Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Tmj Question...

Hi, i'm new here... Xp
so, I gotta few questions...But we'll start with this one...

I'm using a stressgard (yes, it's spelled like that) my brother bought for me.

I have a tmj problem and I was recommended by a doctor to use a bite-block.

I was wondering if the stressgard will help me with my tmj problem.

Sometimes, my jaw jerks to the side real quick.

I'm not sure if that's a sign of something...

But, it hurts... X_x; real bad.
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replied December 28th, 2005
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Hi, there is no reason not to try the stressgard, but you don't want to wear it for an extended period of time because of the material it is made from and the fitting. But try it for a few weeks or months and see how it makes you feel. Then go to your dentist to be checked out. If you wear the stressgard for too long, it can cause changes in your bite that might not be good, so remember to check it out after awhile.

The jerking sounds like muscle spasms. Which muscle that is spassing might be hard to find and not really too necessary to find. Surprisingly, muscular face pain is usually caused by a spasm on the opposite side of the face. Tmj is really strange that way.

To help you cope with tmj pain, I would highly recommend that you visit the following website geared towards tmj newbies: nismat.Org/ptcor/tmj/ even the exercises near the end are very good.

I personally recommend and use -
1. Lots of moist heat
2. Occasional ice (sometimes even both at the same time)
3. Up to 800 mg of ibuprofen at a time, but eat food sometime near when taking the pills so your stomach won't get eaten up.
4. If the pain is real bad, see if your doctor will prescribe a couple of weeks of valium to take only at night.
5. Eat only soft food for a few weeks. No gum chewing or eating ice ever really, and do stay away from very hard and chewy foods in the future. Do not open mouth wide to yawn or anything.
6. Try and always get good quality sleep (some "experts" say on back is best, but I can't). Use a good pillow for neck support.
7. Watch your posture - do not sit with head and neck forward (shoulders back). Keep chin down and ears over shoulders (see the pictures from the webpage above).
8. Find some way to relax your body regularly (yoga, etc.)

i hope this helps. Don't forget, wear the stressgard and if it does work, great, but plan on going to a tmj dentist in the near future to have a regular bite splint made (start saving money now ($300 to 500)).

I hope you are able to get the pain under control. That is the #1 problem to work on. Take care...
Carol
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replied December 29th, 2005
Locking
Hm... I'll try all that right away.
I saw somewhere that you can't sing either...And it's kind of hard trying not to yawn. But, whenever I try not to yawn, my jaw just...Locks. It locked this morning, but I unlocked it shortly after. Then, it just started popping.

If you dont mind answering another question of mine... How can I prevent the locking? Locking as in... Locking shut, and I can't open my mouth at all. Barely. A few weeks ago, my jaw locked for 4 days straight and it didn't unlock once. I didn't know what to do, I was just ready to chainsaw my jaw off or something. But, on christmas eve, it unlocked...But my jaw felt really numb and it felt like it was going to lock open, like lockjaw.

Nngh, but yeah... Is there a way I can prevent locking?
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replied December 30th, 2005
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The locking part of tmj is the beginning of the painful part of tmj usually, which I think means you are in a decent position to possible "fix" this tmj mess. I only had problems with my mouth locking open at the very beginning 25 years ago. Instead of getting medical help, I kept forcefully popping my jaw back into joint which is what caused the more serious damage and pain, so please do not even try and do that.

I really think you will need to go to find a tmj dentist, not just a regular dentist, to fix your locking problems unfortunately (****a good one****).

The suggestions I have to try are only "kindof educated" guesses on my part. I do know that the number one thing you need to do is to get the muscles relaxed. This means moist heat, valium, a muscle relaxant and some sort of massage. If it is locked open, I would use my self-massage method of putting the opposite hand thumb (pain left tmj side - use right hand thumb) in the mouth and go back as far as possible and massage ratherly deeply. It will hurt somewhat, but don't do it too hard. Use the loose fingers on the outside of the face to even squeeze with the thump inside the mouth. With your mouth locked closed, you still might be able to get the thumb inside going slowly, moving it in a massaging motion. You could also just try and massage the whole face (both sides even if only one side hurts). Inside works better though. I had this first done by a massage therapist years ago and it was probably the biggest thing over the years that helped control the spasms. I am almost always sore afterwards, but that means it is working.

