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Old 10-22-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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Has anyone here had experience getting jaw surgery to correct TMJ? I don't know the specific name of the surgery, but it is when they move your lower jaw forward to correct for appearance of overbite and to line up the teeth. I was diagnosed with TMJ as a kid, I never got it corrected, but the jaw pain is bothering me, the appearance is bothering me, and I think it is leading to sinus trouble also.

Just wondering what your experiences were like, how you found a good doctor, and whether insurance generally covers it.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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No, I have not experienced TMJ surgery but I too am looking for a good doctor...any advice, from anyone who has experienced the surgery, on the level of pain, the procedure and the results would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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Are you male or female? The reason I ask is because I was told by my BIL who is a dentist that TMJ in women is transient but TMJ in men is permanent...he also told me the surgery is terribly painful and one of the least effective. Sorry...
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:05 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
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My son had braces twice and then we had to get this surgery for him. His jaw grew so fast that the braces just didn't keep up. Have you tried braces first. The operation took 1/4 inch of bone out of his lower jaw, if I remember correctly. He had a Dick Tracey bite and our insurance paid the huge bill because it was affecting the chewing of food. That made it a medical rather than an appearance problem.

He was 17 when he had the operation and yes, it was very painful. He was in so much pain that he was shaking. I called the doctor and his answer to me was that at that age he was not allowed to give him any stronger medicine. So I would not recommend that operation before the age of 18. He went through a lot.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:13 AM
Status: "In an Involuntary Time Warp" (set 21 days ago)
 
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Have you looked at the angle of it being stress related?? Everyone has different jaw/teeth alignments, yet everyone doesn't have it.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:54 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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DNaomi,
This is a MAJOR surgery, and can often make it WORSE. This is done at times when not needed.
I suffered with TMJ/TMD for over a decade. It left me on the floor in the fetal position wishing to die at times. It was taking over my life.
I found a chiropracter who observed that one of my vertebra in my neck was slightly twisted. He adjusted it, and I had almost immediate relief. All the pain in my jaw was because the small vertebra being moved caused my neck muscles to pull, and caused my jaw/face muscles to pull in response to my neck muscles. I had a few adjustments, becuase of muscle memory it won't work just once.

I also used acupunture to help get rid of the muscle memory and knots in my neck, and found a great massage theraist who focused on TMJ. Call around, you can find one.
She actually massaged muscles inside my mouth, like behind my wisdom teeth. From all the grinding these muscles (I didn't even know they were there) hurt so bad that when she pressed them I thought I would pass out. After a few visits she had me opening and closing my mouth with no popping noise.

Also research Valerian root, it can help relax those muscles without any side effects.

The combination of all these items has COMPLETELY cleared up 10 years of agonizing, life altering pain.

Also, look into lidocane and botox injections used to calm the grinding muscles. These didn't work for me, but are lifesavers for some.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT NOT NOT have surgery until all other avenues are explored. If everything is lined up perfectly by the surgeon, it will be WORSE! There are many TMJ support groups on line, and if you read personal accounts, one surgery often leads to another to correct the first surgery, etc.

Surgery does work for some, I'm not saying it never works... but please try other options. Even if it's costs time and money.

Acupunture= $35, Massage = $50-100 if you shop around. Chiropractor= free under most insurance policies w/ a referal. There are even Chiropractor's who specialize in TMJ/TMD symptoms.

I went to about 10 dentists and specialists, and no one ever mentioned a Chiropractor. I actually got the idea from my primary care provider. It's worth a try, it can't hurt. Surgery can hurt.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,182 posts, read 9,221,015 times
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Also,
Please do an internet search for "biofeedback TMJ"
You will see that there is an amazing amount of things you can do.
In biofeedback, they will put electrodes on your cheek, to find out what trigers it. For me, when sitting at my computer, I was using those muscles. I wouldn't have known that if not for biofeedback. You don't have to be clenching your teeth for those muscles to be engaged.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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For me, the troubles are more about breathing/chewing than the pain. It will hurt intermittently, which I can live with, but chewing is awkward and I tend to breathe through my mouth. I've had bad sinus trouble since my teens and think it is related to breathing through my mouth/sinuses not draining well because my lower jaw sits so far back.

What makes treating this difficult is that it involves so many different doctors; ENT, orthodontists, jaw surgeons. I'm having trouble finding anyone that will take a more serious holistic look into how the jaw positioning and sinus problems may be related. ENT doctors want to prescribe meds, orthodontists don't know anything about sinus problems, and I don't know if I trust jaw/TMJ specialists to give an honest assesment of whether the problems are related.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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Do you have a night guard to prevent clenching the teeth at night?
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:50 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,182 posts, read 9,221,015 times
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DNAOMI,
I'm not a doctor, and don't claim to be a specialist, but I've never heard of jaw position causing sinus problems. That seems kinda crazy to me. I can't forsee any possible way your lower jaw could block your sinuses. Is your throat blocked? Have you had your tonisils and adenoids looked at?
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