Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TMJ update!

I have been struggling with TMJ  for over a year now. I did a post a few months ago explaining how this happened and my beginning of treatment. The treatment I was going through was not helping and making my pain even worse. I knew going into that treatment that it may not work and that healing TMJ involved a lot of trial and error. 

I decided to post my frustrations to facebook in hopes that someone, somewhere might have information that would help me deal with this pain! I was in tears every time I ate or opened my mouth. I was yawning with my fist under my chin to hold my mouth shut because it hurt too much to yawn. Sure enough one of my childhood neighbors suffered from this very same thing and I had no idea! She immediately sent me a text after reading my post and started to ask what I was going through and gave me her story on how she treated her problems. I made an appointment with Dr. James Guinn in SLC the following day and was able to see him a week later! (July 18th)

We found that I had 90% bone loss in the right side of my jaw and 60% in the left side of my jaw. It looks like I have a toothpick for a jawbone! It was such a relief to know that there was a real problem and it wasn't just me being a wimp to the pain I was feeling. 

Dr. Guinn gave us our treatment options and told us the bill. It isn't covered under health insurance so we knew that the cost would be coming directly from our pockets! I didn't have much choice to not do treatment because of the pain I was in. We decided to go forward with the treatment and gratefully it has been helping. He sent me home with a steroid to help with the inflammation in my jaw and muscles, a muscle relaxer to help me relax when I'm sleeping. And a huge list of supplements to take to help stop the bone loss and joint pain. 

Dr. Guinn made me a new retainer that I wear only at night and it helps my bite so that my muscles aren't working any harder than they have to. I have been doing physical therapy for 3 months now and I plan to do hypnotherapy to help me teach my subconscious to stop clenching my teeth and muscles when I am sleeping. It all sounds so strange but it really has been helping! 

When I first went to Dr. Guinn I could open my mouth 19mm (the normal range is 40mm) At my last appointment I was able to open my mouth 38mm!!!!! It really is so comforting knowing that I am able to treat the pain. I may have to live with TMJ forever but it doesn't have to hurt if I treat it right! 

I have also been using essential oils and they seem to be helping tremendously! And one night I was searching pain relief for tmj on pinterest of all place and there a picture of a lady with KT Tape on her face! I practically yelled at Russ for not thinking of it sooner! He freaking works at KT Tape and for once there is a treatment option that isn't going to cost us our life savings to try out! So we slapped some tape on there and now I look like way intense with tape on my face every night! 

I am forever grateful for the prompting to post my frustrations to facebook and for that kind friend to share her information with me. The best thing I can do now is pass along that information to others who might be dealing with the same frustrations and pain! 

No comments:

Post a Comment