I have had problems with my jaw for years - very clicky. However, it got much worse about a year ago. My dentist said it was TMJ and that my jaw deviates when I open it. He gave me some exercises and said that there wasn't much that could be done. He suggested a mouth guard for nighttime, but I wasn't keen as I had one years ago and used to take it out in my sleep!
Now the pain is waking me up frequently at night. I tried ibuprofen, but no good. The pharmacist suggested ibuprofen with codeine - no change. The pain is mainly in that joint, but sometimes it spreads to a headache or neck ache....like now as I have been fiddling with my jaw! I can cope with the pain in the day. In the day it is a dull throb, which worsens when I eat (i eat a lot of porridge & soup now!), but at night when it wakes me up my jaw feels really stiff and hurts when I open my mouth - almost like some arthritic problem. I think it's worse when I'm stressed, but I'm stressed because I'm tired and so it goes on....
Should I try going to the gp to see if he can suggest some painkillers? My friend, a nurse, said I probably needed something with a muscle relaxant in it.
You need to help the underlying cause, rather than medicate the symptom. I have TMJ dysfunction due to RA, and splint at night which takes the pressure off the joint. It has helped somewhat. I hope the discs will eventually assume a more normal position, and I will be able to open my mouth enough to eat a burger again! Please listen to the experts (i.e. dentist) on this one, obviously you will also need to address your "removal behaviour" at night. I know it's a pita, but splinting does help.
Thanks. I had decided to try the night guard again. My next check up is in April and I was going to mention it then. I hope the materials have changed in the past 20 years - I hated it.
I hate having things in my mouth - apart from food! - it makes me want to gag, but that's a whole different issue! I imagine that is why I was taking it out in my sleep. When I discussed it with the dentist, he made a good point which was that I didn't know when I was taking it up in the night - might be 10 minutes after I went to sleep or 10 minutes before I woke up! If the latter, then I was getting all the benefit from it.
It's not pleasant is it... I start salivating like crazy the minute it goes in, so I wait until I am almost asleep to pop it in (which wakes me up grrr). Good luck with it, tmj can be difficult to manage...
I've had surgery for TMJ and it's been bliss ever since. I still can't open my mouth quite as much as a "normal" person, but I can eat normally and the horrible, horrible pain has gone completely.
Only 2 nights in hospital, but I was off work for almost a month afterwards. I have the same scars as if I'd had a facelift; in my hair diagonally down to the top of my ears, then in a straight line down in front of my ears - virtually invisible.
Hi I had TMJ a few years ago. I was referred to a specialist who gave me a mouth guard for night and also a series of physiotherapy exercises. My jaw also deviated when I opened my mouth and it would only open a small amount. Pleased to say i was eventually discharged but I still have a dull ache in my jaw joint at night if i sleep on my side. I hope yours eases soon x