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05 March 2008

muscle relaxer for TMJ dysfunction: an experiment

I've mentioned my trials and tribulations (more trials than tribulations, of course) with TMJ dysfunction. In the past several weeks, I've had daily pain and can't open my mouth too far--bad when you're an outspoken, semi-ridiculous human like me. On Monday, my neurologist gave me a prescription for Baclofen in the hopes that I could wake with less pain each day. I took one pill two hours ago or so and don't really feel anything except slight boredom (watching bad TV while you're typing is the reason for that), an achey back, and the usual jaw pain. No headache to speak of, though--that's a good sign.

5 comments:

Dolores said...

I have the same TMJ problems. I ended up having to see a joint doctor and getting an upper jaw splint. (its sort of like those clear braces but you only wear them at night) That helped a ton. I also had botox injections in my jaw muscles and took a week long course of steroids to take away all the inflammation. (I only had to do that once, after the inflammation and muscle spasms were gone, the split has kept everything in check, and I've been using it for 4 years now) I'd say you should go talk to an oral surgeon/joint doctor to get that figured out, because neurologists don't really deal with those sorts of things effectively. (If the first thing out of the doctors mouth is jaw surgery though, find another doctor)

the migraine girl said...

My former dentist recommended an oral-surgeon-made splint. Once I found out it was priced in the $100s (maybe $400?), I was nervous, as I don't have much dough and didn't want to spill it on something that "may help a little" (dentist's words). The hygienist recommended I first try a mouth guard from a sports store. I still have that but hardly wear it, as I tend to spit it out in the middle of the night.

Maybe I'll give it another shot. Thanks for your words, Dolores!

Robyn said...

I have TMJ too, and I have a splint that I've been wearing while I sleep for about eight years now. (Sounds a little gross, but I keep it clean through brushing it and cleansing it with mouthwash, and according to the dentist, they last pretty much until you grind a hole through them.) Anywho, getting a splint is defintely worth the money. I use to have lockjaw problems in which I could barely open my mouth, and it was accompanied with horrible pain. But after wearing the splint for a few months, my problems mostly went away.

You should also wear a splint for your teeth's sake. If you're grinding or clenching your jaw at night, your damaging your enamel, and that will lead to all sorts of dental problems. So I would highly recommend dishing out the cash for a splint.

Vic said...

Make sure you don’t have mis-diagnosed sleep apnea. I just bought a dental appliance thats purpose is to "splint" the upper and lower jaws as substitute for CPAP, the treatment for my sleep apnea. It works. The symptoms listed on this webpage are all also symptoms of mis-diagnosed sleep apnea. I recommend the website IHateCPAP.com because it's very informative. Review the symptoms of sleep apnea and see if you think it sounds like you. Treat the root cause and the symptoms will go away.

Anonymous said...

DO NOT use a sports mouth guard as a tmj appliance. Their puposes are very different and are designed to cusion certain types of impact. Sports guards are designed to best distribute impact from getting a blow to the mouth. TMJ mouthguards are designed to gently prevent grinding & clenching. One is made for sleeping and the other is made for running around and bouncing off of things, lol. If the point of your purchase was to get an idea of what the guards are like, go to Wal-Mart and drop $20 on a good "grinding and clenching" mouthguard in the toothpaste isle. They all say "not for TMJ" but I think that's just some legal mumbogumbo since maybe the Dental Associations want you to buy the customs from them for $400+. I've got an appointment on Monday with my Rheumatologist & another that day with my Ear Nse Throat. I'm hoping they'll gice me something better than the plastic thing I have right now. I'm having a really bad flareup on the side where I've never had it before, which concerns me.

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