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Educational Brochures on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions

This brochure addresses what are Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs), how COPCs are diagnosed, the complexity of the chronic pain experience, and how to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan. It is available by postal ma

Study Highlights TMD Evidence and Current Practice Gaps

The TMJ Association has long championed the need for strong evidence-based demonstrations of the safety and efficacy of TMD diagnostics and treatments. Sad to say, as the following journal article indicates, even among a network of research-oriented practices, dental providers are still resorting to such TMD treatments as occlusal adjustments in which teeth are irreversibly moved, ground down, or in other ways altered, a treatment for which there is no scientific evidence of efficacy.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

We are currently in the peak season for Lyme disease. Each year at this time we highlight this topic because we have heard from a number of patients over the years who were misdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary TMD treatments when they actually had Lyme

#*!"@!**! ... May Help Your Pain... and Improve Strength!

Our headline is adopting the comic strip convention of using symbols to denote swear words because we are intrigued by a report that swearing may have some health benefits.

Predictors of Opioid Efficacy for Chronic Pain Patients

Opioids are increasingly used for treatment of chronic pain. However, they are only effective in a subset of patients and have multiple side effects. Thus, studies using biomarkers for response are highly warranted.

Jennifer

  • Mar 2, 2017
It all started with extensive orthodontic work in my early teens--fast forward 20 years and it has consumed my entire life. Last October, I had to have a failed root canal pulled and nothing would ever be the same for me. Five months ago for no apparent reason I had the most severe flare-up where the pain was so unbearable I couldn't think of going on. I couldn't speak, eat, sleep, work, drink or function. I tried medical cupping on my jaw and after several sessions there was slight improvement. Unfortunately I never went back to "my normal" again. I've seen dentists, oral surgeons, acupuncturists, had medical cupping and now I'm trying physical therapy. A neuromuscular dentist wanted to charge me $6,000 to start for very invasive work, which in 5 months I would find out if it worked at all. That was too much of a gamble for me.
 
I feel completely and utterly alone as I suffer, any joy being sucked out of my life. It affects my right side more than the left. The pain is unbearable, stabbing in my ear, face, jaw, head and neck. The right side of my face goes numb from the TMJ since it's irritating the Trigeminal Nerve. My neck, jaw and face are in constant spasm; also my neck has started jerking to the right. I spend a lot of time not being able to speak mainly just nodding my head.
 
I used to really love eating but now my TMJ has changed that. I have to eat what's soft whether I like it or not. All my meals/snacks are dictated by what my jaw will and won't allow. I used to love fresh bagels, pizza crusts, hamburgers and subs among other things. Those foods I'll never enjoy again. Sushi is also a favorite but now is cut up into small pieces as I ever so slowly push the food in my mouth. I make constant compromises; do I want to talk that day or eat? Eating is so painful that many times I either spit food out because of pain or I'm almost choking because I can't chew properly. Most of the time I starve because eating isn't an option or if I can eat, I try to eat as much as I can to sustain me for longer periods of time. Going out to eat really isn't an option either since I have a difficult time actually getting food in my mouth, it's very awkward.
 
I spend a lot of time depressed, in immense pain not knowing how I'll get through every day. The pain I can't escape not even in sleep. My speech has also changed as I slur, hoping people understand me. The pain-killers and muscle relaxants no longer help. Besides the severe TMJ I'm also epileptic and for extra fun throw in fibromyalgia. As I sit here writing this my family is enjoying a movie laughing and relaxing while the right side of my face is numb and in pain (if that makes sense) my neck is jerking and my eyes are filling up with tears. The condition has taken over and happy feelings are fleeting. I could go on and on about all I go through; sorry for the rambling. I pray for all of us that doctors will find ways to better help us and treat this awful disease. I would love to know what a life not affected by TMJ would be like.