A Denver Family's Adventure Through The Ups And Downs of Life

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TMJ- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

I have heard of people with TMJ, but never thought that it would affect me.

TMJ- Temporomandibular joint disorder- is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain and impairment.

My jaw had been bothering me since mid last week, but I just thought that it was something small, so when the pain with away with Tylenol, I wasn't very worried.

The night my son was admitted to the hospital with RSV, I was unable to sleep because, whenever I laid down, my jaw was in tremendous pain.  I kept trying to take Tylenol to make it go away, but even after 4 pills (and hours of not sleeping), the pain wasn't going away, at 2am I decided to go down the hall to the emergency room to find out what the hell was going on.

I was seen pretty quickly by a doctor who diagnosed TMJ and gave me 600 mg of ibuprofen and 6 Vicodin.  After an hour, the ibuprofen still wasn't working, so I decided to take 2 Vicodin.  After a half hour (around 3:30am), the pain subsided and I was able to sleep until 7am, when my son woke up.  The rest of the weekend was much better for me, personally, but I continued to worry about Sam.

I have been taking the ibuprofen every 6 hours since then, but I have discontinued the Vicodin.  I'm thinking that it was the stress that caused it.

Does anyone have TMJ?  How have you deal with it?

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