HELP! Pain relief for clenching and/or TMJ

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I've been clenching my teeth for a couple of weeks now. I've even caught myself doing it during the day. Repeatedly. This is a thing of mine and my usual tricks to not clench are not working. The tendonitis in my shoulder has kicked up and it goes up into my neck, which may be contributing to the clenching. I don't know.

    Today I woke up and I am in so much pain. It hurts in my bottom teeth on the right side (where I always get the pain; dentist has checked extensively and it's not my teeth), into my ear, and now into my eye and upper teeth.

    Vicodin isn't touching it. Not even making a dent. And I can barely stand it. I can take a lot of pain unless it's in my head.

    Any advice on what I can do for the pain? I can't even stand for my teeth to touch together, yet if I bite down really hard it seems to alleviate the pain a tiny bit.

    I'm desperate. I'm ready to just take my head off. And I'm supposed to go prom dress shopping this evening with easy child's girlfriend.

    Any tips? :please:
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member stop the clenching during sleep, go get a football mouth guard. It really will work but you have to get used to it.

    Call your doctor and ask about bumping up the lamictal...that will help. Odd I know.

    Also go get some capsacian cream. Yes that red pepper junk. I know it sounds weird but the more red pepper stuff you can handle the better. Rub it on the nerve pathway. But be careful and wash your hands really well.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also use heat. I bought a pad you heat in the microwave. I love it, it really helps me.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I use the bite guard. It helps quite a bit.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The capsacin stuff comes in cream and in lotion. The lotion has an applicator bottle and is not greasy. I like htat version because it absorbs and then does not accidentally rub off.

    If you are using the cream, put your hand inside a cheap, fold over top plastic sandwich bag to apply it.

    I am sorry you are hurting.
  6. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I feel your pain, I am just recovering from some awful intestinal virus, the kind people get on cruise ships. I was clenching my teeth in my sleep due to the intense pain and managed to chip the back of my front tooth. If you chose the capsaicin route PLEASE be aware that you should not go too close to your eye, it's a substance found in hot peppers. I used it once on my arthritic knee and when I took a hot shower the next morning I found it most unpleasant, like having a burn. I used orajel, there's something called Dentek jaw relief too.

    There are some jaw exercises you can do, look on line. My massage therapist also helped tremendously (when I could still afford weekly body work).

    I hope you can make it through this night.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't have any advice, just hugs. I'm so sorry. As if you dont already have enough carp.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I didn't get back to the board until now (11:40pm), so I don't have any caspacin (I noticed 3 different spellings in this thread so I just picked one LOL) cream. I have, however, taken more pain medications today than I take in 2 weeks. And that's just to make it bearable.

    If it's the same tomorrow, I'm calling my dentist. Something has got to give. It's never been this bad before. My doctor did say to use ice rather than heat, but I'll use whatever works. The idea of moist heat sounds really good at the moment.

    It's weird. When I massage my jaw on the right side in front of my ear, it sounds in my ear like it sounds when you use a Q-Tip. It doesn't do that on the left. That reminded me that sometimes when I lie down, I get this feeling and sound in my right's kind of hard to explain. I remember the first time it happened it felt like there was a winged bug in my ear - like a fluttering of wings. It doesn't hurt - just feels odd and makes me want to rub my ear. I wonder if it's somehow related. I got the stupidest things, I swear. :faint:

    We still haven't been able to rule out parotid gland issues so I really don't have a clue if this is TMJ, parotid glands or just a result of clenching.

    Thank you for the ideas. I'll pick up some of that lotion tomorrow. I'm assuming I can get this at the drug store?

    Janet - how does lamictal help with this? You're right; that does sound odd. But if it works, I'm game.

    by the way - easy child's girlfriend got a beautiful dress. She looks absolutely stunning in it. easy child's jaw is going to hit the floor on prom night. Now we have to find shoes. She has mild CP, so finding shoes that have a bit of a heel but that she can keep her balance in is proving to be tricky. Especially since wedge heels no longer seem to be trendy. I felt really bad for her. She was so frustrated I thought she was going to cry. She hates to acknowledge there is something she can't do, Know what I mean??

    Thanks again, Ladies! I knew you guys would know what to do. :flowers:
  9. maril

    maril New Member

    Hope the dental visit goes well.

    I have suffered jaw pain because of unconscious teeth clenching. I know it can be severe. Good luck to you.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The lamictal will help because they actually use epilepsy drugs to treat this...if you could use the neurontin or the lyrica it would be better but you cant go there so increasing the lamictal is the next best thing.
  11. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    This sounds strange, but I noticed when I tried to increase my Lexapro dose that I clenched my teeth. It is even listed as a side effect of Lexapro. When I went back down to my normal dose, I didn't do it any more.

    Is it possible one of your medications could be contributing to the clenching?
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Flutter -

    I have severe TMJ. I have something I can't even spell in the joints of my jaw. lol. When I'm stressed? I gnash and grind my teeth. The best thing that ever happened was that I ground my teeth so hard on one side it made my bite uneven. I literally had to have my teeth filed down on one side to match my correct bite. This helped a lot. If your bite is uneven you will have more TMJ.

    Also another thing that has helped me in the past is a roll-on herbal medicine called STOP PAIN. It comes in a spray - but the spray will literally take your breath away. I rub a little bit on my jaw joints and take an anti inflamatory or muscle relaxer. I was told to start with Aleve, and if that gave me no relief - to try taking .5 mg. of Flexeril at night. It relaxes me just enough to fall into a sleep where I"m not grinding.

    I have chewed my way through so many mouth guards and my bite is so uneven any more due to loss of teeth from pregnancy that they don't help, and I can't stand them in my mouth for longer than 15 minutes because they seem cumbersom.

    Another thing you can try and I'm REALLY surprised no one has offered you this is a TENZ unit. YOu have to get a prescription to buy one, sometimes you can find the machines in the paper for sale - but the pads are prescription only (seems stupid to me) but once when I had the intense pain you describe - I got DF's tenz unit out and put a sticky pad on either side of my jaw joint. I turned the machine on - got relief and fell asleep. Not for long because somehow the machine fell to my size and when I moved during sleep my hip turned the button that controlls the intensity of the electric current up so high that my face was twisting to the left and my eyeball was pulling out of it's socket. I scrambled and got the thing turned off - but MAN what a ride....

    Hope you find some relief- I'm sure easy child's girlfriend will look stunning. Of course we want pictures!!
  13. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I'm a night time grinder. Don't even know when I'm doing it so I wear a guard most nights. (That looks pretty.) It has worked wonders. I've used it for years. Maybe that is why I sleep alone.:tongue:

    Hope you find some relief.

  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Yeah, you don't want to sleep with me. At least I don't snore. I think. I just don't look too pretty.