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Jaw Pain - Trismus Disorders

Question:
I am 24 years old. For the past four days my jaw is not working properly. I can't open it more than to get a few words out with out being in pain. I can keep this up for sometime, however I would like to know if it will cause permanent damage to my mouth?

I do not have health or dental insurance at this time and can't afford to go see someone about this problem. Basically I need to know just what it is I need to do to ease the pain some. Is there anything I can do?

Answer:
I would revisit the dental health forum for more education about TMJ. If you cannot open your mouth, your joints have some form of dysfunction related to possibly a dislocated disc.

When the tissues surrounding the jaw joint become damaged they dissolve or rupture. As a result, the jaw joint begins to rub on the skull bone and some of the tissue gets caught in the way...and you can't open your mouth.

There is really very little you can do by yourself without getting help from an expert. You can, however, try the following:

Get some back pain relief medication (Doan's pills, or even Advil). Take it as per the directions on the box. Put ice on your face for 10 minutes and then open as wide as you can for 2 minutes. Follow this with 10 minutes of hot, moist packs. Then, massage your jaws and face as deeply as you can without hurting yourself. Do this every morning and night, repeating the cycle as often as you can.

Go to the sporting goods store and get a $4 football mouthguard. Boil it in water and fit it over your top teeth. Anything that separates your bottom teeth from your top teeth will get you relief. You can even wrap some gauze around a fork with some duct tape and put this between your back teeth to open up your jaws...slowly!!!

Start saving some money for treatment because your problem can get very expensive.

John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD






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