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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Dear all,

I am brand new to TMJD and this site. Apparently I've had TMJ for about 9 months now. I know I need help because I'm in moderate to severe pain daily. I've just skimmed through a few posts, and I can see that this group has acquired a lot of knowledge and support through this site.

I have been predisposed to having TMJ my whole life, as I have a decent overbite and I've been a night grinder since a child. I'm now 31. Anyway, about 9 months I came off a benzodiazapine medication that caused a severe withdrawal. I experienced bad muscle tightness, spasm, and cramping all over my whole body. Since then, I've had so much muscle tightness in my jaw, it's unbelievable.

I made an appointment at a neuromuscular dentist and he seems knowledgeable, although I have my doubts after reading the posts here. He says both my discs are dislocated (or pulled over the condoyle).

My symptoms are severe tension headache, upper neck pain at the base of my skull, jaw tightness, clicking, and difficulty opening. I also have extremely severe auditory problems, which I also believe originated with the benzo withdrawal including tinnitus and hyperacusis. The tinnitus and hyperacusis are very, very severe, and it has devastated my life at the moment. Because of the severe sound sensitivity, which can get worse permanently from being exposed to even moderately loud sounds, I will not get a tomogram. The tomogram machine screeches when the chair is repositioned and I cannot tolerate it and it's not worth it to get it done if it's going to ruin my quality of life by wrecking my auditory system even more. An MRI I had done when I thought I had a bad neck problem, not realizing it could be TMJ, made me descend even deeper into the auditory stuff because the machine was SO loud.

Can anyone please, please give advice to a newbie as far as what to watch for in getting fitted for a splint, and what does the splint help? For example, do you think the splint will help the muscle spasm in my head, face, neck, and jaw? What about the tinnitus (ringing - severe in my ears)? Will the splint help that? Are there certain kinds of splints that are better than others? How do I know I'm doing the right thing?

I also do not want TENS treatment because I don't want nerve stimulation due to the protracted nervous system damage I've had from the withdrawal as well as my auditory problems. Stimulation supposedly makes it worse in terms of hyperacusis (sound sensitivity) and tinnitus.

So right now, because of my various health problems, I'm looking at just getting a splint made and doing physical therapy. I won't take any medications because I'm so sensitive to them.

If you can please give me your thoughts on how helpful splints are and how to go about getting one made right, I'd really appreciate it. I hope that not getting a tomogram done will still allow me to get a splint made. What do you all think about "neuromuscular dentists" and TENS treatment, etc.? Also, how long does it take to get relief with the splint and what do I do about the muscle spasm in the meantime?

Oh, please help. I'm really suffering with this, and I hope 9 months isn't too long to have let this condition go. I'm trying to find more information and I'm so frustrated.

Thank you,


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