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wtf is wrong with my jaw?

(15 Posts)
mumatron Tue 30-Aug-11 19:15:23

I am in absolute agony!

A few years ago I started to get an ache in my jaw on one side. After a few days it got really bad so I went to the dentist. She had a look and said it wasn't my teeth but it was a problem with my jaw.

She gave it a long name and explained it was something that a lot of dress makers got from holding pins between their front teeth?.

She prescribed diazapam to help the jaw muscle to relax and after a few days it went away.

I've had a few flare ups over the years but never anything as bad as the first time and paracetamol has usually taken care of it.

Today my jaw has suddenly seized up and I am in agony sad

My gums and teeth feel like they are swollen and tender and my jaw joint is sore to touch.

I can hardly open my mouth and the pain is shooting up into my eye.

I've taken painkillers and have a hot water bottle on it but it's not shifting.

Any ideas what it could be?

Seep Tue 30-Aug-11 19:17:14

TMJ?

mumatron Tue 30-Aug-11 19:26:18

Yes that sounds like it. Thanks.

Just trying to decide if I need to see a dr tonight. Pain doesn't seem to be getting any worse but not any better either.

gengis Fri 02-Sep-11 13:24:40

Your dentist can refer you to a TMJ specialist but i'd go to your doc. If it is arthritis (which I have) the inflammation can cause damage so early intervention is important.

Grumpystiltskin Fri 02-Sep-11 20:40:12

Sometimes you can ease an acute episode of TMJ pain by resting your teeth on something like a ball of cotton wool rolled between your hands to make it firm. If the teeth are slightly open, the jaw joint will relax into its natural position and the muscles/tendons will align.

TBH we (dentists) spend five years specialising in the head & neck & anatomy thereof, doctors don't. They have other stuff to concentrate on. In the last week I have had panicked phonecalls from a GP thinking someone has cancer when they have a simple and relatively common dental problem. I would see your dentist and in the meantime have a look at the British Society of Occlusal Studies website.

mumatron Sat 03-Sep-11 12:32:11

gengis I had some blood tests for arthritis a few years back as I suffer with joint pain a lot, they came back clear.

grumpy I don't think I could put cotton wool in my mouth <shudder>. I've been using a hot water bottle and that has been helping a lot. can I ask another question? my wisdom tooth is coming through on the same side as the joint pain, could this be making it worse?

I'm struggling with the pain today, i can hardly open my mouth sad

will make appts with both gp and dentist on monday. I need to eat some proper food grin

Grumpystiltskin Sat 03-Sep-11 21:40:06

Yes wisdom tooth could be contributing, you don't have to use cotton wool, it's just an example of something that is soft but robust enough to give the desired effect.

Nyx Sun 04-Sep-11 23:32:23

I had these symptoms a few years back, and my GP said I must be really stressed as it was clenching my jaw that caused it. I don't think I was stressed at all though. I do clench my jaws in my sleep, or used to. Personally I believe it was caused by a dental student doing a root canal on me at the dental hospital - six or seven appointments which consisted of my mouth being open very wide for ages and ages at a time.

I sympathise - it was agony! I went with the industrial strength painkiller option, and thankfully it finally went away for good. I hope.

Good luck!

mumatron Mon 05-Sep-11 10:44:55

nyx the first time I had it my gp suggested I go on anti depressants, even though I I had no kond of depression what so ever!

I have a dentist appt later today so fingers crossed something will work.

The strongest painkillers the I could get from the pharmacy are not touching it right now sad

Nyx Mon 05-Sep-11 11:07:03

Fingers crossed for you - however, the dentist was no use to me whatsoever and fobbed me off to the doctor. But did you say you have a wisdom tooth coming in - perhaps they can help in that respect, because surely that might have something to do with it.

Poor you - the drugs don't work, eh? Perhaps you could ask your GP for something stronger? You'll be floating around the ceiling though...!

Ready brek and the like for breakfast - I remember not being able to eat properly for days (every cloud has a silver lining and all that, although I didn't lose any weight! Thankfully mine went away before that could happen)

mumatron Mon 05-Sep-11 14:19:17

Well, that was pretty useless sad

Unless I want diazapam there isn't a lot I can do.

Dentist has shown me a few exercises to help but that's about it.

Might take a trip to gp tomorrow just in case.

thelittlebluepills Mon 05-Sep-11 14:25:26

get some deep relief gel on it (ibruprofen with menthol) - massage all around the jaw and your neck

Hope you are better soon

ArseyContarsie Mon 05-Sep-11 14:28:01

hi there

i had jaw pain for 6mths when i convinced my GP i had trigeminal neuralgia, and he agreed to try the anti-depressant route.

some anti-d's have nerve blocking side effects and taken in low dose they 'cure' the pain

diazepam is more of a muscle relaxant (i think, 99.99% sure), perhaps ask if you can try amitriptyline, which affects the trigeminal nerve which goes to the jaw and behind the ear.

it took a while for mine to kick in, and the other side effects (extreme drowsiness and thirst) were not so pleasant, but it worked!

good luck, being in pain is upsetting enough without having to go through the trials of finding a cause/cure

mumatron Mon 05-Sep-11 18:51:17

Thanks for the posts.

Suffering quite a bit now. I think all the poking and prodding has made it worse.

I've tried the diazapam before and I hated it. Would not like to do that again. Think a trip to gp is on for tomorrow.

cardamomginger Tue 06-Sep-11 21:10:30

I clench and grind my teeth - it's been so bad in the past that I have shoved the jaw out of alignment. My dentist has made a plate for the upper jaw, both to protect the teeth (I was wearing them down) and to provide a smooth surface to deflect any grinding and clenching that goes on. It's made a hell of a difference to me. Sometimes I wake up feeling a bit bruised, but nothing like the searing pain and the inability to fully open my mouth.

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