tmj

patrice607November 19, 2006

I've had problems with my TMJ (jaw joint) since a tobaganning accident 15 years ago. I've talked to dentsits, orthodontists & prosthadontists. They are recommending everthing from extracting teeth to full braces. I tried a night guard that helped but didn't cure the problem. I'd like to find a chiropractor that specialized in TMJ but have not had any luck with internet searches. I've even contacted the Chiropractors Association and I was told that they don't track TMJ as a specialty. I'm nervous about this becuase I know a woman who had TMJ surgery and now eats thru a straw. Any ideas?

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sjerin

A friend of mine went to a chiropractor in Los Gatos, Ca for this problem and she was quite pleased. He specializes in tmj and I think, but am not sure, his name is Boink (funny, I know.) I tried googling him but didn't come up with anything. If you're in Northern Ca, would you like me to verify his name?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 7:05PM
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patrice607

sjerin-

Thanks, but I'm in the Chicago area. If I get desperate, I'll buy a plan ticket and go see Dr. Boink!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:13PM
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pandanoke

Patrice:

I'm a total lurker, but wanted to reply to your post. I've had TMJ for several years, but it's only *really* bothered me for about a year. I had insane headaches that started in my neck and wrapped around my head. My jaw joints hurt to the touch. My eye sockets ached. TMJ affects so many things in your body, things you'd never even think to attribute to it (such as eyesight!)

I have found one thing that really helps is a muscle relaxer at night. I'm a night clencher and grinder, and mouth guards can actually make TMJ worse. The relaxer helps relieve the tension in those joints. If it's really bad I take a whole one; not bad, just a half. There are now many nights I don't need any at all.

I began going to a chiropractor several months ago, and he has been a godsend. He doesn't "specialize" in TMJ per se, but is knowledgable about it, and once my C1 joint was put back in alignment, I immediately felt relief from my headaches. If I start to get those headaches at the back of my skull, I know it's time for a visit. I would recommend getting recommendations for chiropractors, and schedule an intial consult with them to get a feel for their TMJ knowledge.

Good luck, I know how frustrating TMJ is. I'd be happy to help you in any way, so please feel free to e-mail me as well. -Amanda

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:30PM
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chiefneil

You might want to try an orthognathic surgeon (jaw surgeon). They can evaluate your TMJ and hopefully tell you what's going on whether there's any treatment that can help.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 7:58PM
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organic_donna

I've had TMJ for over twenty years. I hated wearing my night guard, it drove me crazy. I found a doctor in Chicago that treats TMJ. He made me a special mouth guard that I had to wear for one year for 24 hours a day. I had to go in EVERY week and get an injection in my mouth and wear a Tens unit on my cheeks. The treatment cost $10,000.00. Now the treatment is over and I am am supposed to be cured. My TMJ is worse that before!!! My jaw hurts all the time now.
Moral of the story. Be very careful how you have your jaw treated cause it could get worse.
Unhappy in Chicago,
Donna

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 5:24PM
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patrice607

Wow! That's a lot of money to still be in pain. This is scaring me into more indecision...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 10:23PM
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organic_donna

It was covered by my insurance, but not all plans. What seems to help is acupunture and relaxation. I open my jaw really wide and rotate it in circles. Sometimes warm compresses help. I would not have surgery or tooth alterations. Oh and he also drilled down my teeth every week so now they don't "fit" as well.
Donna

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:43AM
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chiefneil

Unfortunately, I don't believe there's much to be done about TMJ from a medical point of view (that's excluding chiropractors). Doctors generally don't like to mess with joints, and this is one of those cases. In the case of a deteriorating TMJ, they typically wait until it's just about all gone before going in. Then I think they do some kind of cartilage or joint replacement. I picked up most of this info from the orthognathic surgery support group on yahoo groups. Also, when I talked to my own orthognathic surgeon about the "click" in my TMJ, he basically shrugged and said to live with it until it got really bad. Fortunately doesn't really hurt, but it is sometimes uncomfortable.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 10:59AM
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patrice607

To my fellow sufferers -

I found a TMJ specialist in Wisconsin who made a biteplate for me. The big difference between this and the one i had before is that this has a piece that hangs down from the top teeth that catches the bottom teeth and prevents them from sliding back at night. Even though I only wear it at night, it has made a huge difference for me. I have very little popping.
The doc thinks a few more months will stabilize the joint so that I don't have to keep going back to her.

