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Dental fear, treatment needed but suffering TMJ closed lock! Help please?

I

indenial

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
36
Hi,

I first posted on this forum when I found it 9 years ago, I was suffering with awful dental phobia, made 100 times worse by the anxiety and depression I was suffering. This forum helped me get the treatment i needed and actually become quite confident in visiting my dentist. (Finding an amazing dentist helped too!)

However, my major problem was tooth brushing due to anxiety about my teeth falling out. I had a huge build up on my teeth which I got cleaned off and was seeing my dentist regularly for years. However around 2 1/2 to 3 years ago I started having issues again, I avoided the dentist like an idiot.

last year, I woke up one morning & couldn’t open my mouth more than about 1cm. I went to the doctor and was told I had tmj issues and they would correct themselves, given ibuprofen and sent on my way. It was painful and tight but I assumed it would get better. After a few weeks and no improvement my jaw shifted and I could move it even less, I was on a full liquid diet & couldn’t fit a tooth brush between my teeth to try and do anything at all. That lasted for a few months. During that time I seen a maxiolfacial surgeon who said I had an internal derangement. The disk has popped out due to over clenching caused by my anxiety and stress. I was literally told to learn to live with it.

However my problem is, it has now been locked for a year. I know I really need to see my dentist before I end up where I was 9 years ago. I know I have gum disease. I can open my mouth around 2ish cm now on a good day. I haven’t gone to the dentist as this has added to my fear/anxiety & embarrassment. Will she even be able to do anything?

I have randomly received another appointment to see the surgeon, unsure why as he said he wouldn’t see me again. I would like to try and see my dentist before then as he wasn’t very nice about the condition of my mouth. I understand he’s stating facts, but I know the facts already and it just makes me feel humiliated and puts me off going. The whole situation is seriously affecting my mental health. I don’t want to go if she won’t be able to help at all anyway.
 
G

geos

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2011
Messages
497
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
You seem to like the dentist you found. Call their office and ask if they can help you in regards to your TMJ during your visit.

For the surgeon, maybe call and ask why he wants to see you. You can then decide if you want to see them or not.
 
I

indenial

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
36
I more just wanted to know if she would be able to do anything, I live in rural scotland so it’s not only a mental problem to get there it’s 50 miles away! 😬

Also unsure if I can phone anyone regarding the surgeon appointment as I think the number is just for the NHS appointment line.. unless anyone knows how that works? Because again.. 50 miles away if it’s for nothing? 🙈😂
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,189
Oh, I hope they can get it sorted for you! Definitely call your dentist if you trust them. How miserable you must be! I have had quite a few teeth issues this past year and have been on a soft/liquid diet for almost 8 months now, with no end in the immediate future, but I can't imagine not being able to open my mouth much.

I also understand about the living in a rural area. My dentist isn't too far, but the oral surgeon is an hour away, so just "popping in" is a hassle.
 
I

indenial

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
36
It is awful. I’ve been really trying to not let it get the better of me but I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It’s effecting my whole family now, we can’t go out for dinner, haven’t really done holidays or many days out as I struggle to eat ‘easy/on the go’ food. Plus they say that the jaw problem has been caused by anxiety but my jaw now causes me serious anxiety so it’s kind of a vicious cycle. Have tried an osteopath (he tried a few things but didn’t want to do anything much else as it’s not been xrayed or scanned) went to acupuncture for months. I’ve had muscle relaxants (still taking them) tbh it’s the tight feeling that’s the worst cause my face just constantly feels clenched. At least I can take most of the pain away with pain killers & heat/ice. It really is starting to get to me now. And the fact I have dental problems I just don’t want to end up in the situation I was in before. I don’t drive either and my partner works away so getting to these appointments is a real issue if it’s for nothing.

I feel for you not being able to eat, I can at least chew soft food now as long as I cut it up small. The months of eating soup and weetabix were even worse! I really hope you get sorted out soon, it makes you miserable and gets in the way of life!
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,189
It is awful. I’ve been really trying to not let it get the better of me but I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It’s effecting my whole family now, we can’t go out for dinner, haven’t really done holidays or many days out as I struggle to eat ‘easy/on the go’ food. Plus they say that the jaw problem has been caused by anxiety but my jaw now causes me serious anxiety so it’s kind of a vicious cycle. Have tried an osteopath (he tried a few things but didn’t want to do anything much else as it’s not been xrayed or scanned) went to acupuncture for months. I’ve had muscle relaxants (still taking them) tbh it’s the tight feeling that’s the worst cause my face just constantly feels clenched. At least I can take most of the pain away with pain killers & heat/ice. It really is starting to get to me now. And the fact I have dental problems I just don’t want to end up in the situation I was in before. I don’t drive either and my partner works away so getting to these appointments is a real issue if it’s for nothing.

I feel for you not being able to eat, I can at least chew soft food now as long as I cut it up small. The months of eating soup and weetabix were even worse! I really hope you get sorted out soon, it makes you miserable and gets in the way of life!
Yeah, we can't really go out to eat either, and it is a hassle sometimes to cook for my family when I can't eat it. I am hoping that by January I will have the implant and crowns in for my lower right molars, so I can chew again. Then I have to work on the lower left molars.

Good luck!
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
6,327
Start by seeing your own dentist. Get them to contact Max-Fac to check what they want to see you for, you've probably gone into the "system" for automatic review for some reason.
Ask your doctor for an urgent physiotherapy referral too, they can do a lot for TMJ issues with ultrasound and massage.
Assume you're NHS Highland? You may well not be seeing the same Max-Fac consultant as you did before anyway.
 
I

indenial

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
36
No, south west Scotland, I think it is the same man.

Thank you for the advice :) I never thought i’d see the day I WANT to go to the dentist 🙈
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
6,327
Ayrshire or Dumfries? I know the guys in Ayrshire but not Dumfries.
 
I

indenial

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
36
Dumfries 😬

I just actually feel worse about when they tell me they aren’t going to do anything anyway 🤷🏻‍♀️
 
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