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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

    Default TMJ/TMD Issues?

    Does anyone else have TMJ/TMD issues and if so, how have you been affected and what have you done about it?

    I found out Tuesday that I have moderate to moderately severe DJD in my right TMJ and that it is likely the reason for a number of painful physical issues I have been dealing with over the last ten years or so. Whoodathunkit? Am waiting for an appointment with the TMJ specialists at UNC.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Well, for one, I stopped chewing gum.

    Next, they gave me a bite splint that I promptly chewed through. Got another. It was uncomfortable. I've not really found a "solution" but I do have a number of bruxism guards in my arsenal.

    Good luck!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,556

    Default

    Yes.
    Wonderful bite guard. Most valuable thing I own (after the animals) cuz it lets me sleep without "locking up (scary).

    And no gum, for sure.

    Also, get the xrays but do not let anyone talk you into surgery as a first option, or even a second or third. The xrays show a lot surgery only after braces, and getting the bite right where they want it, maybe. Make sure its someone who really knows TMJ as most dentists do not, I found out. Did I mention I love my bite guard?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    506

    Default

    I have an issue with my right side from an old car accident. Sometimes my jaw gets "stuck" and I have to manipulate it back in place. Going to the dentist isn't much fun either although they do give me breaks to rest my jaw, which is great.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
    Posts
    1,557

    Default

    I just got the exact same diagnosis! I've been suffering for quite a while, but it's gotten pretty bad lately. I'm on a soft diet (no gum, nothing chewy, crunchy etc), and I never to go sleep without my splint. My dentist diagnosed me with DJD and recommended a total joint replacement. She sent me to an Oral Surgeon who doesn't think a replacement is necessary, but he's going to try correcting my bite by filing down or possibly removing a couple back teeth. Definitely better than surgery- but now my dentist doesn't agree with that diagnosis! I definitely feel stuck!
    I think the best advice I can give is don't search the internet! There are so many horror stories out there- I think that stressed me out more and made things worse!

    EqTrainer- please keep me updated via PM. I too am in NC, so if you have really good luck at UNC, I'd love to know who you work with!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,256

    Default

    I have severe TMJ. I do not chew gum or eat chewy foods like bagels or steak (okay, I have steak occasionally cause it's just so good).

    Mouth guards help.

    My jaw has recently started locking while I brush my teeth, so my toothbrush gets stuck in my mouth. Sucks.
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,004

    Default

    Don't have it myself, but I was a dental technician for ten years so I've seen a lot of cases of it. You're doing the right thing going somewhere that specializes, not letting some GP fool around with equlibrating your occlusion.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2011
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I had pretty severe TMJ as a teenager. I had surgery for it when I was 16 and had braces for years before and after. Could open my mouth about the width of my thumb at the time of my surgery. The root of my problem was my bottom jaw was too short so my jaw couldn't stay in the joint. My jaw was broken and lengthened. Had one idiot oral surgeon who was just going to go in and put the cartilage in my jaw back in place and be done with it, oh and I'd probably have to have that done multiple times. The idiot actually told my parents he didn’t care what was causing the problem. I'm eternally grateful to the doctor who actually figured out what my problem was and what needed to be done. It was a lot to deal with at the time, but it was worth it as I have very few problems now. It aches after going to the dentist (especially if I get a bad hygienist) or like a funny knee sometimes it aches when the weather changes.

    Seeing the TMJ specialists is definitely the way to go. A lot of dentists and oral surgeons don't know what to do about it and there's no one cause or fix. In the meantime, ditto on not chewing gum (haven't chewed gum since I was like 14) and avoiding foods that would aggravate it.

    Good luck!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    2,814

    Default

    yep; occlusal plate helps, but you will probably bite through it eventually. i'm on my second.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by charismaryllis View Post
    yep; occlusal plate helps, but you will probably bite through it eventually. i'm on my second.
    I'm on my fourth.....
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2007
    Posts
    710

    Default

    I gave up on the custom dental ones. I get the disposable ones. They are somewhat rubbery and I have actually had more success with these because it does not give me something to lock against so hard. I was breaking the plates my dentist was making about every 9-12 months.

