TMJ Support Group

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ syndrome, is an acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment.

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My mouth won't open :(

In 2006 I had TMJ problems, couldn't open my mouth very far, had ear pain etc. I finally managed to see a specialist, who gave me some exercises to do. After a month of doing the exercises my jaw was improving, and after a couple of months, it was back to normal.

Until Saturday morning, when I woke up, and found that the muscles on the right side of my jaw have tensed up, and I can't open my mouth more than a couple of cm. The muscles are ok for chewing etc, I just can't open my mouth wide enough to get much food in there.

I've gone back to doing my exercises, and last night after applying heat to my jaw, massaging, excercising etc I managed to get full mobility back, but a couple of minutes later it had gone again.

I'm going to get some diclofenac gel to rub onto it, and continue to do my exercises, which should fix it up. But I'm still sad and frustrated that I'm back to not being able to eat properly.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

sounds like you have been suffering for awhile- and have developed some strategies to help you! I am fairly new to this- but I started taking Flexeril (sp?) a muscle relaxer b/c I am having terrible problems myself- a lot like yours. If I take the meds before bed I seem to do much better. I am seeing a physical therapist on Wednesday and hope to get some more help. What is diclofencac gel, I am curious.
good luck to you:)
Jill
deleted_user
deleted_user

Diclofenac is an over-the-counter anti inflammatory, it's sold as Voltaren in NZ (may be called something else in other countries). You can get tablets, or a topical gel. The tablets give me an upset stomach, so I'm going to try massaging the gel into my joint to see if it reduces the inflammation and improves my mobility.
deleted_user
deleted_user

heck, this sounds just like me. Was you still doing the exercises? I get it really bad and was given exercises which I have to do daily. Keep up with the exercises every day. I still feel like my jaw is going to seize but thankfully it hasnt for a while! (touch wood) i hope you feel better soon! x
deleted_user
deleted_user

I stopped doing the exercises about a year ago, because my jaw was back to normal.
I'm now doing my exercises about 4x per day. I'm supposed to do them 6x but it's taking a few days to get into the routine of doing them often enough.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My jaw too has been locking up on me along with pain in my teeth, I can manage to get by, but what exercises were you given to do, I just do stretching in all directions, is there something more???? I am glad you are OK
deleted_user
deleted_user

I put a heat pack (microwaved wheat bag) on my jaw for 5 minutes,
then massage the joints for 5 minutes (massage them quite hard, it will hurt a bit),
Open and close my mouth 20 times, holding it open for 3 seconds on the 20th time
Put my hand under my jaw and push my jaw against it for 3 seconds
Put my hand on one side of my face, and push my jaw sideways into it for 3 seconds
And the other side
And finally I open up as wide as I can, put my index fingers and thumbs between my teeth, and use them to stretch my jaw open even wider, and hold for 3 seconds

I do them 6x per day:
breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, after work and before I go to bed.

Previously I had to do them for a few weeks before I noticed any difference. But I gave them to a friend who was having jaw trouble and hers cleared up in a couple of days. Good luck!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey- I was wondering what exercises you do?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Have a look at Reply #6, I've written them all out.
: )
Rosie.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Just a little note on diclofenac gel, you need a perscription for that in Canada.:) you can also use a menthol base gel or cream if you are stuck, I foud this helps but it makes your eyes water. This was all I used before I realized how bad it could get, now I use perscription Muscle relaxers and tylenol with it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

When my jaw locks up I normally have to push it in and unhinge it. Hot showers help too.