Post # 1
Although I have never been officially diagnosed with it, I have suffered with TMJ symptoms for many years.
I only get them during periods of high stress, but once it kicks in, even if the stress level decreases, I cannot get my musles to ease up until they just do on their own.
Well with my wedding in two weeks, my muscles have been so tense and stiff for about a month and I am so afraid they are going to be like this during my wedding!
It is extremely painful and irritating. =[
Also, wearing a retainer or mouth guard does not help. They tried that when I was in high school it actually made things worse! I don’t grind my teeth that isn’t the cause and stress is the only thing I can link to the onset of symptoms.
Any other sufferers have a technique or medication they have found which will relax the muscles?
Post # 3
For the times when stress is the major trigger for TMJ, a specialized massage and heat application (with some pain meds, if necessary) are the few things that eventually work. Some massage therapists can concentrate on your upper neck/shoulder area, even going up behind your ears, and that often helps calm the trigger muscles. Just don’t let someone rub your jaw, they could do more harm than good.
Apply gentle heat, and remind yourself to consciously relax the jaw — try not to clench it as you sit there, it will “want” to automatically. Whatever you do, don’t STOP moving and using your jaw — the more you use gentle movement to get it back to normal, the less it will seize up on you.
I also usually stick to softer, non-chewy or crunchy foods, but that depends on your tolerance.
As someone who isn’t into yoga I can’t verify this, but a friend with stress-induced TMJ swears she can “relax it away” with a few yoga sessions. If that’s your thing, perhaps speak with your instructor about poses specifically designed to relax the upper body?
Post # 4
@BostonBaby: Thank you I will try these for sure especially the heat that one I have not ever tried.
I always stay away from chewy and crunchy foods which is no fun =[ but I learned a long time ago it isn’t worth the pain.
Thanks again for the advice.
Post # 5
@BostonBaby: Massage can definitely help with TMJ disorder. There are some LMTs who specialize in working on it, and they are actually able to work on the pterygoid muscles inside of your mouth to release trigger points to relieve TMJ symptoms (Of course they wear gloves when they do so). In Ohio they have to have permission from a doctor or dentist to be able to do so, but it works wonders.
Post # 6
@ames12708: You’re welcome, I hope you feel better soon!
@Brideonabudgetlauren: I’m going to look into this and see if I can find someone in my state & near me. When my TMJ does act up, I often get lock-jaw (open or closed) or extreme pain — it would be great to have someone who knows what to do fix it for me.
And now that you mention it, I’ve had a dentist in the past who massaged my jaw during a procedure and prevented it from going nuts. Perhaps they were certified in something to do that.
Post # 7
Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) 5 mg is the only thing that works for me. It is a muscle relaxer prescribed by my dentist. That combined with heat, like a warm wash cloth and steady breathing exercises to try to get my muscles to stop spasming is my go-to. Luckily is only happens in high-stress and if I catch it soon enough I can stop it.
Post # 8
The big thing helped me was when I had braces. I have pushed my jaw back out of alignment by grinding my teeth though. Massage, heat and muscle relaxers also do wonders.