Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

HELP!!! TMJ/TMD Extreme Facial Pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: runnershirl
  • December 6, 2006
  • 01:26 AM

I was diagnosed in 97 with TMJ but never needed treatment. The loud popping of my jaw never caused pain until recently. Now, within the last month, my jaw is so sore, (and the popping has stopped) that I can barely eat a thing. I went to the TMJ specialist who planned to treat my headaches as a cause of the problem...by medicating me until he learned of my intentions to start a family. The plan changed to only include my purchase of a $2500 mouth guard and nothing more. As I'm waiting for this expensive apparitus to arrive, I can't help but wonder if there is anything else that can be done? I'm in so much pain that my ear and cheek bones get sharp pains, my jaw hurts to sleep, talk, smile, chew (oh and eating...forget it!)..even some neck movements. I need to know what I can eat...what to do in temperatures sub 60 (thank God I live in Fla--but even 60's causes tightening of the face muscles and pain!!!). I can't imagine the rest of my life with this pain and no treatment... Help!

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17 Replies:

  • Hey I work in the dental field and I see this all the time from people. The best thing that you can do is just BE CAREFUL and not over strain your jaw, (opening too wide, popping too much, etc.) Something that can ease the paid is getting "Muscle Relaxant" from your doc that can ease the pain from muscles in the jaw. Also Iboprophen or Aleve might help a little bit. Massage your jaw (outside) can help alittle bit, but the most that I think helps people is the Muscle Relaxant pills that they take. Check it out.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2006
    • 10:22 PM
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  • You might take a look at this page. http://www.dental--health.com/craniofacial_pain_diagnosis.htmlI was treated for a knee injury by a chiropractor using a very gentle technique called craniosacral therapy. It's not "bone-cracking" but is a gentle massage that manipulates things back into place. It might help with your pain. It helped with mine.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 00:16 AM
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  • I have been a massage therapist for many years and have seen and treated TMJ and related disorders. There are internal mouth treatments that can be performed on you. The therapist will wear a plastic/vinyl glove and work on trigger points and areas of tightness around your palate and pterygoid muscles. Much relief is possible!!! Also check out Trigeminal Neuralgia Nerve Pain Syndrome. It starts out similar to TMJ but it gets worse and often makes it difficult for the patient to eat or move their mouth due to the pain. Again, try massage, or relaxing/detoxifying the region. You may even want to check out acupuncture to see what it has to offer. (I am currently studying to be a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and have 3 more years to go!) Remember, that you do have options and you owe it to yourself to investigate them. $2500.00 for a night appliance??? That's criminal!! How can they even justify that??? There are other alternatives to drugs (which many are toxic and addictive) or surgery. Good Luck!!! Namaste~~
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 07:11 PM
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  • I have been a massage therapist for many years and have seen and treated TMJ and related disorders. There are internal mouth treatments that can be performed on you. The therapist will wear a plastic/vinyl glove and work on trigger points and areas of tightness around your palate and pterygoid muscles. Much relief is possible!!! Also check out Trigeminal Neuralgia Nerve Pain Syndrome. It starts out similar to TMJ but it gets worse and often makes it difficult for the patient to eat or move their mouth due to the pain. Again, try massage, or relaxing/detoxifying the region. You may even want to check out acupuncture to see what it has to offer. (I am currently studying to be a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and have 3 more years to go!) Remember, that you do have options and you owe it to yourself to investigate them. $2500.00 for a night appliance??? That's criminal!! How can they even justify that??? There are other alternatives to drugs (which many are toxic and addictive) or surgery. Good Luck!!! Namaste~~
    1111healer 106 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 07:35 PM
    • 0
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  • You should go to another dentist or even better an Oralmaxillo Facial Surgeon specialist. they specialise in the oral face muscles and can get you a second opinion. Make sure to take all your films and medical records. Wish you the best of luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 08:45 PM
    • 0
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  • If you have headaches, you should see a Neurologist. Were you involved in an accident? Good luck to you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 08:52 PM
    • 0
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  • This is all very good advice from 1111healer. I have a loose jaw leading to TMJ as I am hyper mobile (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III), but with a few sessions of myofascial from a naturopath I no longer suffer pain, and if there are tense muscles around the jaw region (or anywhere else for that matter) I have learnt how to press and massage those areas in order to unknot them.My jaw problem came mostly from tensing up the muscles due to stress. I learnt to relax.The price for the mouth peice is extaution!!! Are you paying for it all??All the best.Agape,searchingsam
    searchingsam 54 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 10:18 PM
