I'm a 21-year-old mom. I have been suffering from TMJ since I was 13 when I was fitted with braces. Suddenly, I had terrible facial pain which bothered me for years. It improved over time, until last week, when I needed to have some dental work done. Because I had not had severe pain for awhile, I neglected to tell my new dentist about my previous history with TMJ. That day, I had to sit with my mouth wide open for about 45 minutes as the dentist filled six teeth.
The next day I awoke to excruciating pain on the left side of my face. It became so bad that I couldn’t open my mouth at all, so that night I went to the ER at my local hospital. At the hospital, the doctor prescribed an antibiotic, assuming that I had an infection. He also prescribed Percocet for the pain. These medications made me nauseous and they only relieved the pain for about two hours, after a while it returned worse than before. I couldn't move my mouth and I couldn't talk. The only thing that gave me any relief was to put scalding hot wash cloths on my face. Not knowing what else to do, I returned to the ER. This time the doctor assumed that I was a drug seeker, so he gave me a shot of Toradol and told me to see my dentist.
Again, the treatment (the shot) helped me temporarily and I slept through the night, but the morning brought another day of unbearable pain. I tried taking high doses of Motrin and Tylenol even knowing that wasn’t a smart thing to do, but I needed to find some relief.
I did return to my dentist as fast as I could, but at the appointment, he said that he was sorry, he couldn’t help me anymore. He referred me to an oral maxillofacial surgeon. This time I was given a prescription for Valium and even that is not helping – the pain is intense and my ear hurts so much.
One of the worst parts of my story is that I was feeling that nobody I went to believed me when I described my pain and how terrible it was – and it is! Then I found this website [www.tmj.org] and learned that I am not alone. It was such a relief to know that there are many others who understand what I’m going through, because they are experiencing it, too. The website has taught me so much about TMD. I am so glad I found it and I wish good luck to everyone suffering from this horrible disease.
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