Does anyone suffer from TMJ or Facial Arthromyalgia?

I have suffered from this on and off for 14 years now and the pain is horrendous. I have seen an orthadontist at the hospital and bascially there's nothing I can do as it's all to do with the alignment of the jaw and it tries to correct itself when I'm asleep which leads to the awful pain. Just wondered if anyone else has experience of this?

16 Replies

  • Hi Sarah, yes unfortunately it's another wonderful (NOT) side effect of fibro. I too suffer from tmj. It's terrible especially if your out 4 dinner etc. my dentist made me a gum shield to wear in bed at night. This stops me grinding my teeth in bed at night and making the pain worse during the day. Must admit it does help but unfortunately I still suffer but not as bad I think if I didn't wear this at night. Maybe ur dentist can help out. Gentle hugs xx

  • Hi thanks for replying :-)

    I had a gum shield which I used to wear at night but it made no difference to my TMJ as I (think) I tend to grit my teeth rather than grind them, if that makes sense. I wake up in the night sometimes with my jaws locked together. I do think that being in pain from fhe Fibro all day probably makes us grit our teeth too. Gentle hugs back to you xx

  • We got our answers in at the same time, I meant gum shield but I put mouth guard as I could not remember what it is called xxxxx

  • Yes me!!! I had a clicky jaw for years and years and about 3 years ago after a trip to the dentist the following day I had this horrendous jaw pain and I couldn't open my mouth properly for 2 days, then it was all back to normal and the clicky jaw returned. About 2 years ago I woke up with this awful pain and couldn't open my mouth, have since been diagnosed with TMJ, my jaw has never gone back to clicking but still can't open my mouth properly and when it flares up can only eat off a teaspoon and have to have a soft diet for a few heart goes out to you as the pain from this condition is horrific xxx

  • I am sorry I have not had this. I do have some weird things going on with my jaw but I have no idea what it is. When I am settling down, where I am actually falling asleep, my jaw will twitch, then it will twitch again and then the whole jaw moves rapidly from side to side on its own and it is very painful. This is normally followed by the jaw clenching tightly whenever I close my mouth causing a great deal of discomfort. I have mentioned it to my GP but I have not asked for it to be investigated. As I said I have no idea why it happens. The sudden side to side movement has happened twice during the day and it only stops if I touch my chin and then sometimes when I stop touching my chin it will start again. So I have achy feelings on both sides of my jaw. I have no idea how much pain you are in but a friend of mine grinds her teeth in her sleep so she actually wears a mouth guard, keeps her jaw still. Not sure if it will help you though, but just a thought xxxxx

  • Thanks all - I'm glad I'm not the only one but sad to hear others suffering from this, the pain is truly horrendous and tends to move from one side of my head/jaw to the other. They originally thought it was Neuralgia but apparently that occurs in the same place everytime. I do take Amitriptyline at night - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But hit and miss really xx

  • I dont grind my teeth but like you i grit and it hurts so much in my jaw. I also suffer from really painful neuralgia in my face and sometimes is goes to other regions (yes, even those ones ahem!) Is this all to do with fibro anyone? x

  • For anyone who isn't aware of what TMJ or Facial Arthromyalgia are, here's some info -

    Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint.

    What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

    Fibromyalgia is usually characterized by pain in the muscles and joints; anxiety disorder and panic attacks; irritable bladder; depression; chronic fatigue; sleeplessness and TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). The pain experienced in Fibromyalgia and TMJ are very similar. Both have multiple trigger points (tender points) in various muscle groups, which create intense pain. These trigger points have been described as lumps and bumps that feel like knots in the muscles. When severe, these lumps illicit extreme pain all the time.

    Facial Arthromyalgia is one of common diagnosis for facial pain. This is characterised by pain in the facial muscles and jaw joint with no obvious cause. Due to the site of the pain, patients may seek and, indeed, receive treatment from dental practitioners and specialists, but the pain is often unresponsive and may have more in common with unexplained medical symptoms affecting other areas of the body, than with other dental symptoms.

  • Thanks for this Libs I am sure more people suffer from it but don't realise what it is. It does feel like it is something to do with teeth so I visited my dentist a few times but it is the nerves in the face/head and I haven't found any painkillers that work but I do take Amitriptyline each night to try and prevent the muscles cramping up xx

  • I can't get on with the harder gum shields and chew my way through the softer ones far too fast so my dentist doesn't give them to me anymore. I sometimes wake in the night (twice this week) because of pain in my tongue because I'm biting or chewing on it in my sleep but most times I just wake in the morning to discover its sore where I've bitten it in the night. I sometimes end up spitting pieces of broken tooth out in the morning too. I used to have a clicky jaw but not anymore but sometimes when I yawn, my jaw muscles spasm and that is incredibly painful.

  • Yes I also get a sore tongue too, I think I must push it up against my teeth when asleep, I can tell in the morning as my tongue has indents in it all round the edge - very, very painful and sore.

  • I know I bang on about Bowen to you all, sorry but here I go again. Guess what? Bowen can be effective in this area. I have a friend who has had Bowen for years and her jaw has realigned itself due to the Bowen treatment she has had. Her dentist didn't believe her until he saw the proof for himself, literally in black and White, by checking back on her old x rays. Case prooved!

  • hi cat, what is bowen please?

  • Hia Sarah yes definately, i have been suffering on/off for years my jaw is getting more out of line the older i get and i feel more of a freak all the time.

    When at dentist i have use gum things to help keep open. I was getting secere shooting pains last year whenever i ate, drank touched my face even mash potato would cause a problem.

    It eased off and this year all weakness strength and burning aching started which lives with me now and aches n pains in face . It has spread all over though wiyh everything.

    My jaw constantly has burning achong feeling.

    Just recovering ear infection last wkend.

    Then had some relapse unable to walk or walk properly with such severe sharp pains and heaviness. Still not got in Dr's its here dous this time of year.

    I have also had Root canal and dry socket so know difference in types of pain in my face and this has been suffering and if not for lyrica god knows xx

  • hello, yes i am in agony with tmj, i've read through the thread and no one seems to have mentioned a maxiofacial specialist, this is who you need to be refered to, your dentist can do that. i am having a splint made by the dental hospital.

  • Bowen is a very gentle holistic therapy that treats the whole person not just the condition. It's aim is to rebalance the body physically, mentally and emotionally. It works by using gentle rolling movements over specific muscles, muscle groups, tendons and nerve endings. It works on over a the largest organ of the body.....superficial fascia. This is connective tissue and is found in every area of the body....this is why Bowen is so far reaching in it's effects. There is no deep tissue massage, no clicking or cracking of bones during a Bowen treatment just gentle, very relaxing rolling movements. It is lovely to receive and fascia Bowen is even more gentle. There is no room for pain in therapeutic touch.

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