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.
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
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.
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.
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?