I was in an unfortunate car accident many years ago and broke my jaw. As a result, I have suffered from popping and clicking in my jaw joints, headaches, facial muscle fatigue and lockjaw.
My first lockjaw episode sent me to the ER in a panic. Not being able to open my jaw made me claustrophobic and anxious. The only recommendation from the hospital was to take ibuprofen, use a warm towel compress, and an ENT referral.
I made an appointment with an ENT hopeful for answers. As a result of my accident, my jaw fracture revealed that my disc was in a closed lock. This trauma also came with inflammation, and arthritis in my jaw joints. My recommendation for treatment was jaw surgery. The risk of jaw surgery greatly outweighed the benefit. Surgery came with a 50% chance that the procedure would be successful. I elected not to have surgery, hopeful of evolving medicine and technology.
The second time my jaw locked shut was after having my wisdom teeth extracted. This jaw trauma was worse than the first time it locked. My mouth closed shut entirely. The surgeon could not even get an instrument in to check my post op extraction sites. I missed about three weeks of work due to not being able to talk. Around the fourth week, I could fit a straw between my teeth. It took two months for me to have a 75% range of motion of my jaw back. Once again, my recommendation from the oral surgeon was to use a warm towel compress, take ibuprofen, and start a soft food diet.
Fast forward to the present day. I work with TMJ Dentist, Dr. Randi Green D.M.D, L.V.I.F. Her passion is helping TMJ patients get out of pain and back to a better quality of life. I have seen her change the lives of innumerable patients that seek treatment for all sorts of TMJ-related pain. Her methods involve a stepped approach to help rid their miserable, sometimes chronic symptoms. After pain relief, most find hope and a permanent solution to end their suffering.
"I recently started my TMJ treatment journey with her too. After my first week of TMJ therapy, my pop has wholly diminished, I have fewer headaches and improved posture."
I am sharing my journey in hopes to inspire others who have TMJ so they can find answers for their TMJ-related pain. I have full trust and faith in Dr. Green and her physiologic treatment philosophy. I hope that my story helps just one person understand that there is usually an alternative to jaw surgery. I am living proof, and my reward for a pain-free life was well worth the wait.