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temporamandibular disease

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I went back to the Oral and Maxillofacial Specialist today so he could tell me the results of my MRI that I had last week. I cannot remember all the technical terms he told me but here's the gist of it. The temporomadibular joint connects the lower jaw (the mandible) to the bone at the side of your head (the temporal bone) and between those two pieces of bone is a little disc that cushions the joint. (seen in fig. 1)

In my jaw the little cushiony disc is moved forward, which was only detected on the MRI (like in fig. 4). Thus it is not providing a cushion for my jaw joint. Thus causing me pain. I have lived with this pain on and off for many many years. The weird thing about it is the left side is worse "medically" speaking but the right side is causing me more pain. So, the specialist told me that a night guard (that I have been wearing for the past 6 years) will not fix the problem. He told me that a pill will not fix the problem. He told me that I could just live with the pain and then when I get older it will probably be a mute point anyway. He told me that I could have surgery but it's not a guaranteed fix. He said it could relieve some of my pain but there's no way to know if it will be a long term fix or if it will even work. Kind of like when a surgeon replaces someone's knee or hip they will more than likely be living with less pain but there may be some collateral damage or it may fail years down the road. He told me that if I decide to go ahead with the surgery I will need to be on modified bed rest for a week and have my jaw wired shut for six weeks.

So, we've got some praying to do.  We've got some research to do. People to talk to. Possibly a second opinion. If you know of anyone who has had this or a similar surgery please put me in touch with them. I really want to hear from people who've had this surgery and see how they felt about it. The surgeon told me that in all the surgeries he's done (too many to count) he's only had one person say it didn't help.

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