Just wondering if most of you have pain only in the joint or if
anybody has problems with the muscles going down from the
joint. I have it on both sides from below the joint down into my
lower jaws and neck. Isn't it kind of rare that someone have it
on both sides?
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First Helper User Profile bijou22
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replied March 5th, 2006
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Hi- I am new to this forum and your problem caught my eye. I originally was diagnosed with tmj, but now they have found that there isn't anything wrong with my jaw joint. I have something called myofascial pain from grinding my teeth. I have pain and stiff muscles in my cheeks, neck, temples, and shoulders. I don't know if this matches your symptoms or not but I thought i'd ask :)
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replied March 6th, 2006
Tight Muscles
Yes, this is exactly what I have. What are they doing for you and do
you wear a splint? If so, what kind. I have not found one that
helps. I have had this two years.
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replied March 6th, 2006
Hi! Well, right now I am not wearing a splint because my insurance denied it, but my dentist did make me one about a month ago. It was a lower soft splint that actually made things a lot worse. I am now under the care of an oral surgeon who wants to make me an upper hard splint, but it costs 900$!!!! I cannot afford that w/out insurance help so I don't know what to do. This has totally thrown my whole life into turmoil. I just quit my job as a teacher because it is too hard to talk all day. How about you? How has this affected your life? Has it affected your eyes? Mine are sore and stiff just like the rest of my face. Do you have a splint? I am going to try to find one that maybe is cheaper. Thanx for listening!! Amanda
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replied March 6th, 2006
Supporter
Sadly, the muscles in your face, neck, shoulders and even back can be affected by tmj. The ears, eyes and sinuses also, big time. The best treatment I have found for these pains is therapeutic massage therapy (deep tissue, pressure point, etc.)

amanda, usually soft bite splints aren't recommended because they become chew toys. If I were you, I would fight your insurance. My insurance company used to deny all of my tmj claims, including bite splints, and I fought them through my work risk management. I even filed a complaint against them with the state and won. I do live in another state (michigan) so that may make a difference, but it can't hurt to fight them.

I'm sorry you had to quit working your teaching job. I know what it's like to have a job where you talk all day and it kills the jaw and face. I'm curious. How did your doctor make his diagnosis? Did you have any x-rays or mri done on your jaws? Tmj isn't just an out-of-joint disc and many do have tmj with an in-place disc. It has a lot to do with your jaw and bite and if it is balanced (not necessarily straight). Do you grind or clench your teeth at night? If you do, bite splint is the best treatment, but also try relaxation methods (yoga, exercise, valium, muscle relaxant, etc.)

i hope you are doing well and have the pain under control. You might want to have physical therapy for your face muscles - for pain relief and strengthen them so you can return as a teacher if you want. Tens on your face should also be good.

Let us know what you are doing to help yourself and don't hesitate to ask questions here.
God bless...
Carol
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replied May 10th, 2011
TMJ
Please...any advice greatly appreciated! I have had horrible headaches for 2 years. Loud popping in left jaw. Wake myself from grinding @ night. Dr's are confused. Some have said migraines, cluster headaches, etc. Botox works well for about 8 weeks but then wears off. VERY expensive ($500-$600 per treatment). Was hit by drunk driver and then choked by abusive (ex) bf few years back. Can't get any help. I feel like it has to be TMJ, but the othodontist said the joint looks in place! Any advice?
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replied June 21st, 2011
Experienced User
I believe that my problem is the muscles/nerves and not the joints, like you.
I have a fullness in the ears, vertigo and tired facial muscles around my cheks and eyes. I think what happened is, with my underbite, I grinded my teeth until my ower jaw shifted back a little bit and now it's putting pressure on the ear nerves.
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replied May 14th, 2012
where to get a splint
You can get the exact same splint made at dentist done through one of the labs itself. nightguardlab.com has them for around $100. Dentists are ordering the exact same thing and marking up the price hundreds of dollars. They really don't give a damn about patients, just money.
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User Profile
replied May 15th, 2012
Experienced User
Just to quickly weigh in here...TMJ describes acute or chronic pain, especially in the muscles of mastication (chewing) AND/OR inflammation of the TM joint. You don't have to have a structural issue with your TM joint to have TMJ. It is quite possible to have both sides of the jaw affected - I do. Of course the jaw muscles affect the surrounding muscles in the face, neck, shoulders and a painful syndrome emerges. Over time, I think trigger points form and often lock the sybndrome in place. This is why trigger point therapy can be very helpful during TMJ treatment.

Also, the type of dentist you see makes a big difference. A traditional one told me (after a year of his TMJ treatment protocol not working and tons of money spent) that I had no structural issues with my jaw (only muscular) and there was absolutely nothing else treatment wise for me. I remember feeling at my wits end - in so much pain - but I refused to accept this. Luckily, I kept trying to find help until I finally did...

Pretty much as soon as I met a great modern NM dentist, he could already see what the problem was in my mouth by simply looking at it as I spoke. Simply put, my bottom jaw is trapped too far back and it’s far too low. I couldn’t touch my top back molars to my bottom ones. The top teeth were sitting so that they trapped the bottom ones in that unhealthy position. So without a resting place for my top jaw, over time, the muscles got themselves into a totally stressed out position, affecting the surrounding muscles. The clenching at night worsened as the jaw desperately sought a balanced resting place.

Technically there was nothing "out of order" with the working parts of my jaw; however, its natural structure was the cause of my severe issues. I also had to stop working and was slowly withdrawing from pretty much everything due to the severity of my symptoms.

Happily my orthotic (after a few very rough months) reduced my pain for the first time in years. In addition to splint therapy, I've also tried other treatments that have helped: tensing, TMJ specialized physictherapy, TMJ specialized chiropractic...

I'm now onto phase two, braces, and facing those challenges. Happily, though, because I know I'm on track to recovery. Thank goodness I found an excellent modern neuromuscular dentist (thanks to a doctor on this site actually) to help me address the real issue.

If at all possible, I encourage you to find the best NM dentists and the best treatment for you. I would do whatever it takes to pay for that, even if money is really tight. I remember at first, my reaction was "there's not way I can afford this!" I've learned though that it's your health and that's worth everything. Think of how some people won't blink to go in debt to get a nice car but yet aren't willing to risk a smaller financial amount for their own health...I've just heard so many horror stories of people's TMJ situations getting worse because they only had coverage for surgery, or the wrong treatment etc. It's terrible that this disorder isn't recognized as yet, but until things change, try not to let that steer you in the direction of the wrong treatment! TMJ is too tricky to treat and it's not the kind of disorder that there is a miriad of options that will all work to heal you unfortunately.

Wish you well in your recovery...Best of luck everyone!

M
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