Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Can TMJ go away without treatment? What can I do?

I am pretty sure I have TMJ, however it's only been 5 days.

About 5 days ago I felt my jaw "popping" it was quite strange. It did it all day, and for 3 days after that. I mentioned it to friends.
I looked up Jaw popping on the internet, didn't read much about it but it said to be careful yawning. It's only on my left side

On the night of day 4, I started to get a pretty serious headache. I can feel it in the back of my teeth, my left side temple and behind my eye. I woke up with the same symptoms on day 5 and it hasn't stopped since.

My mouth can't open as far as it used to, just 1.5 times the width of my finger. It's hard to chew and eat without pain. Not being able to open my mouth wide feels almost natural and no pain, as if it's not supposed to open any further. But I can't for example open wide enough to eat a burger without really concentrating.

So I researched more online for a few hours and all signs point to TMJ. I keep running into post after post about people having pain for years. And I don't really see any for sure cures, nothing that says it'll go away in a few days or even weeks.

I'm wondering if there are a (majority or minority) of cases that go away by themselves without treatment? If so how long on average?

What medication should I take? Anything else i can do?

I should note that I am in Cambodia and Vietnam at the moment on vacation (now is Sept 9/11) and returning Oct 9/11.
The doctors here, I don't really have faith in treating me. So I'm hoping it will go away or what I should do before then. However the good news is (if available) I don't need a prescription at a pharmacy and can order whatever I'd need. Sometimes they have different names than North America.

Upon returning home if problems persist should I consult a doctor or dentist?

By the way, I am 90% positive I do not grind my teeth when I sleep. I have not had an accident, or gotten punched. No crazy chewing habits. I have no idea what could've caused this.

Thanks everyone!

This is all pretty freaky as it's just started and I keep reading about people spending the rest of their lives with pain!


Last edited by AGRO on September 9th, 2011 11:18 AM; edited 1 time in total
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replied September 9th, 2011
Experienced User
A lot of the insurers feel that the best way to treat TMJ is to treat stress and anxiety. For myself back sleeping with a minimal pillow got my nights back for restful sleep. Took a while to get used to that because I love hugging a big overstuffed pillow sleeping on my stomach. I have not figured out how to prevent it when it normally gets worst late afternoon and early evening. Hot tub (jaw/ear in the water) followed by swimming free style 1000 to 2000 yard makes things better. Been at this now 18 months.
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replied September 9th, 2011
I see.
Should I try and relax it most of the time, or try to stretch and exercise it.
Try to chew more foods or drink soup?

Thanks....this is all very new to me!
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replied September 9th, 2011
Experienced User
Soft foods for sure. Forgot to mention that. I must be Jamba Juice's biggest customer now. I personally don't have an issue with gum chewing. Have not found it to help or hurt the TMJ. But most experts frown on it.

Any exercise of the joint should be very very gentle and involve stretching the muscles and tendons in the TMJ neighborhood. Swimming works for me but I would bet yoga could be equally effective.

If you get into a bad spot - put some ice into a wash cloth. That will help with the pain and inflammation.

NSAIDs like ibprofen are said to help some TMJ sufferers and are widely prescribed. Alas they do not seem helpful to me.
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replied September 10th, 2011
Thanks for the advice...

Does anyone know for certain if the (majority or minority) of cases solve themselves within a few days or weeks or should I just assume a long term challenge?
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replied September 14th, 2011
TMJ
The most aggravating symptom I have is a full or what I describe as a blocked feeling in the left ear.It has been going on for almost six months now and has never fully gone away.It is worst in the morning when I first wake up and the pressure seems to ease a little as the day goes on and then back agaian the next morning.Do you have any symptons like that because of your TMJ?
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replied July 21st, 2013
Looking for TMJ help
How are you feeling now AGRO? Did the TMJ discomfort completely go away? I've had mine popping 2 days ago and since then there has been pain while trying to open my mouth to about 3 fingers, mild pain with two. How did you manage with the discomfort? Any drugs or medications? Therapy..please reply. Thanks.
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replied August 8th, 2013
Tmj
I have had many symptons for the past 8 weeks or longer. 95% of the discomfort is on my left side , it concentrates on my left ear. Clicking sound . My ear itches and feels cold but not the touch . Also feel tingling on my left cheek .Lots of pressure . Also pressure in the forehead , almost feels like sinus. I get congested . Taking Advil severe congestion helps. It seems to get better for a day or two, but it keeps on coming back. I have going to physical therapy for facial/neck massage, they help it seems to relive much of the pressure for a couple of days, although not all, but it slowly begins to come back. The treatment seems to be helping a little, but progress is very slow and I have not been able to have a sympton free day
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replied September 10th, 2013
Technically if it has only been 5 days then you may have a very mild case and it can go away. Search for conservative treatments to perform for yourself.

However from personal experience when I had mild jaw pain prior to getting chronic TMJ it was always from chewing gum too much or something like that and it went away very fast and didn't feel anything like what I have now. It was more like a muscle fatigue, though that can happen too with chronic TMJ problems, but I actually don't get that all anymore, just chronic pain the temples, neck and some in the jaw and chronic tinnitus. I also get words that shake on the page when I read less than 6 inches. I read it could be caused by trigger points in the SCM which then refer to the eye muscles. I think I read that in the trigger point workbook. The vision thing started back with the neck stiffness which were the first two early symptoms and I didn't think much of it.

I also had invisilign prior to getting the neck pain and later upper back / head and jaw pain.

It may be invisilign or just trigger points. I wish I had a way to know what my bite was like before. It may have been more forward a little bit.

This could also just be from trigger points in the neck and shoulders referring pain to the jaw, temples.

Don't go to a dentist to pay the price of a car out of pocket until you have seen a certified myofascial trigger point therapist. If you ever go to the dentist don't pay a lot and only get some minimal treatments.

They try to sell you on this complete remake which is permanent and the insurance won't cover and it might not work. I did phase 1 and it was temporary but I aborted and it didn't work. I couldn't eat any food with the appliance out because my jaw was so far forward none of my teeth would touch, but with the appliance in it wasn't made for eating.
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