Brewed Thoughts: Temporomandibular joint disorder

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Temporomandibular joint disorder

For the past 2 years or so, I've been feeling a lot of discomfort in my nape & shoulder muscles. I initially thought I was just stressed in my previous work because I usually kept long hours in the office. I thought it was just a simple muscle pain. I've tried going to a spa (sosyal eh) to have it massaged...I even went to a hospital for therapy, but the pain remained persistent.

I was totally oblivious to it since I thought it was just a product of the strain of working long hours, but that was until I started hearing clicking sounds whenever I open & close my mouth. It wasn't until I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned when she pointed out that I had TMJ or Temporomandibular joint disorder. During the process, I couldn't open my mouth wide for a long period of time because I experienced that one time when I did that and I thought my jaws wouldn't close no matter how hard I tried. Needless to say, I didn't get my teeth cleaned that thoroughly because of that.

The grossest thing to ever happen to your jaw

I consulted a friend who was a dentist and also sought the opinion of another one and confirmed that I really had TMJ. I was supposed to get some x-rays and eventually an occlusal splint. Thing is, those things cost a lot and money isn't exactly an abundant resource right now. It sucks, but I may have to live with the discomfort, perhaps at least until I've saved a few bucks to get those things done.

My only worry is that I don't know if getting a splint will eliminate the discomfort. The orthodontist says that I may have to get some braces to correct the malalignment of the teeth, but I dunno. I'm a bit adamant to fork over such an exorbitant amount that's not going to permanently get rid of this discomfort.


  1. OMG! Mare, masakit nga yan. May friend din akong ganyan ang case. She ended up having her braces done. Laking discomfort din kasi ang mawawala.

    My friend Carl had an agreeable payment arrangement with her dentist. I'd ask her again for her dentist's contact info, all right?

  2. Shet, I was afraid of that. Sabi naman kasi ng ortho na napagtanungan ko na pwede rin naman ang splint, yun lang habambuhay kong isusuot yun. At least kasi sa splint matatanggal mo kahit pano. Eh braces...not only are they effing expensive, ang tagal pa bago matanggal.

    Pero sige, thanks for asking the contact info, mare. :)

    BTW, did your friend manage to do away with the muscle pain that came with TMJ? Kasi kung totally mae-eliminate yun pag nag-brace, I might reconsider.