    • 0
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  • I had the exact same problem about a year ago with my jaw. It would pop and ache like crazy and it would hurt to open my mouth or chew anything. I finally went to a Chiropractor who did electroshock therapy on my jaw muscles. I know that sounds scary and like it probably wouldn't work...i thought at the beginning that it wouldn't work...to my surprise my jaw stopped popping. My jaw actually started to tighten on me and I thought....well this is having the opposite effect and making it difficult to even slightly open my mouth. However, eventually the tightness left, the popping stopped and the aching went away. Have not had it since! Look into it. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 02:50 AM
    • 0
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  • Hello There,I just read your posting about your TMJ pain.Me too was suffering from TMJ. I probably tried everything out there to stop the pain, spent literally thousands of dollars for pretty much nothing until this one day.....My dentist told me of this website www.tmj-help.org so I went visit it. I bought their exercise program for $60 and it totally changed my life. I am not saying all the pain is gone but I feel MUCH better. I recommand it to everyone now because I know this program works and it's pretty cheap comparated to everything I did before!!!Hope that helped!S
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 18, 2006
    • 06:08 PM
    • 0
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  • I am dealing with this same EXACT "problem" as I type. I have been to a dentist, endodontist, family doctor and my ob/gyn. Nobody was willing to help me because I am 6 months pregnant and they were too chicken to perscribe anything so every one of them referred me back to my ob doc! When I went to her she laughed saying this is not her field. Out of desperation I decided I had no option but to self treat. I was not eating or sleeping for several weeks so I figured anything else I did couldn't be more harmful to the baby. I bought a mouthpiece and it didn't work. Mainly because I could not sleep witht he stupid thing in. Out of total desperation I started taking Vicoden and that helped a little but I can't stay on it long term so I switched to buspar (a safe anti anxiety) and it seems to be working wonderfully. I still get small pains but when I do I massage my joint and it seems to help. I think pain killers dull the pain but don't get to the root of the problem. If it's stress causing it I would think muscle relaxers or anti anxiety would help. Good luck! I know first hand how the pain robs you of your quality of life! I was diagnosed in 97 with TMJ but never needed treatment. The loud popping of my jaw never caused pain until recently. Now, within the last month, my jaw is so sore, (and the popping has stopped) that I can barely eat a thing. I went to the TMJ specialist who planned to treat my headaches as a cause of the problem...by medicating me until he learned of my intentions to start a family. The plan changed to only include my purchase of a $2500 mouth guard and nothing more. As I'm waiting for this expensive apparitus to arrive, I can't help but wonder if there is anything else that can be done? I'm in so much pain that my ear and cheek bones get sharp pains, my jaw hurts to sleep, talk, smile, chew (oh and eating...forget it!)..even some neck movements. I need to know what I can eat...what to do in temperatures sub 60 (thank God I live in Fla--but even 60's causes tightening of the face muscles and pain!!!). I can't imagine the rest of my life with this pain and no treatment... Help!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 19, 2006
    • 03:18 PM
    • 0
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  • If you're pregnant you shouldn't take pain killers!! It's the same as taking street drugs / mariguana / drinking. you seriously want to harm your unborn baby? wut if you rob your baby of quality of life because you take pain killers while pregnant!???
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 06:31 PM
    • 0
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  • Vicoden is a catagory B drug when used short term during pregnancy (cat. D if used long term) which is no different that using over the counter pain medications. I think the benifits outweigh the risks considering that if I didn't take this I would not have eaten, drank or slept for over three weeks which means I'd be dead as well as the baby. Plus I seriously don't thing my ob/gyn would have offered to write a prescription if it was that risky. It was a concern of mine as well because nothing is more important than her health but the pain was absolutely crippling (this pain put my knee surgery pain to shame). I guess someone who's not experiencing such misery can't understand. But thank you for your concern.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 10:53 PM
    • 0
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  • I am a massage therapist and cannot stress to you enough to find a therapist in your area that is skilled and well trained that can work with you most who know what you are dealing with will teach you how to help yourself when you are not in therapy. Also my oldest daughter has tmj and does very well with a sports mouth guard about 7-8 dollars in price boil and bite forms to your mouth keeps the grinding form doing any damage when she is stressed and jaw doesnt hurt like it used to in morn. Stay away from really thin cheap guards you will bite through by morning. The only other thing I can suggest is to find a way to destress in the evening 15 minutes of TI-CHI or Sttretching or some kind of meditation before you are ready to end your day. Also find a way to vent negative energy has to go some where so find a place for it ie. beat a pillow scream at it punch it kick it cry in it laugh in it make it specific for venting .
