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Thread: Tmj

  1. #1
    kep's Avatar
    kep is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Tmj

    Anyone dealing with this? I had a massive 1-1.5 mth long ear infection recently during a period of super high stress. After it resolved, I followed up with a ENT, who suggested that I might have TMJ. I had been told by my dentist in the past that I did have light grinding of my teeth, and that it looked like I clenched/ground my teeth at night.

    Since meeting the ENT, I have noticed that my jaw does make a slight clicking sound on one side when opened, and I can feel my ear popping (on the same side as the click) when I open my jaw. No more ear problems or pain, though.

    The brochure the doctor gave me basically recommended Motrin, rest, and ice as needed. What can I do about it if I do have TMJ? What are the long-term ramifications? Anything I should know?
    Kelli

    Mom to 5 amazing kids (3 to 15 years)
    Mom of a cleft lip & palate warrior

  2. #2
    brittone2 is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    nak-
    not my area of expertise, but it depends on the origin of the problem...it can be because of how your teeth meet, grinding, etc. It can be a tight joint capsule. It can be partly postural. So treatment depends on the origin of the issue.

    There are dentists that specialize in TMJ. There are also physical therapists who specialize in this area of practice and they can help with things like a tight joint capsule, giving exercises to encourage/promote symmetry, and work with posture...but it depends on the origin of the problem.

  3. #3
    Zansu is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    If you decide to follow up, you need to see a dentist who has extra training in dealing with TMJ disorders.

    The common treatment is a night guard, lower or upper or both, that will help your jaw stay in alignment while you sleep. There are also exercises to help ease the mechanical probelms in the joint.

    There are more aggressive treatments, but you should exhaust non-invasive options first.

  4. #4
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    I have TMJ and though I have never sought formal treatment for it, there are some things that I have discovered that aggravate it more than others...

    chewing gum
    going to the dentist (mouth open for a long time)
    singing alot (church days where you sing tons are hard for me)
    stress (probably clenching jaw)

    Typically what has worked best for me is just keeping my mouth closed and letting my jaw rest.

    My TMJ is due to an alignment issue, not teeth grinding, so your case may be different.
    SAHM to Pete and Repeat my "Irish Twins" - DD 12/06 and DS 11/07

    Never argue with an idiot. He'll bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience.

  5. #5
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    Search for TMJ on this board, we've talked about it several times.

    I think I've gotten some of the best help from my Palmer grad chiropractor.
    ~~AngelaS~~
    Mommy to 3 girls: A, G and M. (15, 11 and 8.5)

    The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.
    Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto"

  6. #6
    okinawama is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I recently had braces put on in hopes of helping with my TMJ. I had problems with my mouth locking open or shut, and I had heard that braces had a chance of helping (the straitening of my teeth is an added perk!!!) Obviously not a cheap undertaking, but something I've always wanted done, and the TMJ just gave me an added push.

  7. #7
    tiapam is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    You can't search TMJ on these boards because it's only three letters, and jaw is only three letters.

    I have a bit of TMJ, the onset of which I also attribute to stress. I don't have too many problems with it now, but I don't eat giant apples or sandwiches anymore, or anything that requires a lot of extra chewing. I have had my jaw lock up after dental visits, too. I don't have a guard though I probably do a little teeth grinding. In your case, since it came up recently, I would take a wait and see approach. There probably are long term ramifications, but I am basically a head in the sand type as long as I am functioning day to day.

    Sorry to hear about your super high stress period. Those are the pits, especially when they leave you with permanent health problems.
    -Pam

    DD: 6 YO
    DS: 3 YO

  8. #8
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    I would start with a night guard. I had minor issues like yours (clicking, popping) and they completely resolved with a night guard (dentist-made).

    Long-term grinding/clenching is really bad for your teeth and can cause gum recession, so even if it is not your TMJ answer, it is still beneficial.

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