Has anyone fixed their TMJ problems? and how?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by spazmonkey, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    Has anyone had any success fixing this?? I have a bite plate I wear at night, but I swear it makes it worse cause im still clenching my teeth. I think my bites all messed up, would it help if I got braces???
    It feels like my jaw joints are all tied up in knots....
    how can i fix this???
  2. Kim

    Kim New Member

    with trigger point therapy and cranial sacral. This is going to sound weird but when I'm stressed and eating my TMJ gets much worse. If I go all day without eating (like when I had to fast for a colonoscopy) my TMJ got better. Sometimes I wake up and I can feel that my jaw is locked and in pain so I know I'm clenching at night.

    I've heard braces can fix it but also can make it worse when you're wearing them. That's why I didn't get braces.

    kim
  3. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    I think trigger point injections would be way too expensive. I could do the braces, though because they take payments.
    I just want it to go away. I take Klonopin and it makes some of the muscle spasms go away. But I have trigger points all over my scalp and my ears. My neck gets real tense. It hurts to talk alot, smile alot or chew alot....gum is a no no.
    This is just such an expensive illness to have!!!!
  4. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Mine was so painful that I could only eat soft foods and to this day I still can't yawn. I saw a dentist about it, but he didn't really offer anything except the thing in your mouth at night which I didn't get. My TMJ slowly went away on its own, but I had to help by not eating hard or chewy foods. It's a slow healing process.

    Marilyn :)
  5. retrogirl

    retrogirl New Member

    Just to add my two cents.I had braces twice.Once as a teenager(though they never removed any teeth)The second time as an adult in my 30's for five(yes you read it right)years.The second time they removed a number of teeth because evidently I had little room in my mouth(small jawline,I guess)I still have severe TMJ with headaches and my jaw locking etc. Although braces have not been beneficial to me,I hope they have been for others.

    Susan
  6. elaine_p

    elaine_p New Member

    I don't have severe TMJ--at least I don't think so. No audible popping (think the ENT guy noticed some, but I never do), no pain except what I'd get from a tense jaw, etc. Before that, the dentist gave me a brux guard which I wear at night. (I only saw the ENT guy because when I first got sick I had a constant earache, probably due to clenching my jaw.)

    But I had braces for 4 years in my early teens. Had 4 molars removed because my jaw is too small, he also put a wire in to spread my hard palate (guessing at the term; my upper jaw at any rate).

    I don't know what my bite was like before, but now in order for my teeth to be "flush" when I bite, my lower jaw has to be out of alignment with my upper jaw. In order for my jaws to line up, my teeth can't be together. So I wonder if that's why I grind my teeth.
  7. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    It seems to relax the jaw muscles, and since on treatment with Zanaflex, I have not had the clicking sound, when chewing and don't have the jaw pain, anymore..Zanaflex is a muscle relaxant and very effective for insomnia, too..
  8. Mrs. B

    Mrs. B New Member

    You can buy a mouth guard for about 20 dollars at most drug stores... just like for sports. Sleep with it and it should help. I used it when I was younger but, have since not needed one.

    Lisa
  9. 2girls

    2girls New Member

    I don't think TMJ problems can be fixed, but they can be managed. I wear a custom made splint that fit on the bottom of my teeth/palette as much as possible (certainly over night). Although it helps somewhat, it is not a cure. The severity of pain comes and goes like every other ache & pain associated with FM. I really don't think braces will be a fix, unless your bite is off. TMJ is a very common symptom of FM. You can try using latex gloves and massaging the inside & outside of the jaw muscle. Also, my jaw specialists recommends standing straight and slowly open and close your mouth about 10 - 15 times, three times daily. This exercises the muscles and coaxes the joints back in place.
    BTW - I had braces as a teen and also had my upper palette widened to make room for my teeth.

    I would recommend you see a good dentist about this. They can be very helpful.

    Good luck
    2girls
  10. j9miller

    j9miller New Member

    I have done almost everything you can imagine to help my TMJ. I wore the night guard, I had teeth puuled, teeth filed down, braces, shots, meds, therapy, splints and 2 surgeries. I have SEVERE TMJ and it is VERY painful. I would NEVER recommend surgery unless you have done everything you can to help yourself and even if you have reduced the pain by some you are probably better off still skipping the surgery. Most surgery just leads to more surgery. I have a GREAT oral/maxiofacail surgeon but the jaw is a difficult joint and it is used ALL the time. I need another surgey now but am putting it off. Remember to always have your "lips together, teeth apart". Say it over and over. "Lips together, teeth apart". Makes a difference. Watch what you eat and chew. Try not to strain that jaw. DO NOT talk alot ... this is a huge problem for me. Hang in there. It is painful but do what you can to avoid surgery.

    Janine
  11. RedB

    RedB New Member

    but here goes.

    A massage therapist I have had tells me that there is a muscle inside the side of your mouth that can be massaged to help release some of the pain. It helped me, and I don't really get spells since one severe one that I went through awhile back.

    To find the muscle: open your mouth, stick your finger between your upper and lower teeth on the side of your mouth, and push the finger all the way to the back. You will bump right into the muscle. It is pretty good size, and runs from the top set of teeth to the bottom set. You really can't miss it. You definitely know that you have bumped into something. Each side has one of these muscles, and if you massage it with your finger along the sore spots, it helps relieve some of the pain. It may feel like it's making it worse at first, but after a few days, you should be able to feel a difference.

    This worked for me, but may not work for others.

    Kathy
    [This Message was Edited on 07/24/2003]
  12. Kim

    Kim New Member

    Kathy, I agree with your post. I was reading Davies trigger point therapy book and I found out how to massage the trigger points for TMJ. Yes, it hurts very much but that's a sign that it needs to be done.