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 29, 2006
    • 03:06 AM
    • 0
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  • I have TMJ as a result of a surgery that I had where the muscle on my left jaw was messed up. The Dr that I saw had me do ultrasound therapy on mmy jaw.(heated massage therapy) there was no pain to this therapy and the heat felt pretty good. He also measured my mouth and gave me tongue depressors (I think 13 of them)and told me to start with however many I was comfortable with and put them in my mouth for 10 minutes 3 times a day. I was to continue doing this until I could get enough of them in mouth to equal 3 of my fingers LOL I swear this is the truth!! I only use the tongue depressors now when my jaw starts tightening up and it seems to work. I have had this problem for 6 years now. I would love to know what everyone thinks of this practice?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 16, 2007
    • 04:20 PM
    • 0
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  • I'm going to the Dr. tomorrow about this. It's been an ongoing problem for about 3 years now, since I got married: go figure! It started constantly bothering me probably around October, and since then I've been getting ran around from Doctor to Doctor...for some reason none of them want to deal with it. I am in the most excruciating pain, it has got to be one of the worst I've gone through in my life! I also have a swollen lymph node on the side that's bothering me, I was wondering if that could be related...it's on the same side that I'm having the problem with, but it isn't the source of pain I know for sure. I pray to god that they give me SOMETHING to take this pain away! I've been taking sleeping pills to get me to fall asleep and it's hard for me to function at all throughout the day, which is such a burden on my family. I don't know about getting a mouthguard for $2500?? I think you're seriously getting ripped off! I talked to my Doctor and they're gonna make a splint for me for a little over $100 after insurance which is covering only half of it...so that's probably about $250 all together. I guess the damage has already been done and my jaw is out of line from me clenching my teeth at night, at least that's what an oral surgeon said. I was actually supposed to get a mouthguard 3 years ago, when it first begin, but I didn't want to pay the $100 for it! Am I paying now! Good luck to all of you, I hope you find relief!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 30, 2007
    • 07:34 AM
    • 0
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  • This website is very helpful in diagnosing which type of TMJ Disorder you have on your own: http://www.tmjdisorders.com/disorders/tmj_disorders.html
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, your symptoms sound very close to mine. I have been battling severe, head and facial pain for over 8 years...and Im fn miserable:(. Thank goodness for my wife; she's been the primary thing keeping me alive. I haven't been through all of the replies yet (and Im new to this site) but after going to over 50 doctors and even a recent Mayo Clinic visit up to Minn. I have learned JUST recently that I have an uber -rare condition called Eagle Syndrome. It is where these bones in your head (styloid processes) grow too long and then compress up to 5 cranial nerves in your head...and for me and maybe you, too, it's the trigeminal nerve, which of course is in your face but it can cause the MOST amount of pain out of any nerve in your body. When you research this, remember that it is Extremely rare, so there isn't a lot of literature on it...so it is actually more important to look at posts from the patients with it (rather than the same copied bit on Wikipedia..etc.) b/c they'll give you a better idea of the symptoms that it can cause. A neurologist can diagnose it, but it is an ENT who performs the surgery. Im in this process right now. If you get bored and need a supportive buddy who has these same dreaded symptoms, and want to see my story, go to my "patient website" which someone started for me out of sympathy at www.patientsweb.org/Cameron. Also, just remember that MOST doctors have never seen this or EVER had a patient with it, so be on guard that you will have to find the right doc...but if you're like me than you already know that what you're dealing with can ONLY be rare, right?. Feel free to contact me through that link above if you have any questions. I rarely ever reach out to anyone on these sites, but I did a dbl-take when I saw how close our unfortunate afflictions are....but either way, please take care of yourself! Cameron (32-M..I'll be 33 on Christmas Day:)
    Cameron9 3 Replies
    • November 29, 2011
    • 04:19 AM
    • 0
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