I have had a crossbite since as far as I remember. I started treatment with braces when I was 13, and had them removed when I was 16. I was also told by my orthodontist, that if the crossbite was to return, I would need surgery to correct it, and likely if it did, I could possibly have TMD symptoms. As time went by, I graduated from highschool and my jaw started clicking again; I graduated university and my mouth became more and more crossed, and the popping persisted. I had no other symptom that I could recognize or was uncomfortable for me to notice. By the time I was 23, (as I'm a Registered Nurse) I wanted to work in the USA (I'm in Canada) and I wanted to get a clean bill of health from my orthodontist before leaving, and not having the same health coverage as I have here. It must have been luck, but in November of 2007 (24 yo), I began having intense headaches, then to ear fullness, then to jaw pain. I became an insomniac, not sleeping for days at a time, the pain was so severe, I was unable to eat. I was nauseous, I felt gross. I lost 35 lbs in 3 months yet no one was concerned as I was overweight and had 'room to lose'. I was so angry at everyone I looked for , for help. The pain in my left ear left me not wanting to be around people, I isolated myself and I couldn't stand being around myself. I've been through 2 TMD/myofacial pain specialists, a TMD multidisciplinary clinic, 3 physiotherapists, a chronic pain specialist, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, craniosacral therapy, a psychologist, and even internal mouth massage therapy--- yet NO RELIEF. Still today I am on medication for pain, but I understand my body and how prevention is the only way to control my pain, being on a routine sleeping pattern (which is very hard for me) and taking my medications at the appropriate time in the day (which ties greatly with how I sleep). I take 200mg of Codeine Contin three times a day, and tylenol #3 when I need them every 4 hrs. I have percosets 5mg if I absolutely am having problems, but they leave me feeling ill and I sleep forever. I believe the best thing I can do for myself is to make myself have MORE function, and not less, so I only take them when desperate. I exercise as much as I can as I truly believe it is a great tool for pain control. I am now 25 and still feel I am missing out in a lot of my life. I missed 10 months of work due to pain, and now am back at work and am unable to work full time due to my problems and how I cope with the pain and sleep levels I have. The last week has been hard for me as I just saw my orthodontist for what I feel is my last straw.
All of my practitioners tell me I'm a 'tough case', and I'm "too young to have this much pain" and have had a tough time with pain control with my MDs as I do believe, they think I don't actually have pain; they've actually said a lot of things to make me feel that way. I SHOULDN"T HAVE TO FEEL THAT WAY!!!. I'm still trying to find my 5th doctor that will actually walk this battle with me. I just went to my orthodontist again to seek a surgical consult, which I never even had to ask-- he fully believes this is the last direction I can take. The TMD specialists have always told me the correlation between crossbites (malocclusion) and TMD are nil, and not supported by research, but there is always a small amount of chances, right? The connection to me seems night and day, and my bite always feels crooked in my mouth. Especially now that the inflammation has gone down and the pain has lessened from severe to more moderate pain, I can see that my bite bothers me quite a lot, but who knows what damage it has done to my TMJ (maybe more than my first MRI/CT has shown??) When I lie in bed sleepless at night, I feel as though either muscle/ligament in the back left feels twisted and my mouth moves side ways.
My question is this: have you seen any success with crossbites/TMD problems and success with TMD and/or pain control? (or lessening of pain?)? I know each case is so individual and nerves are unpredictable, but I find with my research online, I cannot find many articles on the topic, yet the research has changed so much in the last 10 years on the topic. I'm still waiting for my first surgical consult to happen. I've remained so hopeful that I can have opportunity to lessen my pain... I'm not sure what I would do if the surgeon would refuse to do it, as I've been told braces would not be a successful option, and I've tried nearly everything I've thought of, and have been offered.
Any insight into the correlation would be helpful (that is my one question) :) Thank you for reading my case, sorry for being wordy!
Dana (from Canada)