Mouth pain and clenching jaw [Archive] - Chazhound Dog Forum

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skittledoo
02-13-2012, 02:02 AM
Ugh I'm just going to complain for a bit... My wisdom tooth is killing me. It's partially impacted and I really just need to get it out. It will flare up for a few weeks and its so hard to eat when it flares up. Then it stops for a few months and then flares up again. My ears are hurting too which I'm not sure if its related or not. I should have gotten my wisdom teeth out forever ago, but I'm the biggest wimp when it comes to the dentist.... I'm actually fearful about going to a dentist.

Another thing I've been noticing today is that I keep clenching my jaw a lot. I have a hard time just relaxing my jaw so there is constant pressure in my mouth. I don't notice I'm doing it most of the time and when I do notice it I try to relax my jaw but have a really difficult time doing so. It's like I can't stop clenching my teeth together.

Ugh..... I think I need to suck it up and face my dentist fear, but I really don't want to go.

/whine over

Dizzy
02-13-2012, 02:04 AM
Afraid that's how wisdom teeth come through...... It does stop eventually but can take a LONG time!!!!

Get some bonjela!

skittledoo
02-13-2012, 02:46 AM
I'll have to look into that stuff.

I just looked in the mirror at my tooth and it looks dark gray. I hope that I was just looking at it in bad lighting. Going to take a closer look tomorrow. Hurts so bad I can't sleep.

Romy
02-13-2012, 04:30 AM
If it's in that bad of shape it may be abscessed. The good news is, if it's abscessed it will come out SUPER easy and fast. Two of mine got abscessed because I had such bad TMJ for so long I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to properly brush them. When I got them out, the dentist was amazing. First, she numbed my mouth. Not having that constant throbbing pain was amazing. lol.

Then she poked around with some cotton balls and stuff and said, "You might feel a little pressure". She poked around for maybe 20-ish seconds? Then I asked if she was ready to take it out, and she held up my freakin tooth. I didn't even realize it was already done.

Because the pain is so constant you just tune it out and don't realize how wonderful it is to be pain free until the darn tooth is gone. It was instantaneous. My gums were a little bruised feeling but within a week or so it was totally better and now my mouth is awesome. I bet you'll feel awesome too when you get it out. :)

Edit: The ear pain can definitely be related. The nerves in the back of your throat are very tied up with your ear nerves. When I had my tonsils out my throat felt fine, but my ears hurt sooooo bad!

AllieMackie
02-13-2012, 08:51 AM
Get a mouth guard for TMJ, it'll keep you from clenching at night. You can get a dentist one if you have insurance, and if not a $25 pharmacy one will suffice, you just boil it and mold it to your mouth. If you don't, you'll wind up needing three root canals like me, or worse, since grinding/clenching really wrecks your tooth roots. u_u Then you'll HAVE to get over your fear of dentists anyway.

Dentists aren't too bad. Find one you like and go from there. My dentist is really friendly and calm, it makes the experience go much more nicely. :)

skittledoo
02-13-2012, 09:03 AM
I'm going to get the mouth guard from the pharmacy to at least tide me over for now while I set up an appointment. I don't have an established dentist so I need to call around to see which ones accept my dental insurance and then get an appointment booked. Woke up this morning in pain again and managed to take a picture of the wisdom tooth and you can see in the picture where its starting to turn a brownish gray in one spot. I can post the photo if people aren't squeamish about mouth pics.

ravennr
02-13-2012, 09:47 AM
I have TMJ Disorder, the mouth guard did nothing for me for clenching. I still clenched, it just became uncomfortable because something was in my mouth. From what I've experienced, mouth guards are better for grinding, rather than clenching.

I've been through a ton of dental nightmares and TMJ nightmares. I'll deal with it for the rest of my life, too. Definitely feel ya.

Romy
02-13-2012, 09:53 AM
My TMJ was horrendous, the associate professor at UW said it was the worst case he'd ever seen (and he was supposed to a be a world expert).

Scar tissue massage went a LONG way toward curing it. He said surgery would likely make it worse, and I could only open my mouth an inch and a half at that point. Now it's pretty much gone. The jaw still clicks but it pretty well has full motion back.

I used a regular sports mouth guard. It did help a bit with tooth grinding. I still jaw clenched and it helped preserve my teeth through that. A lot of that was caused by pain though, so when the jaw pain went away and then the disease tooth taken care of I stopped clenching.

ravennr
02-13-2012, 09:55 AM
For me, I clench mainly because of anxiety. For that I was given valium since the mouth guard didn't work and it was awkward to fit into my mouth. My jaw is completely off its alignment and will need to be broken (but I'm afraid to have the surgery to do it, like, scared to death of it).

