TMD and misaligned face

Posted by vincemat @vincemat, Feb 14 11:31pm

I have an appointment to see a dentist about my TMD and facial misalignment next month — that’s the soonest appointment time they had available — but I wish it were tomorrow. It’s extremely frustrating that I can’t come in sooner because I feel I’m in a race against time to treat these conditions before they get worse. I’ve been having facial misalignment since at least late 2019 and TMD symptoms since last October, in the form of jaw crackling when I talk.

Other symptoms I’m feeling:
– I also most likely have bruxism and have been using an over-the-counter mouth guard since last December. The bruxism may be the culprit of the TMD, I believe.
– Though I have ringing in the ears, I had a hearing test done last month that revealed I have perfect hearing.
– I have diagnosed Asperger’s and ADHD, which leave me ill-equipped to handle stress; I believe this is what’s causing the bruxism.
– Though I have some jaw pain and headaches, fortunately they’re mild for now; maybe a 2 out of 10 pain intensity. However, I don’t know if my headaches are from my facial misalignment or from my often stuffy nose, which is the worst it has ever been. Either way, my symptoms are more annoying/frustrating than they are painful.
– When I look down and swallow, I’ve been feeling and hearing a click in the center of my throat since last May, but since last December it migrated to the right-hand side of my throat. When I saw an ENT doctor about this issue in December, he ordered a thyroid ultrasound that ultimately came back normal last month.
– My face is still puffier than usual despite having lost weight. Whenever I smile, I’ve noticed my cheek muscles move more than they usually do. It’s worse on the left-hand side.

Here are the questions I have:
– Am I correct in saying that my condition will worsen if I don’t treat it, pronto?
– Am I treating this whole situation as worse than it actually is and nothing bad will happen prior to my appointment next month?
– What do you suggest I do while waiting for my dentist appointment?
– Does my condition sound like it needs surgical treatment?

I forgot to mention that I never had braces before, and the reason for that is due to my gag reflex whenever a dentist tries to take mouth x-rays.

Any advice you can give will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a community of people living with a wide variety of conditions, here to get some answers and share our experiences. We are not medical professionals, and therefore cannot provide either medical advice or diagnosis.
It sounds to me like you are anxious about your jaw and possible ear/throat symptoms. I can assure you that bruxism and TMJ issues, while frustrating, will not be permanently affected by your delay in treatment. Surgery is a rarely used option, and only after a series of other treatments, including self-care, have failed.

In the meantime, people sometimes can get relief from self-treatment, including heat or ice, and a series of exercises. You can read about it here: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/stubborn-tmj-pain-try-trigger-point-massage-and-jaw-exercises/

In these strange and stressful time, it is easy to say this, but do whatever you can to reduce your stress level too – deep breathing, stretching, physical exercise, soothing music, meditation. And avoid activities that increase tension in your body – including competitive video gaming, which causes tension in the neck shoulders & jaw.
Let us know how things go!
Sue

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@vincemat You could try warm moist heat and maintain a soft diet.

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@sueinmn

Welcome to Mayo Connect. We are a community of people living with a wide variety of conditions, here to get some answers and share our experiences. We are not medical professionals, and therefore cannot provide either medical advice or diagnosis.
It sounds to me like you are anxious about your jaw and possible ear/throat symptoms. I can assure you that bruxism and TMJ issues, while frustrating, will not be permanently affected by your delay in treatment. Surgery is a rarely used option, and only after a series of other treatments, including self-care, have failed.

In the meantime, people sometimes can get relief from self-treatment, including heat or ice, and a series of exercises. You can read about it here: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/stubborn-tmj-pain-try-trigger-point-massage-and-jaw-exercises/

In these strange and stressful time, it is easy to say this, but do whatever you can to reduce your stress level too – deep breathing, stretching, physical exercise, soothing music, meditation. And avoid activities that increase tension in your body – including competitive video gaming, which causes tension in the neck shoulders & jaw.
Let us know how things go!
Sue

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Thank you, this helps a lot! I now feel more comfortable waiting the month or so for my dental appointment. It'll be a long process before I can have as symmetrical a face as possible, but one step at a time. Thanks again!

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@parus

@vincemat You could try warm moist heat and maintain a soft diet.

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Good to know, thanks!

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Hi @vincemat, I moved this discussion to the Bones, Joint & Muscles (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/arthritis-and-joint-conditions-268850/) and the ENT (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/ear-nose-throat-conditions/) groups. Here you'll find others talking about temporomandibular disorder or TMD and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, like @grandmar @ga29 @tallteri @hazelblumberg along with @parus and @sueinmn

You may be interested in these related discussions:
– Research on TMJ https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/research-on-tmj/
– TENS unit for TMJ pain? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tens-unit-for-tmj-pain/
– TMJ questions https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-clench-my-teeth-at-night-which-has-resulted-in-severe-tmj/

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@colleenyoung

Hi @vincemat, I moved this discussion to the Bones, Joint & Muscles (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/arthritis-and-joint-conditions-268850/) and the ENT (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/ear-nose-throat-conditions/) groups. Here you'll find others talking about temporomandibular disorder or TMD and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, like @grandmar @ga29 @tallteri @hazelblumberg along with @parus and @sueinmn

You may be interested in these related discussions:
– Research on TMJ https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/research-on-tmj/
– TENS unit for TMJ pain? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tens-unit-for-tmj-pain/
– TMJ questions https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-clench-my-teeth-at-night-which-has-resulted-in-severe-tmj/

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Excellent, thank you for letting me know.

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