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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

This is a pretty long post........

I had horrible pain in the jaw area which affected my job and personal life. I had my two root canals about over a year ago (1/09) and was really a mess. My cheeks began to spasm and my ringing in the ear got worse (I've had ringing in the ears before). The pain was so bad I thought this was how life would be for me for now on indefinitely. I was desperate for help and became obsessed with reading everything there is out there on TMJ on the internet. It scared me to death that some people resort to surgery and replacing their entire jaw. I contacted a TMJ professional in the area and tried a splint for about a month and then went off it because it really messed with my bite. It helped a little to alleviate my pain. They wanted me to start on a regime that would cost me too much money (psychotherapy, physical therapy, and splint treatment) so I passed. I decided to go the holistic way (acupuncture, massage, chiropractor) and natural route (eating mostly easy to chew foods and limiting talking), as well as PRAYING. The year 2009 was pretty much a blur to me. I had to wait out so much pain (taking muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory meds). At my highest point of pain, I would have tried anything to get rid of my pain. (I've even looked into that TMJ surgeon in Florida and contacted some of his patients as references.) I used to tell everyone my story (family, friends, even some co-workers) but no one seemed to believe the level of pain I was under, they thought I was "making it up" since I looked normal on the outside. I went to the hospital so many times. I went to my pcp, ear specialists, orthopedic surgeons, TMJ specialists, dentists, orthodontists, took Xrays, MRIs, CT scans on numerous was endless and no one seem to think it was as bad as I made it out to be but IT WAS!!! I told my story to anyone that would listen in the hopes of garnering sympathy to no avail. Now, going through everything, I felt that the person who was mainly responsible was the dentist that took out my last wisdom tooth in 12/08 and the symptoms began to manifest about a month later. He would never admit it of course. I regreted going to him at all.

I'm glad I chose to wait it out after 1.5 years. Now, I am pretty much back to normal except for the occasional discomfort (ear itching at times, ringing in the ears). It's not constantly on my mind anymore. And the more that it's not on my mind, I don't even realized I have it anymore. I'm back to occasionally eating my grilled prokchops and steaks. Other than that, I can pretty much eat anything else. I've gone organic, excercised more, and try to be as relaxed as I can be. I'm 24 years old btw.
**note: When I first had the TMJ pain, I couldn't even eat a slice of toast without incredible pain. I could only open my mouth with a finger width, now I can stick 3 fingers in there without pain.

TMJ has impacted my life for the good also. My long time boyfriend stuck by me during my "crazy days" and we eloped in Vegas a couple of months back as well as moved to the west coast of warm weather and beaches (a dream of mine to live in CA). I was from NYC and the cold was way bad for my TMJ. I realized how BS my job was, always hated it, and actually quit. My job was too stressful. Doing what I did was very liberating and my jaw probably thanked my for it!

I feel your pain because I was in the same position as you and at the height of my pain felt suicidal. Please be hopeful and trust that you will get through this. Please get rid of all the stress in your life (if you can) and just be relaxed and live life. I'm so much more thankful now for a second chance of being pain free. My life used to be run by how much more money I can make and how much stuffs I can buy, but not anymore. I've realized what's truly important and vowed to change into a better person. I've reconnected with my family, friends that I've lost contact with, and adopted 2 cats and a dog.

PLEASE DO NOT DO ANYTHING DRASTIC TO YOURSELF!!!! The human body is resilient and can heal itseld slowly.

Good luck and god bless. :angel:

Thank you for reading my long story. < edited >
Hi Lily,

The cost of my treatment is quite expensive, so perhaps before you actually quit you’re job, it might be worth finding out what you need to have done to help, and what it’s likely to cost. You might find you need your job to help pay for treatment – it’s just a suggestion.

I stopped working when I was made redundant from my job, and at then time I felt too unwell to look for another job. I was working for 8 years with constant pain from TMD, and found it really hard to concentrate all the time. In hindsight, I think things would have been much easier if I had started this treatment much earlier on than I have, and while I was still in my job.
I have heard some people say they have really bad days with their symptoms and much better days, and take days off sick from work during the days of really bad pain. My symptoms have been constant, and every day has been as bad as all the others, so I didn’t take any days off with the pain as I was unable to distinguish a good day from a bad one, they were all bad.
Could you consider asking your company if you can work fewer hours to help manage your condition, and while you seek out appropriate treatment for it? If you start treatment with a 24/7 splint, you could find you gradually start to feel more able to mange at work.

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