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Neuromuscular Dentistry - TMJ FAQ

About 5 weeks ago I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed. Three weeks ago I had a follow-up visit to the surgeon and told him I was having slight pain in my lower left jaw. He said it was the muscle and I was grinding my teeth.

The next week I had so much pain I could hardly stand it. I went back and got some antibiotics and muscle relaxant. Now two weeks later, nothing has changed except I can hardly open my mouth. It's getting worse by the day.

I seem to be having some discharge (bad taste in mouth)that is yellow in color. Could the antibiotics not be strong enough? What would you suggest? I am allergic to pennicillin.

I am realy scared about not being able to open my mouth. What can I do about it? Should I force it open? He said something about maybe having to go back in and cleaning out the area. How will they get my mouth open and will it cause further damage? ...Visitor from Missouri

Tough to answer because there could be anything from osteomyelits to a TMJ problem. Get some new x-rays to make sure no tooth fragments remain behind in your jaws.

Switch anitibiotics to something stronger like Duricef. Find a TMj expert in your area who can get you some temporary physical therapy. The muscle relaxants are good but you need to do exercises and stretches to overcome the trismus.

Use cold packs for 10 minutes, followed by stretching, followed by hot packs and massage. Keep repeating above steps a few times a day.

John Halmaghi, DDS

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