Three main TMJ complaints – headache, neck pain and jaw pain
A few days ago a woman named Dorothy came in complaining of TMJ symptoms. She was in the office because she was having headaches, neck and jaw pain. Dorothy is not my typical TMJ pain patient. Yes, she has three of the main complaints I hear: headaches, neck pain and jaw pain, but, she is 85 years old.
I automatically took a strong liking to Dorothy and her husband, Richard. Their personalities and humor are very up-lifting. They have been married for 64 years. I have never had a patient that was in so much pain be so happy! She had been suffering with headaches every day for many years. Richard saw my commercial on TV and said to his wife “You are going to see Dr. George or we are going to get a divorce.” Needless to say, I saw her as a challenge just because she has been suffering so long and I wanted to break the pain cycle. During her TMJ exam, Richard told me that they ordered the “My Pillow” for her neck pain and sent it back for the money back guarantee because it didn’t work. I laughed because being an infomercial sucker myself, I ordered the same pillow and realized it didn’t work. Kindred spirits we are!
As we age, things change in our mouths. We may lose and break some teeth. Through the years we replace them with crowns, bridges or dentures. Every time a change is made in your mouth your jaw balance maybe thrown a little bit off. Over time it may start to cause TMJ symptoms.
Treatment with Dorothy began, and within three weeks her headaches and pain were gone. Even her neck pain has disappeared. She can chew her food better and sleep better too. The moral here is, it is never too late to get help and start to live your life pain-free.
Dr. Alexandra George, DDS, LVIF