TMJ Surgery on a 16 Year Old Girl? HELP Please if You’ve Had the Surgery!?

Question by Aria: TMJ Surgery on a 16 year old girl? HELP Please if you’ve had the surgery!?
Hi. So I’m a 16 year old girl and I have very bad TMJ. I used to go to a TMJ Specialist who did these certain stretches and movements that relieved the pain a little bit. He told me if the pain ended up worsening I would eventually need to have TMJ Surgery. I have had braces already and I wear a retainer at night to keep my teeth in place and so I don’t grind my teeth. The pain of TMJ has really gotten unbearable to me. Eating things that aren’t even chewy like a piece of cheese or a banana makes me want to cry. if I open my mouth even a little bit, my jaw pops and it hurts so incredibly bad. I am asking this question because my parents have this weird insurance that will cover any surgery but only one dentist accepts it for a consultation and he is out of town until next month so I can’t ask him. I have heard that the TMJ procedure is a quick outpatient procedure that has a recovery time of around 3 months with your jaw wired shut. I’m just wondering how you breathe, eat, talk, and brush your teeth with your jaw wired shut. I’ve heard you drink through a straw and I know you can breathe through your nose but I breathe through my mouth when I sleep and I sleep with my mouth open (involuntarily). I go to online high school so being out of school isn’t an issue for me. And do you recover at home or in the hospital?
Also, I have to take thyroid, bladder, and sleeping pills. How can I do that with ym jaw wired shut?

Best answer:

Answer by Tess Fontana
You will be so much happier when your tmj in gone. I used to have tmj, an under bite AND my jaw grew sideways. Basically it grew more on one side then the other which made it crooked. I had braces for four years before I had surgery. The surgery was about 5 hours all together. They did not wire my jaw shut they just had me wear rubber bands and I wasn’t suppose to chew anything for two months. Most likely they won’t wire your jaw shut and you’ll feel better in no time. I felt better in a week my face was just swollen for awhile. The surgery I had was pretty major and it was not so bad so you’ll be fine don’t worry. Not having jaw pain when its cold and no more jaw popping and clicking is soo worth it! Good luck

Answer by tooth975
It would be a huge mistake to have TMJ surgery and it sounds like your condition can be treated conservatively without surgery (your jaw still pops so that means the disk is still able to go back into place). It is unfortunate that insurance companies will pay only for surgical treatment of TMJ disorders and not for non surgical treatment. The main problem with having surgery is if it does not work, your TMJ will be crippled for life with no hope of ever being fixed (in most cases). My recommendation would be to check this site out to find another dentist who may be able to do a better job then your “TMJ Specialist” or at least get a second opinion before undergoing the knife – I personally would not even recommend surgery in a worse case scenario and you are not even close to that. Do not let pain be the determining factor in your decision to have surgery or not. A majority of pain from TMJ disorders are musculoskeletal and if the dentist cannot treat these problems, then a referral to other professionals should be done (physiotherapists, cranio-sacral therapists, etc.). Most pain problems are resolved by wearing a properly designed splint 24/7 that will stabilize the mandible to prevent the articular disk from dislocating and using physiotherapy to relieve and eliminate myospasms. In the meantime, do not chew gum, stay on a totally soft diet, and apply moist heat over the TM joints for 45-60 minutes at a time and do as often as necessary to relax muscles and relieve pain.

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