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Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 1/12/2006 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
confused    Hey guys... need your expertise... what is TMJ?  what causes it?  Does it go away?  I think I might have it.. I have an appointment scheduled with my rheumy next week for a check up, but I thought I'd bring it up to him too... my jaws have been hurting lately, like when you chew a piece of gum for too long and it starts to aggrevate your jaw?  That's how it feels all the time... or maybe it's something else... I don't think I grit or grind my teeth.. but who knows... any help would be apprectiated!  Thanks!  - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


Cyborg Ninja
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 660
   Posted 1/12/2006 6:57 PM (GMT -7)   
If you get TMJ you can tell immediately. It makes opening your mouth very difficult and happens suddenly. I believe you about your jaw pain though, just don't know what it's from exactly. How long has it been hurting? Can you pinpoint a moment when it started to happen, like opening your jaw too wide to eat one of those King Kong sized Whoppers? Where in your jaw does the pain hurt? Do you feel/hear a popping sound when you move your jaw?

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 1/12/2006 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Ducky,

You need to see a dentist if he thinks you have TMJ. Thats how I dx'd. I was rear-ended and thats what started my problems. I was grinding my teeth badly, terrible headaches up the back of my neck, terrific neck pain, jaw tried locking, not to mention all the popping when chewing food. It was awful. As a result of TMJ the dentist has a very difficult time working on me because my mouth does not open very far. And to think they still call me big mouth. lol. Before having dental work I have to take a pain pill and muscle relaxer, otherwise when they are done with me, I am in so much pain I can't stand it. My neck will get so stiff and painful and always a headache right after they are done. This goes for even having my teeth cleaned. Of course, its hard for him to work on me with a mouth that will not open.

I was put in a splint by the dx'ing dentist. I was put in it 24 hrs a day in the beginning and it drove me nuts. Finally made it to just at night time. I am suppose to sleep in one now but don't. I have too many other problems more important. My first splint cost me $500.00. My son also has TMJ from a neck injury.

Hugs, Susie 

 

 



straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 1/12/2006 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
PS: When I fell on the back walk this summer, I landed on the wrought iron railing and fell against it with my right cheek, aggravated the TMJ and now have a permanent very noticeable indent side of my cheek. Susie


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 1/13/2006 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey guys, thanks for the replies... I've been noticing the pain / soreness for about 2 weeks now... There is no popping and it actually feels good when I open my mouth wide to yawn and when I clench my jaws, but if I'm not doing that, it is sore... odd don't you think? The soreness is right at the sides of my face where the hinge for my jaw is... I have been getting some pretty bad headaches too... but don't know if that is stress / job related or not... just worried that I have SOMETHING ELSE wrong with me...
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots


CaMama
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/13/2006 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ducky, I had TMJ as a pre-teen and my jaw used to lock open when laughing or yawning.   It was so awful! After having braces, that ended. In college I had problems with my jaw, neck, and migraines. Again, went to the dentist, it was acting up. I got a splint (or night guard it is sometimes called.) They make you wear it for a few weeks full time then you just wear it at night. It worked wonders!!!! yeah
 
If you have dental insurance, it will hopefully be covered. They are expensive otherwies. I rarely wear mine now unless I start having problems (usually when I'm either very stressed or very sick) and then it will go away after a while. Apparently I am a clencher when I sleep. My dentist's office laughs at me as I'm the only person they've ever seen chew/grind holes in their splint. tongue
 
My husband had a lot of the same complaints you have. One day he was yawning and hurt his jaw and then he couldn't chew w/o pain, etc. He got a splint and wore it at night for quite a while until he was better. He never wear his anymore.
 
Good luck. **


 


Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 1/14/2006 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ducky! I lurk here often from the breast cancer board because I also have RA. I am a dental hygienist married to an oral surgeon. TMJ symptoms can vary but are most often related to stress or injury or some kind of internal derrangement of the joint. Some doctors will tell you it comes from a "bad bite", but not everyone with a bad bite has TMJ! If you are having some unusual stress, that would cause muscle spasms from clenching that you may not be aware of. External moist heat (such as a hydroculator) and a soft diet for two weeks will help! If you are clenching, a night guard will help minimize the insult to the joints. Meanwhile, you dentist is a good place to start. Good luck! Frayda

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/14/2006 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Frayda,
You should post here more often!  Good to have ya!  Hey, can one develop arthritis in the jaw?  Since you have a good source there you're married to!  And yourself, very knowledgeable.
And how would they go about DX TMJ between arthritis in the jaw joints?
Thanks so much,
Erin

Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 1/15/2006 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
The best way to diagnose arthritis in the jaw, as in any other joint, is with an MRI. Sometimes you can see arthritic changes in an xray, but the disc is fibrous connective tissue and that doesn't show up on xray. Sometimes the disc is displaced and can cause pain and clicking. You need a dentist or an oral surgeon that can take a panoramic xray of your jaw to see the TMJ as a beginning of any diagnostic work up. Frayda

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/16/2006 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   

hey all,

that was very interesting regarding the Lymes.  when i was 13 (about the time i contracted it) i would get lock jaw and the jaw pain was horrendous. & then sometimes i couldn't open my mouth! (mom was happy about that part at least. LOL)

you're right...when i was FINALLY treated for Lymes in 2001, the joint pain was eased with strong antibiotics. [ on high doses of antibiotics from 2001 to 2004 ] but having the Lymes for so long, threw me into an autoimmune mess. 


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/17/2006 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   

right?  isn't it fantastic to find a good Lyme Dr?  they are hard to come by.  at first, my PCP put me on the regular Doxy for 4 weeks and said that it should clear up fine!  say what??

hah!

a 10 year neuro Lymes and 4 weeks of doxy!  eyes yeah OK.

but the neurologist i went to she was awesome.  very very aggressive. a few years of heavy duty antibiotic cocktails to finally rid it in 2004.  but the complications it left were devastating.

the best to you.

be well.

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