the dentist notice your teeth may be crowded?

Jump to this post

To wear a night guard to relieve muscle spasms from clinching teeth

I have had TMJ since I was pre-teen, but not treated until college when my jaw locked up. I have worn a mouthguard for 30 years. About 15 years ago, I began having episodic migraine, which I haven’t had since I was a young teenager. The migraines became daily and chronic 10 years ago. I am now 50. I had to quit work at 40 and am still fighting for disability benefits. For daily migraine, some of which is caused by TMJ, I receive botox, trigger point injections, Rf nerve ablation, counseling, psychiatry, acupuncture, biofeedback, PT, CT Scans, MRIs. I see a specialized dentist and take many supplements, herbs, essential oils. My neuro suggested I see a particular PT, and it has given me 1-2 low-pain days per week! I do daily jaw exercises, and put heat on my jaw, near my ears. I have a ThermaZone machine that provides heat. Cold is not recommended on the jaw joint, but I use the cold setting of ThermaZone on my eyes and forehead for head pain. An MRI recently revealed arthritis in my jaw, as well as lower in my back, along with buldging discs. The jaw arthritis is one of several causes of my migraine, ear pain, jaw pain. My dentist used computer imagery to test my jaw, and half my jaw was doing all the work. Using the computer, he was able to precisely file down ever so slightly problem areas on the tooth surfaces; he evened out my bite and jaw so that both sides worked equally. My neuro prescribed baclofen and tizanidine. The cyclobenzaprine (flexaril) I had been taking apparently doesn’t work above the neck. The PT, heat, and meds worked for a while, but I had to give up my long-term custom mouthguard because, coincidentally, my teeth started rapidly shufting. I now have invisalign braces (traditional braces would have stressed my jaw too much.) I have had to stop wearing my mouthguard, and my jaw hurts now a lot more. But my PT is adjusting treatment, and we are working to get back on track. In 2 years I will have my teeth and jaw re-calibrated by the computer, and I will get a new mouthguard for clenching. I no longer get a 1-2 days/week reprieve from migraine, but in the long-run I should do better. A good habit to develop is to always have your tongue itouching the roof of your mouth at all times, except while eating or talking. Also, try not to have your back teeth touch top-to-bottom, That will help you not clench during the day. Try baclofen and tizanidine to relax your facial muscles. Tizanidine is a strong muscle relaxant that kicks in immediately; instant sleep. It can also cause hallucinations in high doses, so start slow and if you are bothered by side effects, your neuro will help you taper down safely and carefully to a manageable dose. I worked my way up to 4 Tizanidine at bed, then cut back to only 2 pills. I take 2 baclofen pills 4x/day. TMJ does not “go away.” I thought mine had disappeared thanks to the mouth guard, but it simply shifted from facial pain to severe, debilitating head/ear pain. The dentist also did a 360 degree xray, and he also could see the arthritis in the jaw, as well as a stuck, flattened disc. I get botox in my jaw joints now, and a practitioner uses dry needling and e-stim (electric stimulation) in the muscles of my jaw. The dry needling did not work well for me, but with e-stim, my jaw muscles twitch away. They have been frozen for so long, they need help learning to move again. TMD, the new way to refer to what used to be called TMJ, requires many specialists depending on symptoms. I go to a pain clinic, specialized dentist, neuro (who specializes in headache), PT, and practitioner of e-stim. I am on pills for anxiety, depression, muscle relaxants. I take narcotics twice per week, and migraine-specific abortive and preventative drugs. I was told by neuro NOT to see a chiropracter, as there is a risk of stroke when the neck/jaw is involved. The PT focuses on muscles and joints, and gently massages my jaw from the inside and outside of my mouth. She manipulates my head and neck gently with stretches. I wish you all the best. TMD is a serious, debilitating illness, that is not often covered by insurance. I use a combo of medical and dental insurance, plus out-of-pocket expenses. I hope my story helps you.

Liked by lauren123, Amoreena

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