Ok... She was eating porkchops last night when she felt a sharp pain. The pain continued through the night. She was unable to sleep the entire night. Around seven am she asked to be taken to the hospital. The Doc after 10 secs of evaluation said she was TMJ. Neither her nor I have ever heard of this. Hot and cold compresses seemed to reduce the pain which she descriped as a 7 on a level of 0(no pain) to 10(maxim pain). We've had a child which she said was a 10 during birth. I've done at least six hours of research on the web today out of total fear and the only sign she shows is constant pain,sometime worse than others in her left side of jaw to lip. She drank 5 shots of 80 proof vodka to reduce the pain and has fell sound asleep. I am very worried after i've heard about the pain of this TMJ ruining peoples lifes. I just don't want her to suffer. What can I do to ease her pain and how can I make sure this is resolved quickly? I have never seen her like this even during birth even though she says its less pain than a migraine. Thanks in advance for all responses!
TMJ can be one of those annoying little problems that 50% of the population will get a some time or another during their life. Pain can range of mild and annoying or painful and debilitating, but lucky their are many treatments. The key is to find what initially caused the pain. You've been doing some reading so I'm sure you've probably read about jaw clenching or teeth grinding or maybe even jaw misalignment. Though the previous listings are things you'll worry about if you don't get this pain cleared up in the next few months.
In short, you've aggravated a joint, and just like a knee from running or an elbow from tennis anything that is aggravated becomes inflammed. The inflammation is what gives a cramping with fullness sensation and makes you not want to use that particular joint all that much. Most TMJ experiences will end in about 3 months with appropriate therapy...so what is the appropriate therapy?
Number one you'll want to make sure that you load up on some anti-inflammatories and my favorite is Ibuprofen (Motrin) and usually a high dose like 800 mg bid, 2x a day. You can take ibuprofen tid, 3x a day, but you don't really want to go in excess of 3200mg qd, per day. That will help with the inflammation, but you then need to concern yourself with the rest. Make sure that for the next 3 months you have her eat some soft foods. Give that joint some time to recooperate as you would any other joint.
If the pain persists for more than three months then you'll want to see a dentist and have the initial things that I listed checked out. However, with the history that you gave I believe the regimen that I listed will take care of her.
Hope this helps a little bit and I hope she feels better.
PS: Don't take the vodka with the ibuprofen. The alcohol numbs the pain, the medicine will relieve it.
ScubaSteve has given you some good advice in my opinion. Her jaw needs to rest like any joint does that has been sprained. I also highly advise the liquid/soft foods-only diet for a few or more weeks, and also add that she should try not using her mouth very much, including talking. Plus, do not open the mouth wide for any reason (including yawning) for a bit. The supplement Vitamin Super B Complex taken daily seems to add the body in healing. I wholly agree in using Ibuprofen (Motrin) but be careful with the stomach. It's best to take with food.
Thank you ScubaSteve more your excellent advice. I hope and pray Mohash that your wife will recovery soon. Please ask any questions you might have.
Thanks for all the responses guys. Seems after three days of some cold compress she is 100% better. Turns out it might have just been a tooth problem. They fixed the tooth and all previous pain is gone. I'm not sure why the Docter thouht it was TMJ but the Dentist says that it's not. So there we go! Much relief! Thanks again. Oh and BTW I just recieved an e-mail telling me to change my username. My last name is Hash and I'm not a pothead. Just wanted to clear that up. Take care.
That is just great! MoJOhash. Sorry I shortened your name; didn't mean to but we can't edit anymore and my memory isn't what it used to be it seems. I personally have no problem with your username, but . . . (?) Frequently a tooth problem and TMJ do get mixed up. That one of the reasons why TMJ is so hard to diagnose. I'm thankful that your wife is back to normal.
Glad that she is doing better but TMJ is one of those things that you can think its gone away for good and then all of sudden a few days later you are in horrible pain and your jaw is starting to lock up. If you saw a doctor who said she had TMJ I would recommend at least getting your bite evaluated to see if it could be causing TMJ, I don't recommend jumping into any sort of treatment to correct the bite (as I have another post about my own problems with braces), but it would be good to be aware of this and to monitor it as it could all of a sudden get worse. Also, she should have her jaw mobility tested as this seems to be one of the key indicators of a TMJ problem, which is that you are able to fully open your jaw to a certain point without any pain.