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TMJ/Jaw problems

(14 Posts)
timidviper Tue 16-Aug-11 22:27:26

Has anybody else come across this and got any advice please?

In brief, 2 years ago I developed pain and feelings of pressure in one side of my face, jaw and teeth that were very variable both in terms of intensity and position. It was a dull ache with the odd sharp twinge rather than a searing neuralgia type pain. GP was adamant it was dental as he ruled out ear, sinus, etc, dentist was useless and unhelpful despite my being unwell. Finally I saw a maxillofacial specialist who suggested TMJ disorder causing muscle spasms and eventually, after about 4-5 months it just faded away.

Now it has come back, initially this time on the opposite side of my face but today it has switched to the original side. I have moving a varying sensations of pressure, aching and tingling in my ear, temple, cheekbone, cheek, teeth and lower jaw (thank God not all at once though, tends to always be one at a time)

I have Ibuprofen and have been suggested to stick to soft food and use a warm wheatbag on my jaw to relax it. Please does anyone know any more?

MirandaGoshawk Tue 16-Aug-11 22:30:46

DH has had this for some time, on one side. He sees a cranial osteopath evey ten days and it is slowly being sorted out.

timidviper Tue 16-Aug-11 22:34:49

Thanks, I had wondered about cranial osteopathy. Has he found anything particularly helpful for the pain?

littlebrownmouse Tue 16-Aug-11 22:40:53

I have this though haven't suffered with it for ages. I used to have a dull ache in my jaw that would eventually become a really bad one sided headache. I had a bite raiser made by the dentist which was like a clip on bit of plastic that fitted over my bottom teeth and I wore it at night when it was painful, if it was especially bad and I was able to, I'd wear it in the day as well. It stopped me clenching my jaw when tired/stressed and actually, this thread has made me realize that I don't do it any more. I suppose that's why it's not painful any more.

CocktailMumma Wed 17-Aug-11 18:50:26

I suffer too. My dentist has been fab but just recently my symptoms have worsened.

I have a mouth guard I wear at night and I also take 2 mg of Diazepam morning and night as a muscle relaxant.

I had to have some teeth rebuilt and fillings replaced 2 weeks ago as I had worn them away by clenching and grinding at night in my sleep. Since having to lie there with my mouth wide open for about an hour I have not been able to open and close my jaw properly. Its slowly improving but I still cannot fully extend my jaw so my mouth is wide open - not that I want to!!

I have been told the muscle is in such a tight spasm it may be a while before my mouth will open fully again.

I am watching this thread with interest.

timidviper Wed 17-Aug-11 21:42:34

You poor thing! That sounds loads worse than mine.

I have Nortriptyline to take at night if I need it but it takes a while to get going and has some side-effects so by the time I feel --desperate enough--ready to take it I've suffered for a while. My GP is very reluctant to give Diazepam though which is a shame as it's a great drug if used properly.

I had lost about 4 teeth by the time the TMJ thing was suggested as my previous dentist was a numpty who didn't seem to think beyond straightforward toothache. Eventually I referred myself to the specialist who found this and then changed to a more competent dentist.

I am having reflexology tomorrow to see if that can help so will post back and let you know.

CocktailMumma Wed 17-Aug-11 21:54:23

Oh please do report back re the reflexology. It is something I am considering.

What is Nortriptyline? And how is it supposed to work?

I recently went to my GP for more Diazepam (because my dentist is a long way away - I keep him cos he is fab but we move house with DHs job every few years). My GP was very reluctant to prescribe it for me. I was in there 20 minutes or so answering questions etc. Then when I went to the pharmacy,I had to wait ages as 2 different people had to sign off the fact she had taken it out of a small locked locker on the wall or something! I get the impression, they really dont like dishing it out. I have to say though I really think it helps relax the muscle in my jaw.

timidviper Wed 17-Aug-11 22:13:55

Nortriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant (so it's one of the old fashioned ones) and they have discovered that these ADs aid pain control as they slow the transmission of pain impulses. It is not a muscle relaxant but being an anti-depressant can help if you have ongoing pain.

Will report back tomorrow on the reflexology.

MirandaGoshawk Thu 18-Aug-11 12:34:03

DH lost two teeth before his dentist referred him to the hostpital & specialist diagnosed TMJ. She had a mouthguard made & I think it lasted two nights before he'd crunched it! He has bought a sports one but it has proved to be useless because it doesn't go back far enough.

He has made some progress with the cranial osteopath, who is working to loosen everything up. I will get him to come on here if I can as he knows more about it than I do.

lookbutdonttouch Thu 18-Aug-11 13:25:31

I am shortly off to the dentist as I have just ground another back tooth into bits..... sad

My jaw sort of doesnt fit together properly on one side and is all clicky and it aches and grinds when I talk or eat.

On top of that I grind them at night and its worse when I am stressed.

I have had diazepam for other pain and muscle problems (back) and it did help with the jaw, they do hate giving it out and if you ask they do seem to assume you are addicted rather than that it might work! There is the problem that if you are on it long term the effectiveness wears off and they would have to increase your dose - not good.

I hadnt considered cranial osteopathy - might be cheaper than new teeth!

timidviper Thu 18-Aug-11 21:20:22

I had my reflexology today and it was lovely <needs a sheer bliss emoticon>
It was certainly relaxing and I was surprised at how "out of balance" my feet said I was!

The practitioner was very kind and also did a small shoulder, neck and head treatment which was lovely too!

I'm going to start my Nortriptyline tonight to see if that helps. Ibuprofen is holding it at bay but I can still feel it's there, especially when it starts to wear off.

Would love to hear more about cranial osteopathy. All I know about it so far is that a pharmacist friend told me her jaw locked during her finals and she could barely open her mouth. She was told an op was essential but had CO and it gradually eased. She said it was very strange as nothing seemed to happen really during a treatment yet she knew it had a profound effect on her.

CocktailMumma Fri 19-Aug-11 01:11:11

The reflexology sounds good! Glad you enjoyed it.

Think I may book a session although it wont be before my DC go back to school.

I too would be interested to know more about CO.

Darnsarfupnorf Fri 19-Aug-11 01:41:21

Thankyou for this thread! Ive had similar symptoms for a few years and the doctor pretty much laughed me out of the surgery and told me to take paracetamol! Ill definetly pay the dentist a visit and look into the reflexology and things smile

Knackeredmother Tue 23-Aug-11 21:57:22

This thread is interesting, I've had very similar symptoms for about 6 months. Left sided eye/ear/cheek/ jaw pressure and ache. In fact I've just had a ct scan today to rule out anything sinister.
I would be interested to hear how you all get on. I have self diagnosed temporalis tendonitis, basically an inflammation of the insertion of one of the muscles that supplies a large part of the face. Can cause many of the symptoms we are experiencing.
I hope this may help someone.

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