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I haven't seen too many posts from members who suffer from TMJ (I tried a search tonight, and got a message that my search was outdated). I, for one, have a long history (over 20 years) of TMJ issues and thought I would share a few of the treatments I have tried.

First came a variety of bite guards meant to stop grinding my teeth at night; unfortunately, each one caused more problems, and I began to wake up with my jaw 'locked' in the morning. Next massage and physio therapy inside my mouth to try and ease some of the trigger points and spasms in the muscles involved, and when I didn't have any noticeable improvement, I had acupuncture and prolotherapy; both gave temporary relief, but symptoms returned with a vengeance. I then found out about a neuromuscular massage therapist. That treatment was probably one of the most painful treatments I have ever had for TMJ, as he massaged inside the mouth AND outside along the jaw, sometimes 'pulling' the jaw downward. When I left his office, I had no more clunking and no more clicking; I took my wine cork home with me (used to support the mouth in an open position to enable easier self-massage) and did my exercises, but just a few days later, I was back where I started.

I have just finished my third set of Botox injections; the first ones were very successful. The clunking and clicking in my jaw stopped immediately, and I had approximately six weeks of improvement....it was heavenly! My headaches and facial pain was relieved for almost two months, but when it returned, it returned in a big way. Neither the second or third set of injections eased the clunking, which is very disappointing, and results seem to be less and less successful. My last treatment was 10 days ago, and my jaw is worse then ever.

Has anybody out there had any great success for the treatment of TMJ? I have arthritis in the joint, as well as a dislocated disc, and have a long history of myofascial symptoms, so I think it's a little more complicated than the norm.

Thanks for any input you might have.



  • Hi there Tracy, I am new to this forum, but can very much relate to your misery. i was dx w/tmj when i was 19, and was told if not corrected i would not be talking by age 30. well at the ripe old age of 44, I still talk, prob a little too much if were to ask my family. ( oh I might mention, it's nearly impossible for me to wear glasses of any type, or headbands etc, as it causes severe pain in the jaws, so if you are wearing any of these, check into it and see it pain subsides if offending glass wear or headbands are removed)
    I too have been through many night-guards which too me were more like torture devices causing severe cramping in my jaws. (and i am not convinced I even grind my teeth in my sleep in the first place, i suspect my issues are primarily due to degeneration of the condyles in the jaw, and not from clenching.) And the only way unfotunatley is to have that surgically repaired, requiring you to have to have your jaws wired shut while healing, not something i could face right now)
    So i ditched guards years ago. Knock on wood, i have not had a recent episode to speak of, thank God.
    I too was shown massage therapy and trigger points of where i should massage, i will not let ANY one do a massage on my jaw area except myself, and i know where exactly the trigger point is, and have had some success with this over the years.
    Also too found warm compresses on the jaw helped tremendously, albeit only temporary, but will take relief when ever i can get it.
    The most therapeutic thing to help with the spasms for me is unfortunately Valium. Valium in conjunction with my own self massage, and hot compresses has give me the most relief so far.
    Sorry that's all I have to offer you for now. But wanted to let you know you do not suffer alone.
    The reason I do not believe i clench in sleep, is because i have never awoken with clenched mouth, my teeth are intact and not indicative of one who grinds them, your teeth would indicate if you were grinding them in your sleep, my teeth show no sign of grinding what so ever. Again at 19 was told primary reason of pain was the rapid degeneration of condyles in jaw. Not only does it affect my jaw, it affects my knees as well, the condyles in the knees are nearly absent due to wear and tear on them, another pain issue to be discussed in the proper pain forum.
    Anyhow hope others have more help to offer you, and good luck in your pursuit of finding relief, If you should happen to discover anything new and helpful please do post here to share with others such as myself and others, so we may benefit from anything new on the horizon.
  • Sorry to hear you struggle with this, too. I don't believe I clench, either, and my teeth also don't show a lot of wear. I do know there is arthritis in the joint, and the dislocated disc just causes a little extra havoc. I know about the surgeries, but at this point my dental/orofacial pain specialist doesn't want to 'go there', and I'm happy about that. At one point there was talk about a small incision above and below the joint to 'flush' the disc back into place using a high pressure stream of water; in my mind, that again would only be temporary.

    When my neck is irritated (I do have two levels with disc problems), the TMJ pain escalates; if I sleep on my back I have to use a formed pillow, and if I'm on my side I use a feather pillow that I can mold around my face/neck.

    I can relate to the pain of eyeglasses/sunglasses or anything that puts pressure on the side of my head; that is the one pain that is helped immensely with the botox treatments.

    Thank you so much for your input, and hopefully we can find something that helps. By the way, I have been through a plethora of muscle relaxants, but they have never given me relief with the TMJ.

    Take care, and good luck.

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