I Have TMJ, but Doctors “ignore” It… Help?

Question by Kat: I have TMJ, but doctors “ignore” it… help?
I’ve talked to several doctors about it. My doctor says to talk to my orthodontist because I had rubber bands on my braces, but my ortho just said “that has nothing to do with me.” (And I’m sure that my braces/bands were where I got it)

My dentist passed it off like it was nothing and just told me to take Ibuprofen (this is not a solution!). My roommate had the surgery, but my physical therapist (for my knees. I’m a walking disaster at the age of 20!) says he has never heard of a surgery for TMJ problems.

My jaw is always “locked” (it won’t open past a certain point). I haven’t been able to chew straight or open my mouth straight in years, I have just learned to chew crooked like a cow chewing its cud. I have just learned to deal and push it out when it locks up. Sometimes it becomes very painful and sore. The only thing that has helped so far is the fact that I quit chewing gum.

What do I do now?

Best answer:

Answer by pennypincher
Uugh, your problem is worse than mine. I have mild TMJ. I think it was caused by my braces and headgear. I only close my teeth completely together when I am chewing.
I know why your orthodontist wants to ignore it. He doesn’t want to be sued. If you could prove he caused it, you could sue him. You need to find another doctor. Most insurance companies do not want to cover TMJ. That is why I have not gotten treatment. If you think your orthodontist was negligent, you need to see about getting proof that he caused your problem and making him pay for fixing it. That would probably mean going to court.
When I had my braces, TMJ was unknown, so I don’t think my orthodontist did anything wrong; although I do think he caused it. He did the best he could with the knowledge he had.

Answer by Tunsa
Some people can help alleviate their TMJ type symptoms by wearing a mouthpiece to bed at night. Oftentimes, the symptoms develop from grinding your teeth or clenching at night. The mouthpiece can be uncomfortable at first, but it can help you to reduce the symptoms and possibly even eliminate the need for further treatment.

If you do have surgery, it is very painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. That’s not even mentioning that it’s expensive. Surgery should be a last resort, but if it continues to bother you, it might be only relief that you can get. Good luck.

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