TMJD is the worst :(

skittledoo
02-13-2012, 10:15 AM
I should get checked out for TMJ. This isn't the first time I've had issues with the clenching. I do have anxiety disorder so that could play a role in why I'm clenching. But... My bad wisdom tooth could possibly play a role in that as well. My jaw does click whenever I open and close my mouth. It's always clicked. Lately I've been getting a lot of headaches, ear aches, neck pain and trouble with my vision though that could be unrelated. I've also had issues with occasional momentary hearing loss and usually in the mornings which if I read correctly could be associated with TMJ as well.

JessLough
02-13-2012, 11:32 AM
For me, I clench mainly because of anxiety. For that I was given valium since the mouth guard didn't work and it was awkward to fit into my mouth. My jaw is completely off its alignment and will need to be broken (but I'm afraid to have the surgery to do it, like, scared to death of it).

TMJD is the worst :(

Yah I was supposed to have surgery to have my jaw broken a few years ago.. But I refuse to have my mouth wired shut for 3/4 months :yikes:

ETA: I have a friend who went through with the surgery, and she said the pain really wasn't that bad. It was just the only eating liquids and baby food sucked. As far as scars, they only made 2 tiny incisions and they were rather hidden so t wasn't obvious

ravennr
02-13-2012, 11:35 AM
Yah I was supposed to have surgery to have my jaw broken a few years ago.. But I refuse to have my mouth wired shut for 3/4 months :yikes:

It's scary stuff! I was meant to have it done at 15, but I refused because they said there was a possibility of my face going numb forever on one side. I just couldn't cope with that, but at this point in my life the pain is so bad that I don't really know what else to do.

As soon as I can get health coverage here in Canada, I want to have a specialist look at it again. Something needs to be done, it's not right to have to live in pain like this.

skittledoo
02-13-2012, 11:40 AM
Omg the thought of having my jaw wired shut for 3-4 months sounds unbearable.

I had braces when I was younger and have a permanent retainer on the bottom. My top jaw is not aligned correctly again and I definitely have an overbite so my jaw must have shifted after I had my braces taken off. I know this is super bad, but I haven't been to a dentist since I was 16. I'm going on 26 this year.

JustaLilBitaLuck
02-13-2012, 01:56 PM
I have TMJD and it sucks. I was diagnosed when I was about fourteen/fifteen - I was at the State Fair, and my jaw just locked up. I remember being so mad that I couldn't eat anything lol.

It took about two years of physical therapy (I was not a good surgery candidate) before I got the full range of motion back. During that time, I had about an inch to two inches of motion, I couldn't chew anything hard, and I was experiencing lock-ups about twice a week.

Just before I turned eighteen, I had to have surgery for my four impacted wisdom teeth, and it went back to square one - although it only took about six months of physical therapy the second time around.

skittledoo
02-13-2012, 02:10 PM
I have TMJD and it sucks. I was diagnosed when I was about fourteen/fifteen - I was at the State Fair, and my jaw just locked up. I remember being so mad that I couldn't eat anything lol.

It took about two years of physical therapy (I was not a good surgery candidate) before I got the full range of motion back. During that time, I had about an inch to two inches of motion, I couldn't chew anything hard, and I was experiencing lock-ups about twice a week.

Just before I turned eighteen, I had to have surgery for my four impacted wisdom teeth, and it went back to square one - although it only took about six months of physical therapy the second time around.

That sounds so awful. I'm sorry. :(

I just got all my dental insurance straightened out. It looks like it's going to probably cost me about 300 out of pocket for copayments and sedation. The rest is covered by insurance. I was expecting it was going to be more than that. Now I just need to set up an appointment with a regular dentist to do a panoramic xray and they have to refer me to an oral surgeon to get the tooth removed. I'm hoping this will help clear up all the tension in my head and the jaw clenching issue. If not then from there I will ask about the possibility of if being TMJD.... My sister apparently has that.

Sweet72947
02-13-2012, 04:13 PM
(((hugs)))

I recommend Gentle Dental Care in Fairfax if you haven't already chosen a dentist. The people there are very nice. My sister is a hygienist there. The dentist I saw, Dr. Rico, is really nice and he puts you at ease with really corny jokes. Its really hard to be afraid when the man is saying things like "It was Luke Skywalker who said 'may the floss be with you.'" :rolleyes: lol

JustaLilBitaLuck
02-13-2012, 04:52 PM
That sounds so awful. I'm sorry. :(

I just got all my dental insurance straightened out. It looks like it's going to probably cost me about 300 out of pocket for copayments and sedation. The rest is covered by insurance. I was expecting it was going to be more than that. Now I just need to set up an appointment with a regular dentist to do a panoramic xray and they have to refer me to an oral surgeon to get the tooth removed. I'm hoping this will help clear up all the tension in my head and the jaw clenching issue. If not then from there I will ask about the possibility of if being TMJD.... My sister apparently has that.

