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AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 1/7/2009 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Ugghhh!!!!   I just found out that my insurance (both health and dental) won't cover any treatment for TMJ.  I've been having a lot of trouble (pain, pain, pain) lately and was hoping to get medical treatment for it, but now that is out of the question.
 
Has anyone had success treating TMJ problems at home?  I know TMJ and Fibro are closely related, so I thought maybe someone here would have some experience dealing with it.  My old stand-bys (heat, rest, etc.) don't seem to be working.
 
Thanks in advance!
 
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
 
 
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/7/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Austen,
I have no insurance but my TMJ was out of control. I worked out a payment plan with my dentist and she made me a bite plane that I wear at night. It has helped tremendously!!! Unfortunately, I packed it when I last traveled and have been unable to locate it since my return. My jaw actually pops out of joint while I chew food so I've been eating lots of mooshie stuff until I find it again. rolleyes

I can't remember how much the bite plane was, but I think it was about $250.00... not sure, but whatever I paid for it, it definitely was worth it!
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


sheryl=jk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 4083
   Posted 1/7/2009 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I have had tmj since i was 19 years old, i am 40 now. I had a bite guard too, but it never helped me any, it was so uncomftortable, even with the dentist tweaking it to make it fit better.  I find the best things that help me with it , are soft foods, massage and heat and valuim. thats what i have beeen using to control it for many years now.  MY DENtist showed me how to massage the muscle there and toldme to to put heat packs on it and itnhas reall helped.  I coul describe for you howmhe told me to massage it if you are interested, it does help..  i am sorry your insurance wont help you.  good luck and i hope youbget some releif...
 
God Bless,and have a Great Day!!.......Love.....Sheryl
xcema,hypermobile,Chronic Bronchitus,Fatigue,Positive ANAFibro-05--Had surgery on left & right knees 06, Interstial Cystitis-06 Spondlylosis/Disc Degernation Disease severe arthitis lower back -08,implantedInterstim-06 hysterectomy & IBS-06 Arthiritus-04 Depression-04GERDS/ Hiatial hernia -07   Anxiety-07 Gastroparesis-08--Occasional Migraines
 Plz help HW to help others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


kAyLa1771
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/7/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I had TMJ and the night guard really helped. It took a little while to get adjusted to having it but i had for like a month and it went away. For me, I had to find what the underlying problem which was why I clenched. During that time, I was having other pains in my body so once I started finding a way to help the pains, I slowly stopped clenching. The doctors said stress could be a big part.

Really hope you feel better, I remember that killed!

~Kayla
16 Years old

Fibromyalgia, plantars fasciitis, constant migrane, depression


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 1/7/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Austen..I have TMJ also but it has progressed so far that the joints are all but desinigrated.  The crunching sound drives me nuts and I have a friend that won't sit to me when I am eating because the noise my jaw makes is so loud.  I have a bite plate and it hasn't helped...actually hurts because I clench in my sleep anyway.  I have chewed ridges in my cheeks...lumps, bumps...you name it.  I take valium at night now for RLS and I actually think I don't grind as much.

My mouth guard cost $850...boy did I get ripped off, especially since it doesn't work!

donna

 


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


Ginny
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 1/7/2009 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Donna,
 
I had surgery for my TMJ when I was 17.  My left joint was all buggered up like yours.  The surgeon went in, took out the cartilage that was messed up, and reformed it.  Put it back in and stitched it to my ear canal!!  I haven't had a single issue with it since.
 
For post surgical exercises, which would help you even if you don't have surgery.  I was told to slowly open my mouth as wide as I could (without causing pain and opening it as straight as possible. Go slow!  You might notice that when you open your mouth wide, your jaw deviates to one side), hold it, and then slowly close my mouth.  It strengthened the jaw muscles.  Worked really well as far as I can remember.
 
I had crunching and popping that grossed people out too! 
 
Ginny
 
 
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
 
Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums


AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 1/7/2009 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for the information and understanding.  I will definitely try the exercise Ginny mentioned, and maybe I can talk to my regular dentist about a night guard. If I get one through him, it may be more affordable.  I had an appt. with a TMJ specialist, which led me to discover that I didn't have coverage and couldn't afford her treatment.
 
Sheryl=jk, could your describe the massage technique here?  I would love to try it, and I bet some others may too.
 
Thanks again everyone.  I'm sorry that so many of you suffer with this also, but it does help to know I'm not alone.
 
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
 
 
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.
 
