Jaw Locking Up

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    In late January, I had a tooth extracted. The surgery went well, and I had relatively little pain. The tissue apparently has healed well, though it sometimes feels as if I'm still getting pain in that tooth. (My dentist says that's probably referred pain from FM problems in my masseter muscle.)

    I've had TMJ problems for years and wear an NTI device at night. I also had been doing exercises for TMJ and had PT on my jaw about 6 or 7 years ago. My mouth opening--which my dentist said was one of the smallest he'd seen--had improved a great deal. I think it may have been normal when I had the oral surgery.

    Unfortunately, *after* the surgery, my mouth opening seemed to close up again. I can't even eat a banana without pain in my jaw. (My PT says I shouldn't use my front teeth to bite into anything, because that will put my jaw in a bad position.)

    All this is a big problem, because I need to get a bridge to replace the molar that was extracted--and I can't open my mouth wide enough for the dentist to work on it. So it's back to physical therapy.

    Yesterday, I saw the same PT who worked on my jaw 6 years ago. She's wonderful and really knows her stuff. She told me that my jaw is "partly locked."

    I know that TMJ is commonly associated with FMS. So I was wondering whether anybody else has had a problem with the jaw locking up. If so, how did you handle the problem, and how long did it last?


    --Laura R.M.
  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I also have TMJ,and also had to get a bridge and wear a night splint, but in my case, Phys. Therapy for my DDD in my neck helped my TMJ so much that I no longer need the splint! (however, my teeth are going crooked again, like before I had braces in my teens...don't know if it's related or not, but can't afford to fix it anyway). I have not had a locked jaw, but just wanted to say what a rotten Catch-22 situation you are in and I pray it gets resolved soon. Phys. Therapy sounds like your best bet.
  3. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    As I said, I use an NTI device to help with my TMJ problems, and before the oral surgery, it had been helping. Prior to using the NTI device, I was using a defferent sort of "splint" that went over my bottom teeth. Although that helped realign my jaw position to some extent, it turned out that the pressure when I clamped my teeth together was greater *with* the splint than without it!

    My dentist is an expert on TMJ dysfunction. He's on the board of directors of the TMJ Society, and he has the condition himself. He's very open to different ways of addressing problems, including alternative therapies, but he's solidly grounded in medical science. (I've known him since we were in high school. He's a little older than I am, but we lived on the same block and went to the same high school.)

    In short, I thoroughly trust my dentist when it comes to TMJ and other craniofacial pain. He's here in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles. His name is Bryan Keropian, and he has a web site. (Do a search for his name and/or for the Center for Craniofacial Pain.)

    I know that he has been *very* critical of TMJ surgical procedures.

    --Laura R.M.
  4. Debgene56

    Debgene56 New Member

    I just went thru the same thing. I had a side tooth pulled 3 weeks ago. He had to do a block injection, it wouldn't take, so he did it several times. All in the tmj area. I couldn't open my mouth enouth to eat a twinkie. I used a hot moist microwave pack on it several times a day and massaged it, and it gradually got better, but not gone. My doc said my jaw got dislocated. I sympathize, I need more work and I am afraid to go back in, cause I can't open my mouth enough, and everytime I sit in a dental chair with my mouth forced open, I suffer for it later. Goodluck, Love, Deb
  5. chknmama

    chknmama New Member

    I have recently been diagnosed with TMJ and will be seeing a dentist who deals with it.After reading your posts I am terrified of going.I know I have to, I can't stand the pain I am in.I cant open my mouth ,I eat a soft diet now.I have been dealing with this for 3 months.HELPPPP!!!!
  6. Mrs. B

    Mrs. B New Member


    I was diagnosed with TMJ about 25 years ago and only diagnosed with FMS last month. I have found over the years that my jaw locks up more when I am tense, or have a lack of sleep. The pain subsided somewhat after having all 4 wisdom teeth pulled but, it still locks up occasionally and I can't open my mouth very wide. As strange as it sounds I have found relief in visualizing. I guess because it relaxes me. I imagine my entire body relaxing starting with my toes on up. When I get to my face I use my fingers to feel the joints VERY CAREFULLY manipulate them to "line them up." I sometimes have a quick pain and here that awful sound (i hear it often anyway though) then my jaw is relaxed and almost normal for several weeks. I also used to have a dentist that would give me a valium to take an hour before my appt. (someone else had to drive) then he could manipulate my jaw the way I described and be able to get to the back teeth to clean or whatever. I hope this helps.

    Mrs. B
    [This Message was Edited on 04/16/2003]