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hopeless TMJ pain

My boyfriend has been having jaw pain for almost a year now, and it is now causing tooth sensitivity, and neck pain which is also causing facial numbness. He's seen 2 dentists, a physician and 2 chiropractors and all anyone has done is prescribed valium and prescription-strength ibuprofin, as well as a custom-fitted nightguard. while these may temporarily dull his discomfort, it hasn't improved his condition (even the nightguard) and i know he can't just take these pills for the rest of his life. he's been trying to de-stress with yoga, and ice his jaw/neck as well as apply heat. he also has tried sleeping with specialty pillows. nothing is working, and its frustrating both of us.
is there anything out that maybe we haven't thought of? i can't bare to think he's just going to have to live on painkillers and muscle relaxers for the rest of his life.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Facial numbness is not a common presentation of temporomandibular disorder, instead, it may be facial nerve dysfunction,which is best evaluated by neurologist. Neck pain and tooth sensitivity are commonly associated with TMD. Night guard(tmj orthosis, occlusal appliance) is highly effective to manage tmd, but it depends on who fabricated the appliance. Seeing a competent tmj specialist is advised. Conventional NSAID,such as ibuprofen is generally not effective for tmd. Tricyclic antidepressant,such as amitryptyline , is more effective than NSAIDs.Seeing an orofacial pain specialist is advised if pharmacologic management is intervened. Moist heat is more effective than cold application, unless there is neural dysfuction involved.If you can find a competent health practitioner, I do'nt think your boyfriend's tmj problem is hopeless.
Avatar universal
Your boyfriend's problem sounds similar to mine.  I have a nerve problem in my lower jaw and an application of ice and living on ibuprofen was the only thing that had helped.
Then I tried Sensodyne toothpaste.  It took about 10 days, but I started to feel some relief from the worst of the pain.  I don't know if that will help your BF, but it's a simple thing to try.  
Tell him to rub it on his gums, especially at night, and not to rinse it off.  Give it at least two weeks.  I must have used it 10 times a day for the first 3 or 4.  It really helped!

Today, I have NO nerve pain at all.  Sure has been better than being attached to an ice pack all day.

I really hope this helps some.
My very best to you and a hug for trying to help your BF.


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