 
 
 
 
 


sheryl=jk
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 4083
   Posted 1/7/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi austen. Its  very small muscle your massaging.

You Take the oppsite hnd you are going to massage on say left cheek, you will use your right hand.  you put your thumb inside your mouth and you index finger,and you will feel that muscle(you'll know its the one hurting cry )and begin massaging it with your thumb and index finger.  Following this up with a moist warm towel seems to help alot too. Good luck, i hope it helps..


 
God Bless,and have a Great Day!!.......Love.....Sheryl
xcema,hypermobile,Chronic Bronchitus,Fatigue,Positive ANAFibro-05--Had surgery on left & right knees 06, Interstial Cystitis-06 Spondlylosis/Disc Degernation Disease severe arthitis lower back -08,implantedInterstim-06 hysterectomy & IBS-06 Arthiritus-04 Depression-04GERDS/ Hiatial hernia -07   Anxiety-07 Gastroparesis-08--Occasional Migraines
 Plz help HW to help others by donating: http://www.healingwell.com/donate/


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 1/7/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I never got rid of it completely despite a 800 dollar night guard, paying for twice a week intense and extemely painful jaw muscle massage and stretching for months, eating soft foods. It did get considerably better with all of that though, but if you have a painful, tight neck it will have to be addressed at the same time.

It magicaly disapeared almost completely along with the residual neck pain when I took enough medications to thoroughly knock me out in my sleep in the form of 100 milligrams of Amitriptylene and 3 milligrams of Klonopin going to bed. The side effects of that though are unreal.

I am surprised your insurance won't cover the 8 treatments or so from a Physical therapist if your Primary care Doctor prescribes you go to one. The physical therapist probably won't be able to fix it, but it would help and teach you how to do all of the excercises, stretching and massage that are involved for all of the muscles. Learning all of those will probably at least reduce it down to a periodic agravating nuisance instead of a frequently painful mess that makes your face feel like its being tortured.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.


Tootiebug58
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 378
   Posted 1/7/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
My TMJ has affected my neck, hearing, shoulders and arms and teeth. I wear a bite splint and tht helps. Try and sleep on your back so your not twisting your neck in any way. Also, MOIST heat, gentle massage and motrin if you can take it. I have also used Vicks on the sides of my face and that seems to help (I was desperate one night and just gobbed it on) and for some reason it seemed to relax the muscles.
I would not use Ben Gay or anything like that around the facial area. I also stand under a HOT shower and let it just run on my face and neck. TMJ can cause so many problems. So, I hope you get some relief. My insurance will not cover PT for TMJ, but dental covered two bite splints in 4 years. When you yawn, hold your hand under you chin so you mouth doesnt open all the way, as yawning stretches the muscles really bad. There is a book called "Taking Control of TMJ" which is excellent!!! You can find it on Amazon or Borders. Feel better
Tootie
-------------------------------------------
anxiety/panic attacks...osteoporosis....Fibro
 xanax


DangerMouse
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/15/2009 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello everyone,

I just got back from my TMJ specialist yesterday.  I have also been going to Physical Therapy 2 times a week for that and related neck pain.  I have learned some great exercise techniques and would love to share them now.

1.  using your index and middle finger, place them at the tip of your chin and apply about 5lbs of pressure (a little bit more than what it takes to whiten your fingertips when pushing on an object).  advance your jaw forward SLOWLY and then backward SLOWLY 10 times.

2.  using the same fingers, place them on your lower jaw bone just to the side of your chin and apply 5lbs of pressure.  Move your jaw left then right SLOWLY.  Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

3.  open your jaw as wide as you can while making an "o" shape with your mouth.  This prevents you from opening too wide to cause pain, but gives you a great stretch.  Repeat 10 times. 

4.  Grab your ear lobes with your index finger and thumb and GENTLY pull downward.  You may hear popping, but that is ok.  Repeat 10 times.

5. Grab the tips of your ears and pull upward GENTLY.  Repeat 10 times.

6. Put your tongue to the roof of your mouth and open your mouth slowly.  Create suction between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and try to separate the two.  You should make a popping sound when you separate.  Repeat 10 times.

I have been doing these exercises for a couple weeks now and they really seem to help.  I start with moist heat on both sides of my face, do the exercises, then rest.  I try to do it in the morning and in the evening.

Hope this helps!

