Hi, When I was first in sixth grade I began getting orthodontal work done to correct my teeth. A year or so into it i noticed after wearing rubber bands that were pulling my jaw to a certain side, that i developed a small clicking noise in my jaw. It was too bad at first, but now I am twenty years old and the problem has developed so much that it is almost unbearable. I have gone to a doctor who sent me to get an MRI of the TMJ joints, I will post the findings as written by the examining doctor here to those who might understand it.
Findings : On the left side, the mandibular condyle appears to be within the range of normal limits. However, on the closed mouth sequence, the meniscus is dislocated anteriorly and somewhat laterally. With mouth opening, as seen on the sagittal sequence, there appears to be normal translation of th eleft meniscus and condyle with recaptjuring of the condyle in the anterior-posterior plane. There appears to be normal tra nslation of the condyule in relationship to the articular eminence.
On the right side, the condyle appears to be within the range of normal limits. However, in the closed mouth sequence the meniscus is displaced anteriorly but not laterlaly. With mouht opening, there appears to be normal translation of the right condyle in relationship to the articular eminene and there is recapturing of the meniscus.
There is no significant joint effusion on either side
Impression : 1. Bilateral internal derangement with the menisci dislocated anteriorly in the closed mouth sequence. The left meniscus is also dislocated laterally in the closed mouth sequence.
2. There is recapturing of each meniscus best seen in the sagittal open mouth sequences.
Okay so keep in mind I really have no clue what any of this means. Anyways afterwards the doctor who sent me to get the MRI made me a small mouthpiece to wear on my teeth to keep them in a different position, but it didnt really help. He sent me to a jaw surgeon, who in turn sent me to an orthodontist because the jaw surgeon believed that my bite needed to be readjuted.
What struck particularly about the meeting i had with this jaw surgeon is he mentioned something about "functional" and "unfunctional" bite alighments resulting from orthodontic (braces) work. Now I have a couple of questions.
Is it a possibility that my problem was caused by the orthodontic work I had done, which resulted in me getting an "unfunctional" bite, and that in turn causing my jaw to move in ways which were not natural, which resulted in the TMJ problems?
Would this be considered mal practice? Are there any legal grounds on which I can file a lawsuit if needed? (I probably won't, I believe suing people is kind of lame)
What do I do now? I am waiting for my orthodontic appointment which is in 3 weeks, however my jaws are so uncomfortable that it is getting unbearable. I think about the discomfort all day and can barely focus on anything, and it is also affecting my speech to a point where my jaw locks up sometimes while I am talking and I can barely say anything unless i pause and readjust my jaw. Perhaps the orthodontist I am going to see will have better answers, but I am afraid that many of the doctors just dont know what they are doing, as they have just sent me from doctor to doctor so far. Are there any doctors out there reading these boards who have experience, or does anybody know of a doctor experienced in dealing with these issues?
Heres a few more things I have noticed about my jaw problem.
The left joint (my left) pops into a position where i can only get it unpopped by moving it down and kind of to the side.
The joints feel much better if I try and sleep on my right side, however I also realized that 90% of the time I sleep on the left side, coudl this be causing it to get worse?
If there is anybody out there with some answers, I would greatly appreciate any time spent and any help given. This problem is really bothering me and making my life miserable. All I want is to get it fixed so I can start concentrating on other things! So thanks for reading, I know this was long, and again thank you.