I've also found that it helps to keep my tongue behind my front teeth when I'm relaxed, instead of having my teeth together.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 6:48PM
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sjerin

So glad to hear you found relief! Thanks for updating us.
Erin

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 7:39PM
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silvercomet1

patrice607 -
Who is your specialist and where? My jaw is giving me fits and I'm in Wisconsin and would love to know who you're seeing. And I'm so glad you're getting good help!

silvercomet

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 11:08AM
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patrice607

silvercomet -

My doc is Mary Karkow in Racine. She is part of the TMJ & Oral Facial Pain Treatment Centers of Wisconsin. They also serve Wawatosa, Milwaukee & Waukeshaw.

Good Luck!!!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 8:34PM
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silvercomet1

Patrice - Thank you so much! I'm definitely going to give her a call. My jaw muscles are screaming, and it would be great if a different bite plate could give them a chance to relax. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 12:06AM
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pamela928

Patrice--
You are spot on. I suffered for 25 years until I found a brilliant prosthodontist in Richmond VA who made me a specialized day and another night, bite splint. Like yours, they had definite blocks of plastic to stop any bad grinding movements. The first time I put them in my mouth, I couldn't believe it---and said "OMG!!!" But they finally made me stop clenching and grinding.

I would have given anything to find him 20 years ago---I have worn down substantial amounts of my teeth, and have had much pain. But I am so much better now...it was worth starting over again with yet one more specialist.
P.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 8:13PM
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trailrunnerbiker

My DD called yesterday and hers is acting up so bad that her jaw locked and she couldn't open her mouth...she was crying and in pain. She has a thing to wear at night and it helped for about a year. Our local guy said surgery is the worst thing you can do. He said shaving a microscopic amt from 4 teeth would fix it. Now I se that Donna had that and it didn't help. I am so scared for her...she is in SLC and has no insurance. Any suggestions as to what the brace you all are talking about so she can ask her current specialist about it would be wonderful. Thank you, Caroline

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 1:21PM
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organic_donna

trailrunner,
You can try the shaving of the teeth, in some people it might work. If he only does it once it can't hurt to try. Mine was done every week for a year.
I would also be interested to hear about the splint that Pamela1 used. Can your specialist help us find someone locally? Can you give us his phone number?
Donna

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 4:42PM
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snookums

I have TMJ, since I was 15. I wore a night splint for about a year and it helped. That was plan A. Braces were plan B. Surgery was plan C. I agree, avoid surgery at all costs.

I have exercises that I do that helps keep it in check. I was apparently born with a congenital jaw defect that caused it.

I believe you need to see an oral surgeon. Not a knife-happy one though. If you are in So. Cal I can refer you to mine - he's in Huntington Beach. He's very conservative and likes to exhaust all non-invasive options before surgery.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 8:12PM
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trailrunnerbiker

Thank you Donna....He said it is a one time very tiny procedure that needs to be done. He was supposed to do it at Christmas when Maddie was here but we didn't call him as the time got away from us. We will bring her home asap and get him to do it.

Thank you snookims...Maddie's is due to an idiot who took out her wisdom teeth and made a booboo. He said he was not real concerned..she could always get help later...a^&*(&)(...is what he was. Too bad I can't sue his a&*. Anyway she is in SLC. We will pursue the shaving then the brace pamela mentioned it she posts again. I appreciate the responses ! Caroline

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 9:10PM
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patrice607

trailrunner -

Be very careful who you choose as a doctor. The first doc I went to was a prosthatdontist and told me that anything he did would be "experimental" becuase there is no known cure for TMJ.

The doc I have now has a TMJ certificate after a 2 year advanced residency program. She also limits her practice to TMJD/Oralfacial pain.

You might want to try WEB MD and google those terms for your area.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 5:55PM
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trailrunnerbiker

Thank you patrice. I talked to Maddie and there were a couple precipitating factors. She ate a hard carrot that evening, and she slept on that side part of the night. She is not to do either of those things. Also she has not been doing the exercises. So ..she used ice and she has not slept at all on that side and no hard foods. She logged on an found the exercises that I had given her a year ago to do. Hopefully this will end the crisis ! I will check on any listings for a different MD . She has not been to see him in about 6 months. Needs her teeth cleaned anyway. Thanks again, Caroline

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 9:35PM
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silvercomet1

trailrunner - If you know the website with the exercises, I'd sure be interested in it! Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 10:02PM
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