You are probably locking because you are either clenching or grinding while sleeping. This sounds like the stressgard must not be working and you should seriously look at finding a good tmj dentist, oral surgeon or orthodontist to make a good bite splint fit just for your mouth. It is very important to find a good bite splint maker though (there are too many bad ones out there). If you have medical insurance, it might pay for the orthodic (bite splint) even if made be a dentist. Mine does so check it out. A cheaper bite splint is an nti one for night grinders. People either seem to love them or hate them. I have one but not wearing it right now, not because I don't like it, I just prefer my bottom bite splint right now.

Do anything and everything you can to keep your shoulder, neck and face muscles relaxed by holding them in the proper position. "think" about where they are at all times. Don't allow your shoulders to ride up or forward.

And try and rest your mouth as much as possible with lots of heat. That means only liquid or soft foods, little or no talking, don't use neck to hold phone, no gum chewing, the list goes on. Right now, though, it is very important to be strict with yourself. You won't always have to be so strict with your eating and talking.

I hope some of this helps. If you aren't able to do the self-massage, you might want to find out if the tmj dentist can do it or find a massage therapist who can do it (using gloves of course).

Take care and relax. Let me know how you are doing.
Carol
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replied January 8th, 2006
I put the stressgard in at night. I woke up in the middle of the night and my jaw was locked, so I took it out and it was unlocked when I woke up.
Tomorrow (monday), i'm going to call a tmj dentist that my dentist recommended. He was away for two weeks, so I couldn't get checked. But my jaw is locked right now.
...But, I haven't been putting heat on it like you said.
I've been eating soft foods and all that, but just not the heat.
Sometimes when my jaw locks, I try to move my jaw to the side and it unlocks. But now it's not doing that.
When I open my mouth, my jaw feels really tight but it still pops.
It hurts real bad too.
My brother nearly freaked out when he saw that 800mg medicine.
He thought it wouldn't be safe for me... Actually, that's what I thought, but, it's still scary.
It's locked and it pops... That's weird... :cry:
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replied February 26th, 2006
A dr /specialist/dentist once told me when yawning put your fist under your jaw to stop it from stretching open??????? Hmmmm could this be ok?? Wat bout the pressure on the joints caused by the fist??
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replied February 26th, 2006
I dont think that would work. Because, once at school, I was resting my hand under my jaw and I yawned...And...It felt like someone just stabbed me right in the joint. That's not usually what my pain feels like. It rarely hurts now, but it's been locked for over 3 weeks now. Sometimes it feels like it's unlocked but when I move to a certain position it feels locked again. My computer friend from oregon was threatening to help me pay for surgery or a bite guard at least. But we already made plans to go see each other over the summer.

I'm still afraid that my jaw will lock. Even though I dont have tetinus or... Never stepped on a rusty nail. Can a jaw still lock open with tmj? If it does... I'm probably never going to open my mouth again. :d
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replied February 26th, 2006
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Ladyvenom And Jewel (at Bottom)
Lady venom,.

Have you been to a tmj dentist yet? You really, really, really need to see one. You need to be wearing a good bite splint (not one of the store bought kinds). Also, you should be prescribed a muscle relaxant like zanaflex to try and stop the night time clenching/grinding.



you shouldn't even consider having surgery until all conservative methods have been tried and failed and even then I would still hesitate. You need to be evaluated to find out why your jaw is locking so much. X-rays, mri, tomography, something to check out the joint.

If you can't afford this, take up the offer from the oregon computer friend. This is important to get this taken care of before you start to have really bad pain and lose function of your jaw. It can happen.


Sorry to get down on you but you must take care of yourself.



Jewel - yes the fist under jaw can work, just try not to use too much pressure. That's actually similar to one of the tmj exercises I have been taught (but with little pressure against the jaw.) yawning wide is bad, though, as you know. Take care,

carol
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replied February 27th, 2006
My mother tried calling today, they said they dont work with tmj patients...So they referred her to two other dentists...
...And they dont even work with tmj.
My doctor just says get a bite guard...But I can't find a dentist that will make me one.
:cry: I seriously dont know what to do...
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replied February 27th, 2006
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Ladyvenom
First and foremost - don't give up. The following 3 sites have dentists names who work in texas. I don't know how close any of them are to you but at least it's a start.

Http://www.Tmjfriends.Com/bystate.Php?Stat e=texas

http://www.Aacfp.Org/referral.Html

http://abop.Med-office.Com/index.Asp?Type= b_dir&sec={219cdd9a-801d-47b8-ae06-9fd 8c4e1155d}

check these out and see what you can find. I hope you find a few names you can call. Don't get stressed out. That will just make your tmj go crazier. Take care and let me know if any of these sites help.

