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Ask Dr Matthew Kremser Your Own Question
Dr Matthew Kremser
Dr Matthew Kremser,
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Dentist at Dental Health Associates of Streetsboro
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Am 28, healthy, but I do have a history of TMJ. 2 days

Customer Question

Hello. Am 28, healthy, but I do have a history of TMJ. 2 days ago, I clenched my teeth together very tightly for a moment, and soon after I felt a sharp pain coming from my left jaw area. I cant find exactly where it is, but its somewhere near the TMJ area. I wear an orthodontic appliance, and I can sometimes feel a tingly pain feeling in some teeth under that area. The pain hasn't yet disappeared. I have tried ibuprofen, but I can still feel the pain sometimes. The pain is sharp, and feels like it has a "radiating" sensation. Sometimes it goes away, but if I sleep on my bed and turn my head to either or lie on my side, the sharp pain returns. Even sitting down in some positions causes the sharp pain to return. If I stand up, its ok, but sometimes even when I stand up, its there. Where I live, Malaysia, unfortunately has no dentists with significant TMJ knowledge. So currently im not sure what to do. Is there a fracture in my bone? What is causing this pain? Will it go away by itself? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr Matthew Kremser replied 1 year ago.
Most likely nothing as serious as you are suspecting. Most likely you "bruised" the joint area or one of your teeth. Occasionally, the disc in your TMJ slips forward, out of the socket, and this occurrence causes inflammation and pain. Also, occasionally we can hit a tooth in just the right (wrong) way and basically bruise it- cause a temporary pulpal hypermia which can cause pain on chewing and a dull ache.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's good. What time range before this pain begins to go away? Also, why does it hurt more if I lie on my side or if my head lies on the sides of the pillow rather than in the middle?
Expert:  Dr Matthew Kremser replied 1 year ago.
2-3 weeks is probably average; when you lie on your side,the stabilization of the joint is different and that is likely why it hurts. Use an OTC night guard at night and be patient- healing can be slow!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I visited a doctor, who gave me a muscle relaxant (orphenadrine citrate) and Etoricoxib (painkiller, inflammation) which surprisingly removed all my pain by the next morning. I don't take Etoricoxib anymore, just after the first day of taking it. X-rays showed nothing unusual. Was there an issue with my muscles?
Expert:  Dr Matthew Kremser replied 1 year ago.
With TMJ disorder, muscles of the area can definitely be sore- it is a symptom of the disorder. However, I think the relief you are experiencing is from the NSAID- anti-inflammatory effect. Glad you are feeling better!