 


27 female
Baltimore, MD
Dx'd in May 2007 with Crohn's Disease.  Dx'd in Nov 2008 with Fibromyalgia.  Dx'd in Jan 2008 with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.  Also have inflammatory arthritis in fingers and toes and SI joint.  1 Fissure.  Rx'd Pentasa (4g), Sulfasalazine (2g), also on Zoloft (75mg) for depression Mirapex for PLMD and Trazadone (200mg) as a sleep aid.  


AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 1/15/2009 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks DangerMouse. I definitely appreciate the info. on the exercises.  Since I can't go to a TMJ specialist, I'll just have to live vicariously through those here who do.  devil
 
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
 
 
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Karlsmom4
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/22/2009 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this forum but am finding MANY stories I can relate to. I had oral surgery in March 2008 to remove a molar that had a root canal preformed 4yrs prior. The dentist had broken 3 stainless steel dental files during the procedure and not informed me. I ended up with a severe infection and an abscess into my sinus. I then was hospitalized for sinus surgery and have had chronic headaches and Migraines ever since the oral surgery. After 14 antibiotics and several rounds of steroids the infection was cleared in November 08 but the Headaches live on! I have had 5 CT Scans, an MRI and an EEG. I saw a Neurologist who put me on Topamax (not good) and am now on Zonegran (not helping) My NEW dentist does neuromuscular dentistry and has diagnosed me with Trigeminal nerve damage and TMJ disorder. Like some of you my insurance also does not cover TMJ siting it as too expensive!! She has recommended the 750.00 oral appliance.

 As with my Fibromyaglia, I am finding that very few (if any) people in my life understand how miserable it is to try to live and function with this constant pain. I have not slept well in months and am constantly exhausted! Everyone still seems to expect me to be the same person I always was, you know, happy,energetic. 

  1. Do you all feel this way too?
  2. Any suggestions on getting people to understand?

 I have a 15yr old daughter,12yr old son and 5yr old B/G Twins. I also work as a High school nurse 3 days a week (which has been a real challenge). Thanks For listening!


37 yr old Mom of 4, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Headache/Migraine TMJ post Oral Surgery


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/22/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -7)   
The bite plates help some people but can really hurt you if not adjusted properly. If they are not nearly perfect, they disrupt your bite even more and can cause headaches or even break your teeth.

Part of the reason they are so expensive is because your dentist may need to see you frequently to adjust it. I clench my teeth with so much force that I broke two bite plates by biting down on them. They were made by two different dentists and felt like they fit perfectly but I still bit through them within 6 months.

They sell bite plates specifically for TMJ in stores and pharmacies for around $30.00. I never tried one so I can't tell you if it's worth the money.

When I am really stressed out and know that the clenching will be extra fun, I buy a sports mouth guard from Walmart for about $1.00. You mold them to your teeth using hot water. It helps me a little but I only get maybe two nights out of one because I bite through it in my sleep.

Karlsmom4
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/23/2009 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply. I was planning on getting something temporary at Walmart today.

37 yr old Mom of 4, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Headache/Migraine TMJ post Oral Surgery


AustenFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 1/23/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Karlsmom, and welcome.  I so understand how you feel.  Over the past two years, I've had 5 root canals, 5 crowns, and two apicoectomies (surgeries for failed root canals).  Between the constant tooth and TMJ related pain, there are days I feel like I'm going to pull my hair out.  I also have a constant sinus headache, sinus pain in my teeth, sacroiliitis, and constant back pain as a result of two previous back surgeries.  Uggh!
 
Added to the fibro (with its pain and fatigue), all of the above can be really hard to cope with. 
 
It took a while for those close to me to accept my pain and limitations.  I don't think they will ever be able to understand it.  My husband is much more sympathetic than he used to be (not that he was ever horrible about it).  I took him to a couple of doctor's appointments and also gave him some info. on fibro. 
 
Also, the older I've gotten and the longer I've been dealing with all of this, the less I care about other's opinions of me.  I'll tell people that I have health issues and can't do this or that.  If they accept it, great. If not, that is their problem.  As long as I know what I can and can't (or shouldn't do), then I'm okay with that.  I know that sounds kind of harsh, but I've just gotten tired of being judged by others who have no idea what it's like to live in constant pain. 
 
I hope you find some peace and I hope you get a good night's sleep soon.  :-)
 
Dagger,  Thanks for the warning on the bite planes/splints.  I've had one before several years ago (dentist made), but I couldn't get used to it.  I know that an improper fit can make things worse, so I may just suck it up and try again with my dentist.  My regular dentist (not TMJ specialist) can make one for a few hundred dollars, so I may go that route.
 
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
 
 
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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