TMJD absolutely sucks as far as insurance goes. In my case, my dental insurance was of the opinion that it was a medical issue, but my medical insurance was of the opinion that it was a dental issue - both refused to cover it.

ravennr
02-13-2012, 04:55 PM
TMJD absolutely sucks as far as insurance goes. In my case, my dental insurance was of the opinion that it was a medical issue, but my medical insurance was of the opinion that it was a dental issue - both refused to cover it.

That's terrible!

I at least was able to have it covered under medical, so my doctor treated me for the pain and daily lock-ups. I had mine lock up every single day for almost a year and a half. It finally got to the point where I could push the bone near the joint, and unlock it with enough pressure (it'd lock up again after I shut my mouth) and then it finally seemed to go away. I still get the horrible clicking, I think it just moved over even further to a point where it can't lock on its own again. The pain just got worse though.

The TMJ Hope website really helped me.

Dreeza
02-15-2012, 12:10 AM
skittle - definitely get the wisdom teeth out - and then deal with the clenching. They may be directly related. Muscle tightness (clenching) can often occur because of pain as the body's attempt to protect itself...so if you get rid of the underlying pain, the muscle thing may work itself out.

For everyone with TMJ...do NOT forget that it is a joint in your body & just like every other joint...it is BEST treated by a physical therapist. You definitely want to try to see a PT that specializes in it though. Oftentimes, it is closely linked to neck issues.

I can't tell you how many stories I hear from fellow PTs that see people who have been suffering from YEARS...some that have had multiple surgeries, etc...and we are able to treat them out in a few sessions & get them pain free.

One memorable patient...3 surgeries on one TMJ...turns out...the OTHER TMJ was not working correctly, so the painful side was basically doing the job of both...hence all the pain. We treated the other side...and it greatly eased her other pain. Ridiculous how many different surgeons/dentists/etc missed this. Point is...the TMJ is made up of bones & muscles & a little disc. PT's are the absolute expert when it comes to that stuff :).

JustaLilBitaLuck
02-15-2012, 01:22 AM
I definitely second the physical therapist recommendation. I first brought the problem up to my dentist, who told me that I was grinding and just needed a mouthguard. Mind you, by this point my jaw would not open wide enough to put a mouthguard in. I then went to the dentist my mom was seeing and he diagnosed it as TMJD, and referred me to a surgeon specializing in TMJD, who then referred me to a physical therapist. The physical therapy, combined with chiropractic and acupuncture, is what really helped bring my range of motion back and bring the pain now. I still have flare-ups, and I still have pain - but its now infrequent.

skittledoo
02-15-2012, 01:00 PM
I had a dentist appointment and surgery consultation today. It went well actually.

They scheduled the surgery for Monday the 27th. I would do it sooner, but can't because of my work schedule conflicting with when they can do it. I'm mostly on liquid food right now because it hurts to chew. They are going to take out both of my wisdom teeth on the right side.

As for my jaw clenching. The dentist said I could be clenching really bad as my mouth's way of responding to the pain in my wisdom tooth area. He said there's a good chance the clenching will ease up after we get the offending teeth out. If not then I'm going to look into getting checked out for TMJ.

CharlieDog
02-15-2012, 01:11 PM
Just to let you know, it could have become part of your muscle memory and something you're going to have to consciously work to stop doing.

That is what happened to me, I don't have TMJ, but I did ignore my wisdom teeth for a long time. I wasn't in a whole lot of pain, just the occasional ear issue. Had all four of them out and I still unconsciously clench my jaw, usually at night, and I grind the hell out of my teeth some nights.

skittledoo
02-15-2012, 01:18 PM
Just to let you know, it could have become part of your muscle memory and something you're going to have to consciously work to stop doing.

That is what happened to me, I don't have TMJ, but I did ignore my wisdom teeth for a long time. I wasn't in a whole lot of pain, just the occasional ear issue. Had all four of them out and I still unconsciously clench my jaw, usually at night, and I grind the hell out of my teeth some nights.

Thanks. That's a good thing to keep in mind. If I have to I will probably look into PT to help retrain myself to not clench. In the meantime I think I'm going to get a mouthguard so I at least don't mess up my other teeth more when I clench.

Romy
02-15-2012, 03:43 PM
One thing the doctor taught me to do when not wearing a mouthguard is to try keeping the tip of your tongue between your front teeth, so there's a little space between your upper and lower teeth. That's a really relaxed position for your jaw muscles and that little cartilage thingy in the jaw joint, and it helps you to consciously retrain yourself not to grind while you're awake and be aware of what you're doing. Mouthguards are still needed at night though.