Hi, i'm paul! I'm 15 yr old. For the past 1 or 2 yrs I have had a habit of moving my lower jaw to on siade and then the other, and even popping my lower jaw. On friday I started having problems:
i started experiancing the feeling of my left jaw begin to tighten up, its very hard to open my mouth now and the only time I have releaf from this "tightening" is when my jaw cracks to the other side (by accident usually). Because of this tightening I can only open my mouth to a cetain point and then it doesn't feel good. Its hard to chew.
It only hurts whenm I chew though, other then that I onloy feel pressure alittle in my jaw. I've also begun to feel pressure in my ear. (i've had alot of history of ear problems, including my ear drum bursting..If that is helpful?).
I've looked up tmj and have found a jaw excersize to open up the blood flow to the mussle to clear it out and make it feel less stressed. To do this it says you have to open your mouth wide and straight....But now i'm concerned because on here I read someone telling another sufferer never to open your mouth wide....
Is this tmj? What can I do to help stop the stress in my jaw and have releaf without cracking my jaw to the other side???
i'm probably the one whose posting you read that suggested not opening the mouth wide. The jaw is a very complex joint, or two if you want to get technical, but in a way, one as they must work together. You have been playing with fire a little bit by moving your jaws side to side. There is a good possibility that either one of your discs slipped or your muscles rebelled.
First - see your dentist. Not all dentists are familiar enough with tmj to treat it but you might just have some overworked jaw muscles and he should evaluate you. Doctors' usually start with a two-week prescription of valium for night time. Treat your jaw like it's been severely sprained. Be very gentle with your jaw. Try and get some good nights' sleep, try not to pop your jaw, watch your posture in front on the computer and do eveything you can to relax your muscles in your shoulders, neck and jaw areas.
The problem with opening the mouth wide is that it can cause the disc(s) to get caught out of place and that then stretches the ligaments and tendons, etc. Exercise is good, but I think it would be best if your family doctor can refer you to physical therapy with a therapist trained in tmj problems. Check out the tmj physical therapy page at nismat.Org.
It's good that you are researching over the internet and going to support sites. Education is your best defense, but also be very careful. Always play it safe. Nothing drastic or irreversible and I can't stress enough about posture and . . . Stress.
My belief is that you are at the very early stages of tmj and I firmly believe that tmj is "curable," so don't be discouraged. Take care of yourself and if there are any other questions you might, please feel free to ask. Or, just stop by to talk tmj if you want.
How are you doing? Did you treat your jaws like a sprained knee? Were you able to get the muscles and ligaments to relax? Did you get to a dentist or physical therapy? Have you been continuing to educate yourself about TMJ (and school too I guess)?
I forgot to mention that it is helpful to take lots of Vitamin B12. It helps the ligaments, etc. Magnesium is also supposed to be good for people who clench their teeth at night. Also, moist heat. It helps to relax your muscles, etc. Ice too (for any swelling).
Please let us know how you are doing? Remember, I do believe TMJ is "curable" especially for young people who's bodies heal so quickly. Take care of yourself and...