Lock Jaw - dental question
I've tried to search the Internet and I got vague answers to my particular situation. I've been having problems with my lower jaw for a couple of months now. Actually, I really noticed it when I went to the dentist a year ago and after having my mouth wide open, I couldn't close it. The dentist's assistant recommended me to relax then try to close it. It kind of work, but I still had to force it to close it and there was this really weird sound coming from my jaw. Plus, the dentist also told me that the corners of my jaw were getting "used" (translation for usé, anyone french speaking folks?) and that eventually I would need to get a surgery, but not for now, well, not a year ago.
This week, I yawned at some point and my jaw was stuck, but I only noticed after closing my mouth, because again, there was this "breaking sound" and it really hurt. It didn't hurt for long, but it did make me worried. I've read somewhere that lock jaw can be a symptom for a bigger disease like tetanus, but I've had my vaccine for that. Even though I got hit by a car when I was nine and I got a huge cut probably made by some metal, but I probably got vaccinated again after that.
I don't want to be too worried about that, but it's the only jaw that I've got. I kind of want it to be fully functional. What do you think I should do? Plus, I have no insurance, so dental care is very expensive... :-\
ETA : I know it's not really vegan-related, but there are so many knowledgeable people here, I thought I'd ask you...
I don't know. The extent of my dental experience is super bad teeth.
I thought everyone in Canada had medical coverage?
I've only ever been destitute or permanently employed. I worked at Target when I was in college. There was a guy who would give away hours if he got too many because he would lose government benefits that he otherwise couldn't afford, even working extra hours. The middle ground sucks.
Actually, it sounds like TMJD (which many people mistakenly call TMJ)
The good news? Its not a dental problem! Medical...
Are you entitled to chiropratic services?
It does sound like TMJ (or TMJD, as Z said...whats the "D" for?)
I had this happen at the dentist too, esp when they are working strongly on back teeth. The next time you go, try not to open as wide. You might notice a point when you open your mouth where it starts to get tight, snap or feel like it goes off its "hinges"...try not to open beyond that point.
THere are mouth guards that can help TMJ to a point. But even just massaging at the point of where the lower jaw hinges can help.
I would also suggest chiro or acupunture, b/c holding stress/ tightening in the neck/ shoulders can also affect your jaw.
I have TMJ too. My sister has it so bad she needs muscle relaxers. I don't have it that bad. I think it gets slightly worse when I'm stressed, but precautions I take are: 1. avoiding the dentist (seriously, going to the dentist is what relaly makes it act up for me) 2. not chewing gum, or anything else super chewy. 3. not biting into anything really hard, like I cut up an apple before eating it.
If it does act up I massage the jaw hinge where it is sore like someone else mentioned, plus I practise opening & closing my mouth slightly, careful to align my back teeth right, to get it back on track.
Another indication that you have TMJ is you hear a popping sound when you chew. I have it, too. The other thing I find is that I get lock jaw if I eat gluten (I have Celiac disease).