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TMJ and neck and shoulder pain

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Welcome to the TMJ Forum (Temporomandibular joint disorder) - a health community featuring member and doctor discussions ranging from a specific symptom to related conditions, treatment options, medication, side effects, diet, and emotional issues surrounding medical conditions.

TMJ and neck and shoulder pain

Postby HealthForum » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:12 pm

Hello all,

I'm so glad to have met you. I have finally found out I have TMJ. I found out the hard unfortunately, a settback to be exact. Here is my story, please send as much insite, advice etc as you can.
In the year 2000 I went to see a dentist, just for a check up. Prior to this visit, I hadn't gone to a dentist in over 15yrs, I am 32yrs old. Basically, the last time I went to a dentist I was maybe 10yrs old. Anyway in 2003 at the age of 25 I went to the dentist for a check up and a clean. He took xrays of my teeth and all was fine, no cavities bla bla. The only issue he had was with my bottom left wisdom tooth. It was sticking out diagnolly and pushing my 2nd molar towards my 1st molar and so on. He said this could become a problem in the future and recommended I see an orthondontist, which I did. The orthodontist took a quick look and said yes, I needed braces. My canines were coming out of place my front teeth were overlamping. This never really concerned me but she said its only going to get worse with time and that she could fix me up in a year. I asked her about the wisdom tooth and she sort of ignored it, but said she will take care of it.
Braces. I wore them for 3yrs and not one plus another year with a retainer. she removed my 4 pre-molars and started the push back realignement procedure. 3 yrs later I still had my wisdom tooth but teeth were straight and back in place. Once the braces off, I immediately felt a discomfort when closing my mouth. I could not close my mouth without my top bottom teeth scraping my front teeth. I went to my ortho and she shaved a bit of on of my bottom teeth. I was a bit better afer that. My muscles round my cheek area no longer reacted like before. they were tense, and every movement rewuired an extra effort. Smiling was uncomfortable and kissing with tongue was actually strainuous. With my retainer though I felt fine. Smiling with the retainer felt normal and not stressful. I continued wearing my retainer and seeing my ortho. I told a friend dentist about my discomfort when without the retainer and he offord an appointment with a maxifacial (face and jaw) doctor-dentist (I live in geneva SWI). Sadly due to circumstances, I never went. I left the condition which was annoying but not painful.
Shoulder Pains. Just before I took off my braces in 2003, I began having pains on my right shoulder and very slight ones on my left shoulder. Doctor, Xrays, Physio, ostepath followed. The pains just kept getting worse and worse. Although my pains on my left did not augment, my right shoulder was pretty much usless. I used to swim, had to stop, tennis too. Things were beginning to get really bad. I used to sleep on a futon bed due to my lower back pains (unrelated), but I had to stop, becasue the hard futon was killing my shoulders.
Neck pains. Neck pains began, maybe a month after my shoulder pains. But they were bearable. Once again, they were mre extreme on my right, and now are the primary pain I'm living with (left and right).
Pain evolvment. My right shoulder pains kept increasing and so did my right side of my neck, from yr 2003. My left side was impaccable. orthopeodic surgeons, physios, MRIs etc followed. NOTHING. they could not see anything wrong. 2005 after more doctors etc, one doctor wrote a letter for me to the head orthoepedic surgeon in the University of Geneva hospital. I saw him and he proposed i undergo arthroscopic surgery in order to see what was wrong with my right shoulder. I kept telling the doctors that my pain began at the top right side of my neck, behind my ears and went down the side of my neck, across my trapeize, down my shoulder (including down my shoulder blade) and all the way down to the tip of my fingers. All the doctors were convinced it was a shoulder problem, although the MRI scans showed nothing. So the great Professor was going to check inside my shoulder with an endoscopy. He did and after the surgical procedure he told me that whilst asleep, he moved my shoulder and it popped out of its socket way too easily. His conlcusion was that I had and instable shoulder which was causing all these neck, shoulder and arm problems. I need open surgery to stabilize my shoulder. He operated me a month later and I never got to see the great Professor again. my shoulder never stopped hurting my neck pains got worse and this is where it gets really exciting, the pains had now traversed to my left side. Hence, neck shoulder, arm pains all down my left side. This was now 2008. From 2003 - 2008 my pains were strictly on my right side now the area doubled. I had my surgery in 2007 and a year later, 2008, the pains were all over my upper body.
TMJ realization. After the great professor masacred my shoulder, and coincidely inititiated pains on my left side I took a break from the doctors. I went back to the osteopath and hes started massaging my jaw. I had never been i saw much pain and relief at the same time. Whilst he massaged my bottom jaw, pain in my jaws increased rapidly, but pains in shoulder/neck decreased. That was my first alarment. I then recalled all those years back when I had the jaw discomfort after taking off my braces and also recalled reading an article on how problems with teeth occlusion could cause neck/shoulder problems.
Back to the dentist. I went back to the dentist I visited way back in 2000. I was going to him during my orthodontic procedure, just for cleaning and cavitiy checks etc. i did tell him back in 2003 of the discomfort i was having after removing my braces and he replied, give the ligaments time to readapt. 8yrs later I returned to him claiming I may have malocclusion and this could be the reason for all my pains. He made a model of my mouth and got me the Michigan splint i beleive its called. It was for my top teeth and I had to wear it at night. 6moths later, there was no difference, I went back and he proceeded in shaving molars on both sides and up and down. Still no differnence, 3mths later I went back and again more shaving. HUGE differnce. Major relief but still pain but at a decreased level. 3mths later went back again. The worst nightmare of my life began. I am in so much pain its unbelievable. Left right side of mouth is numb, neck is sooo painful, shoulders all the was to fingers in pain. Just a nighmare. I went to see him for that, and he reacted diffensively.
Today. I am here on this forum and due to pains in shoulders and neck I can barely type. Holding my neck up right hurts, shoulders hurt terribly all round my neck hurts, my shoulder blades hurt, mouth jaw hurts, my arms and hands hurt. I wake up like this every day.

Advice. I am planning to see an orthodontist, jaw face surgeon, and my dentist again. Should I continue shaving my molars to get the best contact possible? What should I do? Put back braces? I am worried my pains will become like some posters here. Any advice?

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