Carol
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replied April 25th, 2006
I finally got to see a tmj dentist in arlington.
He gave me some muscle relaxant medicine and aleve.
Gah, it's been so long since i've been on here.
...But, the good thing is that i'm in the first stage of tmj, and not the final stage.
Because... My jaw would probably be locked then, right?
I hope I can get rid of my tmj before that happens...
That'd be really scary, and I dont even want to think about it.
But, i'm going to try what this tmj dentist said to do, and let's hope it works!
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replied April 25th, 2006
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I'm so happy to see that you got to a dentist. Muscle relaxant and aleve is a good start. Are they helping? What is the dentist's next step to help you? His treatment plans?
Carol
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replied April 26th, 2006
It's tizanidine.
>> I dont know anything about medicine.

So I dont know if it's good or not.

I wasn't really listening when he was talking because I was tired.

...But I really hope this works...V.V
i'm not sure if it works.

I just took my first pill today and I need to go to bed so I dont fall over or something. :p
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replied April 28th, 2006
I've also become...Really...Really...Really scared of tizanidine... >>
my councellor said that tizanidine will make my joints stiffen if I take any kind of caffeine or other pill.

I dont know if 7up has caffeine...And i'm really struggling to find out if it does.

I'm scared to drink anything now...

...And i'm dying of thirst. >
i really would like to see the 'do's and 'do not do's of tizanidine...
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replied April 30th, 2006
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Tizanidine or zanaflex is the only muscle relaxant that has ever helped me. I love it, but I also try and only take it when absolutely necessary and as low a dosage as possible (2 or 4 mg). It does make me very tired and I also don't like the dry mouth part, but it seems a lot of meds have that side effect. I have taken it with vicoprofen but only when I was in a lot of pain and couldn't take it anymore. It works very well (just don't plan on being able to do much of anything).


I don't know about your counselor's advice. I haven't read anything like that or had any problems myself. But if you have any questions or fears, you should ask your doctor. I do know that caffeine isn't good for tmj and should be avoided but again, ask your doctor.


I do know, though, that 7-up does not have caffeine in it. It would have to be listed on the bottle on it's not. Plus, I looked it up on the internet, so I think you can enjoy your 7-up.

i hope you are doing well.

Carol
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replied April 30th, 2006
Oh... then the councellor must have been trying to scare me so i'd stay on the medicine or something, right?

If... Caffeine isn't good for tmj, you should've told me that before!

I drunk rootbeer like it was going out of style...

But i'll be sure to drink 7up more often now.

My jaw doesn't click that loud when I open my jaw, though.

We dont really have enough money for a doctor visit.

My dad spends money and buys things only for him...

But, I guess that's something we gotta take to Dr. Phil.
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replied April 30th, 2006
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Of course you better be taking your medicine, especially at night when you go to bed. It will help you not to clench or grind. I know when I was a teenager I didn't want to take pills of any kind, but I didn't have a chronic pain problem. Did your doctor tell you to take it every day or just when you need it? If he said to take the zanaflex once a day, at night is the best time.

I looked up root beer and found out that barq's rb has caffeine because they add it (except not the diet) but other kinds (a&w, etc.) do not. I like a&w the best anyway. :)

if you have questions about your tmj or medication, you or your mother should be able to call the doctor's office and get your questions answered without it costing anything. It can't hurt to at least try.

You never told me if you are getting a bite splint? Are you watching your posture, especially at the computer and desk? These are really very important. I know the splint costs money but it is worth it, but the posture is all up to you. :)

carol
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replied May 14th, 2006
Heehee, alright, i'm taking the medicine.
Didn't keep track of how many days, though.
But my jaw seemed to stop popping as much as it used to.
Is that a good or a bad sign?
It crunches just a little bit, though.
I dont think it's noticable.
I still have a problem/phobia of taking pills.
Because I think i'll choke on them or something.
Choking is what i'm scared of most.
But I guess that goes in the anxiety area.
Anyways... I hope my jaw is doing better...
Do you think so?
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replied May 20th, 2006
Lock !
Oh man I no how you feel with the locking jaw. Thats what I got when I was 19 and I had it for 18 months and this may sound strange, but I eventually got used to it although sometimes it was painful other days I had no pain so when I had an op to sort it it felt like I could get my mouth around a melon!! Although at the moment im waiting to see if I need a join replacement. But I no longer have lock jaw.
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replied May 20th, 2006
Well, getting surgery is scary!
I dont ever wanna get surgery unless I really, really have to.
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