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Pain Drawings: An Important Tool for Health Care Practitioners

Last year we shared with you a study in which investigators found patients with more severe and chronic TMD are likely to experience other persistent pain conditions in other parts of the body, seemingly unrelated to problems in the jaw or face. Yet patients often do not mention these "overlapping" or "comorbid" pain conditions when they see a dentist or health care provider.

Primary Temporomandibular Disorders and Comorbid Conditions

The aim of this study is to evaluate the distribution of the most common comorbid conditions associated with chronic temporomandibular disorders, and the pharmacological agents which play an integral role in the overall management of temporomandibular joint disorders. Abstract: INTROD

Overdiagnosis and Unnecessary Therapy

Many dental practitioners continue to use radiographic or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as the sole means of establishing that there is a pathology present that requires treatment.

TMD Self-Management Programs

Self-management (SM) programs in temporomandibular disease (TMD) are a core component of pain management of TMD throughout its course and are often given to patients as a first essential step after diagnosis.

Honor Families Who Bravely Battle TMD

If you haven't done so already, please join me in making a year-end contribution to The TMJ Association (TMJA) in the honor of families like mine and yours who bravely battle this disease each and every day. Since my daughter, Alexandra, b

Diane

  • Dec 29, 2015

I am 53 years old and have had five jaw surgeries. In the first surgery my lower jaw was lengthened. The second surgery bone spurs were removed and the discs were pulled back into place. For the third surgery in 1994, I had artificial joints by TMJ Implants, Inc. The fourth surgery was in August 2012 to remove the worn out joints and insert spacers.  The surgery was very lengthy--over 8 hours. Scar tissue that had formed was removed. One side was out of the hinge and the other side had screws floating in scar tissue. My jaw was wired shut for the first night; images were obtained and sent to the implant manufacturer. After the surgery I had swelling, pain, and facial paralysis. I had minimal movement of my upper lip, nose, and eyebrows. My fifth surgery was in October 2012 for which I received custom joints by TMJ Concepts.  Even though some modifications were necessary to make one of the joints fit, the surgery went very well and I had very little swelling. After a pain protocol was established, I was able to control the pain and chew soft foods.

Now I am three years post op, and I still have side effects from the surgeries. My eyebrows still do not move. I have some swelling in my cheeks and numbness on the right side. In January of 2016 I will have an eyebrow lift. I am also experiencing a hooding effect, which affects my vision. This picture was taken in August of 2015. I'm progressing, but not as quickly as I would like.