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Is this TMJ or is my Jaw Disc slipping? MRI?

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I was tight in my neck and shoulders one evening and laid down with a warm bean bag under my neck. I fell asleep and the next morning I could not open my mouth fully. It felt as though it was hitting something solid on the right side of my jaw. I wiggled my jaw with my hand and it seamed to 'go back in.' It was fine for about a minute and then it clicked and and I could not open my mouth again. It really feels as though it is up against something solid. I went to a doctor who said I must have yawned to wide (I was not yawning!) and told me about TMJ. He gave me some mussle relaxants for a week. They made no difference.
I have tried ice/heat as well as anti-inflamatories. Three weeks later I woke up and I could open my mouth fully, but with clicking and the feeling that it wanted to 'fall out' again. I tried to stay relaxed but about an hour later whilst driving to work, without any warning or event such as chewing or clicking, it suddenly happened again. It is not painful unless i try to open it wide enough to eat. The next morning I could open it again. I was very careful not to keep "trying" it out, but a few hours into my day I noticed, once again, that I could not open my mouth.
It stayed like this for another week.
Today I got up, and it was absolutely fine. (A minor clicking but that was all)
Six hours into my day, whilst I was painting a door, I looked up to speak and all of a sudden I could not open my mouth again! once again there was no 'event'

I have had my jaw X-Rayed and been told that there is nothing wrong with the jaw mechanism itself. It does feel very mechanical and not the Charlie horse everybody says is TMJ.
Should I get an MRI to see if the disc is slipping out of place or is this TMJ and I should keep trying to relax it away?

Please help.
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First Helper User Profile Ladynajera
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replied October 31st, 2011
A CT-scan would be better than an MRI. Don't hesitate to get second, third, fourth, fifth opinions. If you can find a Neuromuscular dentist in your area, they should be able to determine the problem. Unfortunately, there are so many dentists who are not aware of the TMJ problems, and fail to diagnose them. I had problems for two years, saw over 20 doctors and finally found the right one. I am going through treatment and no longer have problems. Your problem may not be TMD, but it does sound like it. Hope you figure things out!
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replied November 5th, 2011
Dear Chloe,

After writing my post, I went to my dentist who said he knew about TMJ. He stood infront of me and put both of his thumbs along my back teeth and he tried to manipulate my jaw. (Pulling it down and away from my skull)It was toatally locked. He then looked at me and said it was a job for a specialist.
When I woke up the next morning my Jaw was fine! Sore but it was working. It has been fine since. I do not know if this was coincidence or if something slipped back into place. Maybe I got lucky. You have my sympathy and I hope you have success with your problem.
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replied January 26th, 2012
Driver89,
I have a sister who is dislocated on both sides and has had an mri she now need surgery she has what they call closed dislocation and may need a total jaw replacement on both sides, the promblem we have ran into is there is not surgan that can help her here in nc that takes her insurance, the one we had found wants 6000.00 to 15000.00 up front. help if you know of any surgan that i could talk to. please
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replied November 15th, 2011
If this has happened several times...it will likely hapen several times more. The problem is that every time you jaw "locks" there is swelling of the muscle tissue, and destruction of the disc in your jaw joint. Keep going this way, and you may have no disc at all in 5-10 years! The first suggestion you had from "Chloe" is bang-on...find a neuromuscular dentist who can truly help you. Best of luck!
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replied December 13th, 2011
Your jaw shares a common nerve and muscles with your neck. I have had TMJ since I was 9. I am now 32 years old. Everday is good or bad. Migraines occur or headaches from it. There isnt much they can do. all I can do is suggest Physical therapy. Yes they have physical therapy for TMJ as well as Pain therapy. My TMJ has become worse and I have also been diagnosed with degenerative disc disorder even tho the doctors dont believe my disc even grew from childhood due to the degenerative disorder. And they explained to me that there isnt much they can do for it other then surgery but its unsure if that would even correct it for as far as my disc is degenerative. Too bad they dont do Disc Replacement.
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replied January 3rd, 2012
I believe that there is a procedures to replace the disc with muscle from the temporal muscle.
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replied June 14th, 2012
Cranio-Sacral therapy is a powerful method for treating TMD (Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction). I personally have extensive training in this modality, and TMJ dysfunction is one of my specialties. It is gentle, non-invasive work, and I have seen very good results in those I have treated.
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