What TMJ Treatments actually worked for you?
TMJ is a very frustrating disorder. There is no real cure for TMJ, but many charlatans. What treatments have you found that actually worked or helped relieve the jaw pain and/or headaches?
I suffered through a bout of TMJ some years back. It was at the time, the worst pain I had ever felt. I found out it was because I was unconsciously clinching my teeth. I was dealing with pain and symptoms involving my Multiple Sclerosis, it was stressing me out, especially the swallowing problems I was having. So I began clenching.
I was helped first by visiting my doctor who gave me some strong pain medications. Then I went to a dentist and he made a mouth guard for me to where at night. I clenched it, instead of my teeth.
Lastly, I learned relaxation techniques, to take the pressure off of my jaw and neck and shoulder muscles.
All of the above worked to give me relief from TMJ. Today, as soon as I feel myself clenching, I began relaxation exercises and if necessary, I'll go to the sports store and buy a mouth guard from there, rather than the expensive one from the dentist which is incredibly sensitive to breakage! I haven't had to buy a mouth guard in years. Relaxation exercises do the trick these days.
My jaw has been locked from TMJ since November of 2005. I did have the mouth guard, but the stress level in my life was so high that my jaw just locked one day. I am trying to save enough money to buy a mouth piece to help with that. I will probably hub about it when I do!
My TMJ is triggered by stress that causes me to clench my teeth when I drive. The best way that I found to avoid TMJ is to avoid the stressful driving.
This involved shifting work hours and working closer to home so that I wasn't stuck in LA traffic two hours a day.
Also, avoiding TMJ-triggering foods such as bagels and gum really took the pressure off the joints.
I have actually managed to pop the disc out of my joint. That locked my jaw up for a few weeks. I managed to get to a wonderful oral surgeon - he explained that while there is surgery to put the disc back in place, it most often causes more pain than it is worth, and there is no guarantee that it will not happen again. What he did do for me is manipulate my jaw so that it unlocked. That in itself was painful, but being able to eat again was terrific!
I still grind my teeth at night - to the point of biting through mouthpieces. I, too, am trying to come up with the money for a harder piece to sleep with. I do trigger point therapy a few times a week and try to keep the muscles more flexible. I have also had to give up bagels and gum, like howardyoung. I miss those things, but it has helped.
I personally found that massage of trigger points has helped me a lot. A good osteopath should be able to help also. See my blog on trigger points for details and photo of my jaw X-ray. There was a really big gap on one side from getting my wisdom teeth out. I was also hit by a horse and I used to have issues with my jaw clicking and upper and lower jaw not matching up.
I was in a auto accident over 5 years ago wich dislocated my jaw. I saw multiple MD's & DDs, who recommended jaw surgery (which would not relieve the pain). This also aggravated my TMJ. My symptoms were widespread. Including; Migraine type headaches ( when i woke, & even in my sleep, constant threw out the day), chronic muscle pain, gastric problems, ringing in ears, & nerve blockage (which lead to all sorts of random symptoms).
I finally found a TMJ specialist who worked wonders. He informed me there is a new group learning and practicing as a group to treat & understand the condition (I was excited but leery).
But I began treatment & after 3 months my symptoms were either gone or actually diminished to not bothersome. However it is a long process (depending on the severity 1-2 years) I am in the final stage.
If you wish to find out more the link is at the bottom (he is based in Utah, but works with many other providers threw out the world) I will see if he has a link to find them, in the mean time you can always contact his office.
I wish you the best.
PS; while the techniques above (from the above posts) help me mildly. Once I started this new TMJ treatment they were only needed rarely (but that is me. The doc should teach you which one's are needed at each phase) And the good ones have financing available (for those of us that are not rich .
I have had a number of clients who got good results with physical therapy. Some had been to dental specialists, pain specialists, and others. They found a good PT with experience working with clients with TMJ. Key is, this is not entry level practice. Not all PTs have skills with this problem. Shop wisely.
Got TMJ when I had the Spanish Inquisition braces as a teenager. Went away mostly after that until Adtech in Honolulu where my new boss who replaced my old boss was looking for a way to bring his 'ol coworker from his previous job - and I was in the way.
Had to cap 2 gold teeth - going on 1 more when that tooth split.
No Adtech job- no more TMJ
TMJ can have one or many causes that contribute to the symptoms/signs, which can range from:
Pain in/around the ear
Locking of the jaw/clicking/pain on movement of jaw
Upper shoulder muscle tension/pain
The causes can be from a variety. A specalist such as a good dentist / maxillofacial specalist / orthodontist / medical practitioner / osteopath can help find the cause of your TMJ dysfunction and an osteopath can alleviate the symptoms as well to help manage the pain, refer to the appropriate specialist if need be, give advice and care to prevent further worsening of symtoms and help you manage the symtoms in the future.
Visit www.dualvitality.com to learn more or check out my hubpage www.hubpages.com/hub.LondonOsteopath
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