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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hello everyone. I've been lurking these boards for the past couple months, but now I feel that it's my turn to post my own thread.

Two months ago I went through a high-stress situation and realized that there was a sharp pain in both of my ears that would come and go. I went to the doctor and he said that there was an issue with my fifth cranial nerve and diagnosed me with Gabapentin. The medicine ran out two weeks later, and I went back because the symptoms has worsened. He again prescribed the same medicine, only strong. I continued to have issues so I sought a second and third opinion. The Ibuprofen definitely helps, but the headaches come back shortly after the medicine wears off.

A week later (before I went to see the other doctors), I began developing head pain and had numb jaws. A week later, the ear pain had subsided quite a bit and I realized that the pain was actually coming from my cheeks, and eventually the joints.

The second and third doctors both diagnosed me with TMJ after they located where the pain was coming from and after and made me realize that my neck and shoulders were becoming stiff. They prescribed Ibuprofen 800mg twice a day and said that the pain should be gone in a month, and if not, to find a TMJ specialist or go to the hospital to get referred as they had minimal experience in the field. One doctor said that that it may be caused by my under bite.

I have had braces twice in the past. The first time was when I was in elementary school and I had issues with some teeth coming out crooked. The second time was in middle/high school when my front teeth were jutting out. There was some work to correct my underbite to move it forward, but it was never really complete.

[B]I find myself now about to fly out to college in North Carolina soon, and I have no idea how to proceed. Should I get an NTI? Should I get splints? Should I get braces? How much will this all cost? What dentists do I trust? I've seen some people pay 2-3 times as much for the same treatment on these boards... how do I know I'm not being over charged?
[B]I've got around $1,500-$2,000 on hand ready to spend on treatments. I REALLY can't study with these headaches and random ear aches gnawing at me. I was thinking of getting the NTI and taking anti-inflammatories along with a Neurontin to make this pain manageable so I can get through school while saving up money for a more long term solution.
If someone on this board can tell me how much phase one or an NTI costs and how long it takes to see improvement, that would be a huge help. I'll be in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. If someone could recommend doctors, that would be fantastic.

[U]My symptoms:
[*]Ear pain
[*]Constant headaches
[*]- Jaw numbness around cheeks
[*]- Clicking and popping when opening jaw

Thank you and God bless

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