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 TMJ as new symptom, would enjoy some support
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48 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2009 :  08:25:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone,

I haven't posted here in a while. I am one of those people who have cycled through a number of symptoms and am dealing with a new one. After a dental procedure, about two days later my gums started swelling and I developed jaw pain. The gums were fine after two weeks, but my jaw keeps hurting. The original dentist (who turned out to to have some serious personality problems and I no longer see) claimed that this was all because of my wisdom teeth and that he had told me I should get them removed. From what I've read, wisdom teeth don't cause this type of jaw pain, and the teeth itself don't hurt.

So I am now thinking that my body took the opportunity to turn this wisdom teeth story / "trauma" to the jaw during the procedure (I had my mouth open for a long time, and when I was a kid I had broken my jaw on that side in an accident) to develop yet another "disease". I am technically still scheduled to have my wisdom teeth removed next week, but I want to cancel it. I am also on ABs for a week on the off-chance that it's an infection, but if that doesn't take care of it, I am set to believe it's just another mind-body manifestation.

I have been doing a lot of mind-body work for my other issues (Interstitial Cystitis, IBS, and hip/back pain), and I have been feeling a tiny bit better over the last week or so. My attitude toward life has improved over the last few months, and I am more aware of when I start tensing up muscles and I try to relax them.

So to go to the emotional root of the problem: yes, there is a lot of stress in my life. I am dealing with it, but I am definitely really busy with work, not sleeping well, etc etc. Besides this week on ABs, I am not taking any medications (just supplements like vitamins etc, which I think are important for overall balance). I am reading more about learning optimism and I try to focus as little time as possible obsessing about symptoms. I am trying to have fun in little ways as time permits and not just focus on work or problems.

I would appreciate any words of advice any of you have. I am working hard to increase my awareness, and I am a bit surprised to have a new problem come along during a time when I feel like I am actually making progress in my mental work.

Thanks a lot,


29 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2009 :  09:11:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wish that Sarno had written more about how precisely the brain can target TMS symptoms. I mean, if your symptoms truly are psychosomatic, that would prove that the brain can target any tissue in the body, at any time, under any circumstance.

It's really hard to wrap your (my) head around that. I've been struggling with TMS lately when new symptoms come up and I am not particularly stressed/anxious/unhappy. When it happens, I think long and hard about my pre-TMS days, and try to determine if I would be nervous about a possible injury.

Example: I was doing bicep curls last Friday, and the next day my forearms had a burning sensation when I was playing guitar. It took me a while to think: OK. 3 years ago, before TMS, would this have happened? No, absolutely not.

So, I guess my advice would be to see a dentist that you trust for an opinion about your wisdom teeth, take it with several grains of salt, and talk to a friend about what is going on at work.

PS I know exactly how you feel about hitting these speed bumps when you have recently been making progress, so you're not the only one.
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393 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2009 :  12:34:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Jamie and Piano,

I also find symptoms to be a bit mysterious at times. For my main symptoms, RSI, it always seems that they are brought on by using the computer. Yet I know that if I keep at it, I will be fine. I also suffer from TMJ pain, too, and find it frustrating.

My best advice would be to just remind yourself that it is only TMS when it happens, and then give yourself permission to stop worrying about it. You may still worry a bit and that's fine, but at least you know that you don't have to.

I just updated the wiki's page on TMJ and TMS by adding links to a bunch of Roxygirl's old posts. I remember reading them and wondering myself if this approach could ever help her. ... and then, three months later, she writes her success story! To me, it is a reminder that we always need to keep believing.

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48 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2009 :  18:16:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's the thing, different dentists are telling me different things. Reading stuff online, for some people removing the teeth seems to have resolved TMJ while for others it did nothing or made it worse. I'd never had TMJ symptoms before, and I am not sure how to figure out what's going on. It really could all be symptom imperative and I am totally willing to accept that. Or, it could be my teeth. Or, it could be trauma from the procedure that either will or won't go away on its own but is not affected by teeth.

Would I have worried about this before my other chronic ailments? After a month of having pain virtually every day, yes, I think I would have worried, especially because it seems to be getting worse. It could be an infection that's not responding to the particular ABs I am taking. Or it could all be mind-body bogus.

I have tried all day not to think about it too much and focus on other stuff, and I will continue doing so tomorrow. I still wish I knew I am doing the right thing.
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188 Posts

Posted - 08/17/2009 :  02:21:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a horrible bout of TMJ after visiting a chiropractor. I had unbearable pain that lasted about 90 seconds (I think it was) but reoccurred every 20 minutes or so unless I was asleep and even then, sometimes. The ONLY thing that helped was to walk, very fast, in a big circle, counterclockwise (clockwise made it worse) for the 90 seconds. I was absolutely at the end of my tether -- actively considering suicide, when my husband reached up and pressed on my neck and from then on it got less frequent and less painful until it vanished after a few days. At the time I thought he was a miracle worker. Now I think it was TMJ. I still can't sleep on that side or back it comes. Just ridiculous. I can't stop it but at least I don't believe in it!

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490 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2009 :  18:53:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some authors who believe strongly in the mind/body connection attribute tmj to repressed anger. Makes sense. I'd be jounaling about anything that caused me anger; past and present.

sidenote: realtive who doesn't fully believe mindbody connection has bad tmj pain; xrays, etc. to "prove something is wrong". She's been going to a therapist and feeling better.

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