    My orthodontist used to complain that I had a small mouth, but it really was that I could not open my jaw any wider because of the TMD.

    I agree with those who say NO GUM. I had a doc once tell me if I find myself locking/grinding my jaw unconciously during the day, push the tip of my tongue into the roof of my mouth directly behind the front teeth. It is much harder to clench/grind/lock/grit in that position. Works for me. For awhile, anyway. If my jaw is particularly bothering me during the day, I will have a glass of wine before bed to relax the muscles some. I have a muscle relaxer that doc prescribed for sleeping, but I really hate using it as it takes forever for it to wear off in the morning so that is suuuper rare for me to use.

    I haven't heard of very many people who had success with surgery.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2010
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Been having issues on and off for a few years. Dentist suggests a bite guard (I have a retainer left over from braces that I don't bite through, so don't think I grind my teeth).

    No gum. Try to stay away from chewy candies (occasional moments of weakness...). Lots of Naproxen (which helps, but only if I take a 500mg does). Muscle relaxants, even extra strength, do nothing. Going to the dentist is painful and awful because of all the locking.

    Have a referral to a physio, so I'm trying that in a few weeks. There's also a dentist in my city who specializes in TMJ/TMD, so that will likely be the next step after the physio.

    I find it's worse after I ride, as I do clench my jaw when jumping.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2004
    Location
    Collegeville, PA
    Posts
    3,250

    Default

    I have pretty bad tmj, although thankfully I haven't locked up badly in quite a while. I have a bite guard but I really just want to get the dang surgery.
    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    169

    Default thanks for this thread

    I haven't been diagnosed with TMJ (yet) but have had a severe crossbite since I was a child which they tried to correct with years of braces and the threat of surgically breaking and restructuring my jaw which my parents refused. Now at age 44 I'm having some issues with grinding my teeth at night and my teeth wearing unevenly. Also had some less than stellar dentist do two fillings in my mouth over the summer which have somehow changed my entire bite. At this point what type of doctor do I see to get things back in order? Dentist? Oral surgeon? Or????



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
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    2,814

    Default

    Orthodontist might be best.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
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    Charlotte
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace67 View Post
    I haven't been diagnosed with TMJ (yet) but have had a severe crossbite since I was a child which they tried to correct with years of braces and the threat of surgically breaking and restructuring my jaw which my parents refused. Now at age 44 I'm having some issues with grinding my teeth at night and my teeth wearing unevenly. Also had some less than stellar dentist do two fillings in my mouth over the summer which have somehow changed my entire bite. At this point what type of doctor do I see to get things back in order? Dentist? Oral surgeon? Or????
    My most recent diagnosis is from my Oral Surgeon, and he says my problem is my crossbite. When I close my mouth, my teeth only tough in one tiny place on the very back left side of my mouth. We're still in the planning stages (he has made impressions of my teeth and is considering options), but as far as he can tell, he will either be grinding down my back teeth or (more likely) removing 2 teeth. Not an ideal situation, but far better prognosis than the total joint replacement my dentist wants to do! I say go to an Oral Surgeon. I saw an orthodontist for a year and a half, and all he did was make another
    ($1000) night guard and prescribe more muscle relaxants....
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2007
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    My very own sliver of heaven.
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    1,302

    Default

    Me too! Actually just got back from my chiropractor a few hours ago because I haven't been able to close my mouth for almost two days (I can manipulate the jaw manually and get it to close, but if I try to close it normally, it gets very painfully stuck); it's not fixed, but it's better! I eventually need to have a groove deepening and tightening done for one of the tendons on the left side and then I need to have the meniscus repaired on the right (that's what's causing the acute issue). But for now, my chiropractor is able to keep things in line and get the muscles to release and soften so that things are completely askew. Might be worth a shot, EqTrainer!
    Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.



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