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Hello all.<br><br>
I have had TMJ for several years now. At one point I wore a retainer and it worked great but somehow I lost it....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Anyway, the past few days my jaw has been killing me, so bad that it hurts to chew so I am going to have to just eat soup for a while. I would love to have another retainer made, but I know it will be expensive and I would probably have to see an orthodontist which means I would have to see a dentist first to refer me...ugh..I just don't have all that money to be forking out on copays. I don't really know what to do to relieve the pain. I have even taken lortab to try and feel better but it's just not working. Last night it would lock up slightly and that hurts, not only is it kinda scary. I had it lock up once before for 3 days. Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Thanks in advance
 

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I don't have any tips, I just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">. My jaw hurts all the time, also, but it has never locked up before. I am sorry you are in such pain.
 

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Try taking Magnesium. I take magnesium citrate pills 900 mg a day. Some mamas take natural calm. If you get diareah you have taken too much.
 

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You need an anti-inflammatory med like aleve or motrin to settle it down. Also, try things like not sleeping on your side and not sleeping with your hand against your jaw because that puts pressure on your jaw.<br><br>
Also try to decrease stress in your life.<br><br>
There are retainers you can buy over the counter but I don't know if they are any good.
 

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I have had the dentist-made retainers . . . and I think you can save yourself a lot of money by going to a sporting-ggods store and buying an athletic mouthguard. You just dip it in boiling water, form it to your mouth, trim if necessary, and voila.<br><br>
Have you tried relaxing measures before you go to bed? Like soak in a hot bath and just stretch your jaw by opening your mouth bery wide? This often works for me, as stress causes me to clench my jaw.<br><br>
And yes, Motrin works wonders.
 

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I've dealt with TMD off and on for half my life. I've learned to avoid things which have crusty/hard/chewy textures: raw carrots, chips, ice, brittle, crusty bread, etc. Also, I avoid eating dishes made up of multiple textures (salad).<br><br>
A head massage really helps me. My partner is good at giving them.<br><br>
Finding someplace cold--walk-in freezer, outside, whatever. I let the natural shiver/tooth chattering mechanism happen WITHOUT FIGHTING it. That's important. It resets my jaw muscles. I know some folks opt for TENS/shock therapy, but I prefer my method. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Stress relief. This may be meditation, tree hugging, sports, swimming, or just watching a movie. Whatever it takes for you. Maybe you have something you need to hash out. Maybe you need to write it down. Whatever. If something is stressing you, you're probably carrying it in your jaw. let it out.<br><br>
Anti-inflammatories. They may not seem like they do a lot, but they do reduce the joint inflammation. They may not relax the muscles, but any reduction in the problem is a boon. I prefer naproxen, but my mother prefers ibuprofen. While I'm pregnant, I opt for tylenol.<br><br>
You may have luck with one of the sports mouth guards, but they're not meant for long term use and can affect your bite/jaw. I've used them at night before, generally after my jaw managed to break a splint in my sleep.<br><br>
It rarely flares up now. I let my splint go and my bite seems to have reverted back to pre-orthodontia (back when I had no pain). I can't eat tons of hard things and I have to be wary of stress and salad, but overall, I'm doing better. And I get a head massage about once a week. I've had them more often lately, since I'm pregnant and headachy. Hubby uses it to lure me to bed when I'm up too late reading MDC. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Feel better!
 

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I fought TMJ for years before I finally sucked it up and got orthodontia (mine was caused by a problem with my bite). I agree with anti inflammatories (try different ones, Aleve always worked much better than Motrin for me). Also sleeping on my back instead of my side or stomach helped, and when it got really bad my regular doctor gave me a scrip for muscle relaxers. They were heavenly. Finally, my relaxation exercise helped--i would let my mouth hang open, totally relaxed, for a few minutes several times a day.<br><br>
Hope you feel better soon...
 

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I have it, and I clench my teeth at night which doesn't help. I went to three different orthodontists. Two of them said I needed braces. I have had braces before but my teeth have shifted due to the clenching and just time. The third ortho said he wanted to make me a special nigh guard. They just took molds of my teeth and a computer will align them back to where they are supposed to be. I wear this thing nightly and the more I clench, the faster my teeth will move back into place and stay there. The appliance is something that both my top and bottom teeth fit into-- it's not the same as the traditional night guards that only cover the top teeth. For $200 (after insurance) it's worth a try-- better than paying $6000 for braces.<br><br>
BTW you don't need a referral from a dentist. I didn't need one.
 

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I have bad TMJ. It was triggered when I got my wisdom teeth taken out. I haven't found any relief yet because the doctors here are morons. I need to travel a long way to go to a TMJ clinic, but it's so far away! So I'm going to lurk on this thread.
 

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Gum chewing is bad for tmj also. Warm compresses and motrin type drugs. The guards are great especially at night. FYI avoid surgery at all cost. I have seen some cases that ended up MUCH worse after surgery.
 

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wow, great thread! ive had TMJ since i was a teen, not alot of pain, but it does lock up, and it is a little scary. i found that for me it was a (symptom of) magnesium/calcium deficiency. i noticed pp mentioned something similar, i take a colloidal form from <a href="http://www.ewater.com" target="_blank">www.ewater.com</a>. make sure you take the mag and cal together. some other symptoms that i had that correlated to mag def was, noise sensitivity, scoliosis, aching feet/calves, ringing in the ears. let me know if any one else has experienced anything similar. thanks and good luck, sorry you are in pain (that really is the worst).
 

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Magnesium usually helps. If you reach inside your mouth, behind your last top molar and press straight upward into the muscles behind your gums, you will find a spot that's very, very tender. Put just enough pressure there to be slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. Hold it until it's not uncomfortable anymore. It might take a few seconds, it might take a few minutes. When it's not uncomfortable anymore, press harder, until it's uncomfortable again. Do it three or four times, each time waiting until the discomfort subsides, then applying more pressure until it's uncomfortable again. NEVER apply enough pressure that it becomes downright painful. It should only be slightly uncomfortable. Repeat several times on each side, every day. Two or three times a day would be good. This will help relax the medial pterygoid.<br><br>
It's harder to tell you how to get to your lateral pterygoid. If you can find a visual of the lateral pterygoid online (the origin and insertion of the muscle are what you need to see) you can figure out where you need to go. If you put your finger in the same area, only higher and more towards the cheek, then move your jaw from side to side, you can find the top of your mandible, which is the insertion of this muscle. It will be very tender. Do the same thing in that area as you did to the medial pterygoid.<br><br>
Doing this should really help, as should massage of the head and neck, especially the temples and jaws. Also make sure that your posture is good. When you slouch or round your shoulders forward, it causes an entire cascade of painful things to happen. Us mamas tend to have bad posture from all that leaning down, bending over, reaching forward and holding babies on our hips. Plus, just being pregnant does some icky things to your posture that are hard to correct without a conscious effort.<br><br>
I was a neuromuscular therapist until I had a baby and I used to work with a lot of people who had TMD. It ALWAYS involved intraoral work. I can't say enough how important it is to get to those muscles in there. If you look up the muscles and where the attach, you should be able to find them in your mouth - basically they'll be right about where it's the most tender. Of course, I have TMD myself and it's hard for me to even keep up with it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> but it makes such a difference when I do.
 
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