So i've been suffering from what my doctors have diagnosed as TMJ for almost 6 years now and it's gotten to the point where medical intervention is needed.
A little background on my TMJ. All this pain started after my car accident my junior year in high school. I was t-boned from the left side but it did not cause any injuries to me or the other party. At first there was no problem, but slowly i began developing headaches and neck/shoulder pains which was caused by me grinding and clenching my jaw (my parents could hear me when i was sleeping all the way in there room). Later in the year my jaw hurt so bad i went to go see a dentist who supposedly specialized in TMJ. He told me that i grind my teeth so bad basically all of my teeth were worn down and leveled. He made me a splint which i wore for about a year until i lost it. It helped but it didn't fix anything. As soon as i reached college i noticed that it had gotten worse and now (here is where my problem is) i move my jaw around constantly!!! What i mean by this is that, all day because i feel tension on the left side of my jaw i pop my jaw left and right, open and closed until it felt better (usually i do it about 3 or 4 time till it "feels" better).
i have severe clicking and popping when i do this and it causes pain in my ear in my eyes and my neck and back.
Sometimes it gets so severe (moving my jaw around) that people constantly ask me why i do "that" with my jaw. I don't know why i do it for the longest time i thought it was natural because my jaw was misaligned but everyone i talked to who has tmj or knows someone who does, doesn't seem to do what i do. I feel like i'm the only TMJ patient who has this particular problem.
just to illustrate the severity i move my jaw at least a couple hundred times a day.
Finally it got to the point where i was in so much pain i went to go see an orthodontist (my dentist suggested this). My orthodontist said i have TMJ and that it may have something to do with my severe under bite. So to his suggestion i am undergoing a series of treatments to help with this. In conjunction with an oral surgeon and my orthodontist they said that i should get braces and then after a year have jaw surgery to correct my bite. Also they said that because of the way all 4 of my wisdom teeth grew in it was causing tension in my jaw, so they decided to remove them while i have my jaw surgery.
Now it's nearing the time to get my surgery and slowly i feel less and less confident that this will help. Maybe it's because i'm nervous or something but i've been so stressed about it i'm in the worst pain of my life!! I feel like i have a disability because people are constantly asking me why i move my jaw around.
Does anyone have a similar problem? Have they had any success with a similar series of treatment? Anyone just have any good advice as to how to proceed?
Hi, I have the same problem, and am currently awaiting the braces, then surgery when braces are finished. I think I got it following a tonsillectomy and can only reason that this was from where my jaw was clamped open, combined with the fact that i have an overbite.
My dental hospital has shown me digital imaging of before and after side profiles and also discussed with me that the surgery may not even make my jaw better but after 10 years of 'clicking' and headaches/pain I just want to try anything. I would be interested to know as well if anyone has had this surgery done?
I would put surgery at last resort, although surgery is necessary for some people. Braces may also help. I would at least seek a consultation with a Neuromuscular dentist in your area, they may be able to help. Some Orthodontists also are trained in Neuromuscular approach to treatment. A large overbite can possibly indicate a problem that may be solved with neuromuscular dentistry, but sometimes other treatments or combination of treatments are necessary as well.
Simply put, sometimes the teeth put the jaw in a position that makes the muscles and joints uncomfortable. This can lead to back, neck, facial and joint pain as well as headaches, ringing in the ears, and a lot of other symptoms. Neuromuscular dentistry uses tracking of the jaw and monitoring of the muscles to place the jaw in the most comfortable position for the muscles and joints. This is all done non-invasively. A "stint" or "orthotic" is then made to position the jaw in this place. Sometimes the problems are completely correctable using this therapy, sometimes the service of other professionals (physicians, physical therapists, Chiropractors)and possibly surgery are needed to correct the problems.
If your user name is a reference to your location of Cardiff-by-the-sea, I may be able to help.
Thanks for that - live in Cardiff, Wales, UK. I have been seeing consultants for a few years now and it seems surgery is a last resort after having help from my maxiofacial consultant and now othodondist and advice from the surgeons. Tried gels, having wisdom teeth out and mouth splints but to no avail.
The surgery sounds very scary and a long drawn out process but I am willing to try anything now - am constantly ill with ENT problems, and am hoping that this may at least provide some form of cessation in some of the symptoms.
Just reading your post and although it's over 2 years old, I thought I'd check in to see how you're doing and to see if all is improved through your surgery?
I have had a very similar experience with my TMJ and am constantly consumed with the urge to crack my jaw, which I do very often throughout the day. I too get asked what's wrong with me and have had difficulty finding other TMJ posts with people who suffer from this as well.
Aside from the constant urge to crack/pop my jaw, I've also got incessant ringing in my left ear, bizarre mouth sores and my TM joint crunches/pops loudly and painfully when I eat. It's been a real challenge to focus on anything else. I have been grinding for a while now but the problem has gotten much worse in the last few months and I am far from home (on a work mission in Africa) so have been struggling to survive until I see an NM dentist upon my return in 2 months. I just hope I'm not doing permanent dammage. Anyway, any tips/advice that you have to share from your experience would be great as it seems many of the other TMD sufferers do not have this same urge to move/crack their jaws.