TMJ - getting wirse

since 2 years my tmj is getting worse. l am 30 and struggle to eat a baguette because my jaw wont open properly, and when it does - it hurts to take a bite. l sleep in mouth guard and invested in "magic" tmj cream from usa. not really helping. is there a muscle relaxer anyone can recommend? its annoying that dentist will only give you silly leaflet and say "do exercises" so lm hoping on advice of people with similar condition thanks

10 Replies

  • TMJ can occur with rheumatoid diseases (Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondyloarthritis). If you have any other joint or chronic (non-injury) spinal pain, then it might be worth asking to see a rheumatologist to rule out a treatable cause. If your TMJ is the result of a rheumatoid disease, then treating that will help the jaw.

    In the meantime though, that silly leaflet and the instruction to exercises is actually a fairly well proven way to relieve problems - it really does help to do the exercises and follow instructions exactly as the dentist has told you.

  • I had this condition some years ago and it was finally cured by a cranial osteopath. He was able to realign the jaw and relieve the pain. Worth giving it a try but you would have to pay for the treatment.

  • Muscle relaxers cannot relax muscle that has been over contracted. Muscles have the ability to contract they do not have the ability to uncontract. They can only stop contracting. Other muscles aid in uncontracting muscles by moving and thus stretching the contracted muscle out.

    Make an appointment with a massage therapist to work on stretching the contracted muscle.

    It is worth taking up yoga in order to learn about exercises that help to stretch out muscles.

    Alexander Technique is useful to learn how not to over contract your jaw muscles in the first place.

    The more contracted a muscle becomes the weaker it becomes.

    Hope this has been helpful.

  • Boy' do I Hear you, as it is the same with me, as my jaw is becoming so bloody painfull and behind the earlobe is a bloody swelling that drives me to distraction as it goes up and down depending on how often I use my arm and neck.

    But the dentist advice is helpful , if you can try and do it gently ; I do some really strange thing with my face like pursing my lips and slowly opening my mouth as fully as I can get it , also another funny one I do that helps is girning, have you heard of it ?, well it helps me, even if it works for a distraction, but I'm getting some relief from it . I'm in the same boat as you, and I find that in the end it is down to you just what effort you put in and the effort needed is 24 hours a day (yes I know) and nobody should have to be placed under that constant pressure of having to constantly plan your life around coping and managing the demands of what makes your pain worse which forces your mind to constantly focus on the pain, that's why I refuse to let it (at least today) the distraction I get from doing it,( if I can) helps no end, like walking past my car even if it's just a few more steps it gives me some psychological control of my life, even if it is only deluding myself , So Pao de, my friend I do sympathise, and yes the end of the tether is constantly there, but you have a family that needs you best wishes Alex

  • any exercises you can recommend that actually work then..?

  • All that I do is let the pain tell you and as long as you do things gently at first and just listen to your body for what does'nt hurt may help, but I can't say whats best for you, our bodies may have differing problems, but try chewing gum, (that helps me a little) and as I say Girning, look it up on the net and you will see some strange facial pulls by people who take part in competitions, but just take it easy till you know your own unique problem, I find doctors are a waste of space in regards once they have diagnosed you, your left to your own devices, for it seems that some patients matter and some don't, in that if they can do something for you to make you better then all well and good ,but they don't want those they deem unhealable cluttering up their life and waiting rooms or beds in their hospital for that f...ks their list's.

    But it's trying to have a life that's hard, so I look it like If I sit at home all the time and am in pain, so whats wrong with going out and fighting it with good pain meds and do not do anything your body can't do ,but you must find a way to listen to what it is that makes the pain worse and then don't do that, I'm no doctor and I bet our problems are similar but may be very different in the cause.

    John Smith gave good advice about not over contracting the jaw muscle, just try gentle movements and listen to what your jaw is telling you to avoid through the pain . best Alex

  • Vitamin D Deficiency ?

    Might be worth Googling - 'TMJ and vitamin D deficiency'

    I came across several people on different web sites saying vitamin D3 was helping to cure their TMJ.

  • Hi I have quite bad TMJ. The advice I have been given by my TMJ clinic at the local dental hospital us to not do any facial exercises that will over constrict and extend the jaw. Avoiding crunchy food is important as it it makes the problem in the jaw joint worse.

    Doing relaxation exercises can help.

    I personally find sticking to the above and wearing my mouth guard and taking baclofen helpful. Xxx

  • I broke my jaw 2 years ago and still have pain. I wear a splint at night. All hospital say is to wear splint during day too (difficult as hard acrylic) and do gentle exercises, there is nothing else. I did have laser therapy from physio which did work, but pain came back when stopped.

  • I have TMJ which is linked to my Fibromyalgia (in fact was an Oral Max consultant who suggested I spoke with my GP about FM). It is excruciating. I was given an oral splint for night time use and it was suggested to me to try and keep my jaw as relaxed as possible & if I felt I was clenching my teeth to allow my jaw to open slightly and then place the tip of my tongue on my palate just above my front teeth. I was also advised to eat soft food requiring little or no chewing only and definitely no chewing gum!

    Eventually I was sent over to the DCN at Edinburgh's Western General to have Botox injections into my jaw every 3-4 months. It's something which has made an enormous difference to my life. Unfortunately the doctor I was seeing retired and my last one, in January, was given by the new doctor - wasn't filled with confidence in her ability when she asked me what needle Dr Moran used, compounded by the strange feeling of something dripping down my cheek just after she did the injection (nothing was on my face). Anyway, two weeks after I had the injection my jaw started playing up and it continued to get worse until I could stand it no more. The hospital said no to another injection and asked my GP was advised to give me Baclofen or/and Diazepam. The pain is settling down but it is another 2 and a half months until I can get another injection which will hopefully be successful than the last!

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