    For anyone using the theracane, be careful, you can hurt yourself if you hit a bone or tender spot that's not a trigger point.
  13. Dee33K

    Dee33K New Member

    I work for a TMJ specialist who lectures all over the world and I also have TMJ and fibro. TMJ can be caused by different reasons so addressing it sometimes takes different forms as well. For some people it is as simple as wearing a splint at night and retraining those condyles back into place. The large muscles have gone into spasms and caused tremendous pain. It takes a while for the condyles to heal as one person stated in an above post and yes, going on a soft diet allows the inflammation to reduce. Another option for some is an occlusal adjustment. But most dentists just do not know enough about a proper adjustment and wind up randomly grinding off teeth. That is scary. You best make sure you go to someone who knows what they are doing. Same for splints. Do not purchase some cheap material from the drugstore. Make sure you go to someone who you have heard really knows his stuff. It is well worth your money to go to someone who is well trained and can fabricate a splint AND adjust that splint to fit YOUR mouth. Resting comfortably at night is so very important to all of us and is equally important the next day to our muscles in order to keep them out of spasms. We use DMSO on the muscles and joints to take the imflammation down and then use wet heat and flexall and massage the trigger points. My DR is a wizard on those areas. One lady was on the way to the pain clinic this week and said well, I don't think I need to go there now, Ha! Since I had my occlusal adjustment 2 years ago, my TMJ is totally comfortable. My trigger points do still act up when I am stressed. Remember this little saying, Pain refers upward. So when my shoulders and neck muscles spasm it refers on up into my jaw and even my nose and eyes. But my occlusion and TM joint is now stable. I can tell a big difference. I still wear my splint at night. It is my best friend. E-mail me if you would like. If I know of someone in your area good with occlusion, I'll refer you.
    Dee
  14. fibrodoll

    fibrodoll New Member



    I have to make real effort to not clench my teeth. I massage my jaw alot. I notice the muscle on the right side is bigger then the other side.

    I had been taking my ultram every morning for all over body pain. I noticed I was having worse neck pain and I could not stop clenching. I read on the net that this can be a side effect of ultram. I stopped taking it and I have felt much better. I also starting taking oxycontin last week and believe it is helping.

    I also tried a sports mouth guard but after wearing it for a couple of weeks, a few of my teeth got real sensitive. I stopped and they are not giving me any problems.

    I have never worn braces but a dentist told me I have an overbite and I think that is what causes my problems.

    Bye, Valley.
  15. smilemona

    smilemona New Member

    I saw someone else write about Cranio Sacral Therapy and CST fixed my TMJ in high school. I haven't suffered from it since! That's been over 10 years of problem free jaw movements! Yippeee!

    In the mean time, do you have a supply of straws? :)
  16. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I had 12 sessions of PT for DDD of the cervical spine and as a side-effect, I no longer have to wear my bite plate, after years of having to wear it every time I lay down, even for a short nap.
    Klutzo
  17. dd123

    dd123 New Member

    I had a mouth guard fitted for the bottom and it didn't really help. I've been having this pain for 2 years and had braces when I was a kid. I thought at first it was my wisdom teeth had those removed then after more pain more oral surgeons and dentist visits I was told its most likely TMJ. I am now trying massage near the joint and muscle and its not as bad so far but the pain gets worse in cycles for me. Also it's interesting how many ppl with Fibro tend to have this, but I have CFS since 1992 with the classic symptoms but only just started having the TMJ pain last couple years. When mine gets bad I can't talk or chew and it hurts when I turn my head and my ear hurts. I ordered a couple books on TMJ but there were alot more out there than I thought, anyone have any book recommendations?

    oh forgot to mention klonopin does seem to help since I think it relaxes the muscle affected or something.[This Message was Edited on 07/11/2003]
  18. Misdiagnosed

    Misdiagnosed New Member

    Hi Spazmonkey

    I've just bought one of these and have been able to get rid of all my jaw and neck trigger points. It is a tens device with a trigger point locater (emits a high pitched sound when it frinds them) and you then buzz them
    with a treat button - and they magically dissolve. Repeated use has cleared my neck, jaw and scalp with 10 days. The odd one comes back round the back of my scalp, but it's the only thing I've found that works.

    It's an Australian product available on the web, but you may have something similar in the US. It's the only one I've come across that finds the trigger points for you.

    Good Luck
    Gill
  19. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    Hi, When I went to a neurologist years ago, for headaches, numbness and pain, he told me to see a maxilofacial surgeon because he thought I had TMJ. I went to this doctor, and after several tests, he gave me a night gard to wear. I was also on Elavil at the time, which can increase night time grinding. The nite piece really didn't stop the grinding. After I was off the medication, the teeth grinding got better. Now, I don't chew gum, or eat hard sticky foods. I also do some jaw exercises that the phycial therapist showed me. It's pretty much under control, but when it acts up, I use one of those old fashion headache pouches, the ones where you put ice in it and close the cap, that will help. My TMJ has improved even though the surgeon I went to told me I had a grip like a rot weiler, I had to laugh at that one, LOL. I also use Advil if it gets too bad. Hugs, Chelz.
  20. todayisagift

    todayisagift New Member

    I haven't had any success with fixing it. My dentist just said if it really bothered me I could see a TMJ specialist about it but I don't know if insurance covered it and I never really got around to it and I will be out of the area for school now. The muscles in my face are sooo tense it's unbelievable. My right jaw socket pops and I grind my teeth in my sleep which leads to my uneven bite. My teeth are then unbelievably sensitive.
    -Megan