Anyone Have TMJ Problems?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Julie K, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    My jaw cracks on one side when I open my mouth wide (yawn or at dentist). It has for as long as I can remember, however recently it's been doing it a lot more often and is now uncomfortable as well. I did some searching and am self-diagnosing it as a TMJ disorder. (I am seeing a dentist for a check-up in a couple of weeks and will mention it - but I doubt I'll have to since he'll hear a real loud "pop"!)

    Anyway, does anyone else have this problem and was anyone able to do anything for you? Did you have to have surgery? Eat liquid food for a long time? I wasn't too pleased by treatment plans...
     
  2. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Julie,
    I have TMJ, and decided that the treatment was far worse than the problem. Once in a great while it will hurt when it pops or moves just right.
    The surgeon told me that i needed my lower jaw adjusted (split on both sides and moved out). My insurance wanted a second opinion and they said, "you need the upper jaw redone also". I opted to not do it [​IMG] To get the surgery done, it would have been wired down for about 4 weeks, which would have been pretty much a liquid diet during that time.
    I can typically crack/pop my jaw on command, and I'm sure some day I'll pay for not taking care of it.
    Good luck,
    Kurt
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Yeah. The right side of my jaw pops in and out of the socket every time I chew- my whole life. Imagine eating a steak...pop, pop, pop...

    It's not loud, so no one else notices. It doesn't bother me that much. During a particularly stressful/very busy period at work, it seemed I was clenching my jaw a lot, and it hurt quite a bit. After I figured this out, I made it a point to concentrate on not clenching my jaw, and the pain went away.

    The surgery seems an exercise in self-mutilation, but I suppose some people have to have it.

    Think of it this way- how did you manage to live with it, relatively pain-free, for this long? Why not try to figure out how to get back to that point?

    Todd
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    My girlfriend's jaw pops all the time when she yawns. It kinda freaks me out but she says it doesn't hurt. She did mention that a doctor told her a long time ago that the only solution was something similar to what Kurt said in his post.

    Yech!
     
  5. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    Todd,

    I too clench my jaw during stress. It caused my jaw to have some deterioration. I now wear a removable mouth splint that holds the jaw apart so to speak.

    ~Kurt
     
  6. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. I was hoping there was something a little less invasive than splitting my jaws apart. I would definitely pass on that one [​IMG]
    That stress bit sounds plausible. I've been very busy/stressed lately and I could well have been clenching my teeth. I'll try to ease up. Maybe I should also stop chewing ice.
     
  7. Kurt B

    Kurt B Stunt Coordinator

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    Regarding the splint, it's not too bad and I can wear it at the office. It does help and I notice my jaw muscles feel much better now.
    I only sounded like Sylvester the Cat for a short time till I got used to speaking with it in. [​IMG]
    ~Kurt
     
  8. Wayne Murphy

    Wayne Murphy Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey there:
    Both me and my wife have tmj problems. My wife has a constant pain if she opens here mouth to wide and when it cracks she winces pretty bad.
    I have the on again off again version. Mine got so bad after we bought our new house then got laid off 2 months later that I couldn't open my mouth more than a centimeter. I'm talking totally locked! I would use my hands to slowly try to pry my mouth open in the morning and some times I would have to use an icepack for a while to get the muscles to relax enough to open at all.
    We both have mouth pieces for night use but they make it worse for me.
    I just found out at my message therapist that there is a message therapy for tmj. The massuse has to be schooled in something called ACT. active release therapy (I think that's it) They can do certain pressure points on your cheeck jaw and inside your mouth and it's supposed to help quite a bit. I was in remission when she told me about it so I can't give you my 2cents worth.
     
  9. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    I too have the jaw popping TMJ. I went to a doctor about it and was basically told that I could go ahead and get it worked on but that it would be a better idea to:

    1. not grind my teeth

    2. not chew gum

    3. not bite my nails

    I kind of like freaking people out by popping my jaw because I can do it really loud on command. I do have it under control now that I stopped doing the above.
     
  10. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Here is my biggest jaw problem:

    As a drummer I love to drum on almost anything especially my thighs when I am sitting around. A long time ago one of my girlfriends got really frickin' annoyed with me doing that, so as a solution I started drumming with my teeth. That way she never heard it and I never heard her complain about it. Well, 8 years later I still do it especially under stress and often don't even realize that I'm doing it until my teeth start hurting. I hope to some day get rid of this awful habit because I know that my teeth are going to pay for it in the long run.

    Anyway, Julie my advice to you is to see what happens to people that don't get their TMJ surgically fixed in the long run. If nothing really comes of it, I suggest to you that you do not put yourself through that horror that you would have to go through just to get this fixed.

    yikes.
     
  11. Brett Jason

    Brett Jason Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a long time sufferer, currently pain-free for over 6 months. The pain would manifest itself as intense pain around my left ear. I would best describe it as akin to having a steel spike shoved into my ear. I would have it in the morning and it would get worse throughout the day and then suddenly disappear for no reason. I saw a dentist who was a TMJ specialist and he helped tremendously. He gave me a dental splint for day and 1 for night. I still wear the nightguard, every night. The thing that helped me the most was physical therapy (you could call it massage, I suppose)which i went 2x a week for 8 weeks. She also taught me self-massage techniques that I do each night before I go to bed, which I believe is the single best prevention technique. You may want to check out www.tmj.org which I believe is an excellent resource.
     
  12. Tom-G

    Tom-G Screenwriter

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    My jaw cracks on my left side sometimes when I yawn. When I hear the cracking, I'm usually concerned that it might be damaging. I wasn't aware that this was a disorder. The only fortunate thing is that I don't have any pain from it. Since I know how serious this can be, I'm going to talk to my dentist the next time I go in for a check-up.
     
  13. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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