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Crowded teeth causing jaw, teeth, neck, shoulder, head and sinus pain

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Dental

7,759 words with 6 Comments; publish: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:36:00 GMT; (900140.63, « »)

Hoping others can give me advise,

About a 1 1/2 years ago I started to have very bad sinus pain (it felt like I was getting infections), headaches, neck aches, eye, ear and tooth pain. I saw my dentist and he said I was fine. I went to my doctor who prescribed my antibiotics and sinus medication. Over the next year I was on lots of sinus medication, I had a sinus xray (nothing showed up) and had an allergy test (nothing showed up that would have caused my symptoms).

I went to an accupucurist/chiropractor and a massage therapist. The massage thereapist said my neck and shoulders were extremely tensed as if I had whiplash (I was not in an accident)

I finally went and saw an ENT specialist. He siad that everything was caused by crowded teeth due to the fact I had sucked my thumb past the age of four years.

I have seen an orthodonist and she says I will probably need one or two surgeries on my jaw and braces. I have had more xrays and will go back to her to see whats next.

This year and a half has been taxing as everyone I saw thought that they knew what was causing my problems only to later find out they were wrong. I am reluctant to have surgery - what if it doesn't work or it makes it worse? But I am finding the pain and constant feeling of soreness and tiredness too much. Before this happened I use to feel great, I would work out regularily and go jogging. Now I just feel lousy and tired. Does anyone have any great success stories with surgery or other approaches?.

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  • 6 Comments
    • You may want to check with others on the tmj forum but surgery is not always the answer - but you didn't say what type of surgery was required - to reposition your jaw? Generally speaking treatment of tmj is done in stages - phase I is usually wearing a splint to get your muscles relaxed and position your jaw properly. Depending on how severe your problem is, that could take several months. Once you are pain free (everywhere) phase II is usually braces or adjusting teeth to ensure proper occlusion which will help maintain your jaws position and keep you out of pain. In some instances, when the teeth can not be moved or the upper and lower jaw are severely misaligned or under/over developed, surgery may be part of Phase II. So you need to get more info from the ortho and if possible get 2nd and 3rd opinions from other orthos as well - preferrably with someone with tmj and FJO training. Unfortunatley this type of problem is not going to get better without some type of treatment. Hope that helps a bit.
      #1; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:47:00 GMT
    • Thanks for your reply. I am at the early stages of the ortho work. I still have to go get a molding done. My ortho said that I will probably need surgery on my jaw to correct the alignment. My teeth are overcrowded, I have an overbite and a very narrow and high arched palate. She says that if I only get braces it won't fix the jaw problem - it will only make my smile nicer. What is FJO?
      #2; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:48:00 GMT
    • Your problem sounds very much like mine. I had crowded teeth, an overbite and headaches, neck and shoulder pain and problems with my joints. I've had braces for a year and 4 months, and had surgery on my lower jaw in February. I am still in recovery and still have a long way to go, but I have had no headaches, neck or shoulder pain since the surgery.

      I was also very hesitant about the surgery, and even cancelled it once. Finally, I went through all the options with my doctors and decided to have the surgery after all as none of the other treatments could have fixed my overbite, which was the main cause for my aches and joint problems, too. I think it is a good idea to think it through, so you'll feel like it's your decision and not the doctors', and to talk about other options - perhaps even with another doctor.

      #3; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:49:00 GMT
    • Thanks for your reply. I am at the early stages of the ortho work. I still have to go get a molding done. My ortho said that I will probably need surgery on my jaw to correct the alignment. My teeth are overcrowded, I have an overbite and a very narrow and high arched palate. She says that if I only get braces it won't fix the jaw problem - it will only make my smile nicer. What is FJO?

      FJO is Functional Jaw Orthotics - there are different types of orthotics or oral appliances that can reposition the jaw and possibly eliminate the need for surgery.

      #4; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:50:00 GMT
    • Hi Miara,

      What type of surgery did you have? HOw long did it take? How long was the recovery period? Were you in a lot of pain right after the surgery - if yes, for how long? Did the surgery change your face shape? Are you happy with the results?

      Hearing from you definitely made me more optimistic.

      #5; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:51:00 GMT
    • Hi Miara,

      What type of surgery did you have? HOw long did it take? How long was the recovery period? Were you in a lot of pain right after the surgery - if yes, for how long? Did the surgery change your face shape? Are you happy with the results?

      Hearing from you definitely made me more optimistic.

      Okay, here's a really long message... :)

      I had a surgery called "mandibular ramus sagittal split osteotomy". It is a surgery in which the surgeons move your lower jaw forward and possibly to left or right if it's crooked; mine was just forward. The surgery took about 3 hours and I was under general anaesthesia.

      After the surgery, I had lots of swelling (more than average) and I looked just like one of the characters of Peanuts! The swelling went down after about a week. I got pain medicine and liquids through an iv the first day, and the second day I could already start drinking myself and swallowing pills. I did not have much pain during the whole time.

      Most people will also have numbness in their lower jaw and lower lip after the surgery because a nerve in the lower jaw will be slightly stretched during the surgery. However, I did not have any, so I cannot tell you what that's like. Most of the time the feeling slowly returns a few weeks after the surgery, but there is a small chance that a small (usually a round area in the middle of the chin) remains permanently somewhat numb, but most people don't consider it a problem and get used to it very quickly.

      Most patients will not be wired shut, but will have three small titanium screws on both sides of the lower jaw (which can be removed at some point if necessary). I was on a liquids/soft foods diet for a month and then I could eat soft chewables for 2 weeks. After 6 weeks, you can start slowly eating normally again. (I'm just starting now).

      I got one month sick leave after the surgery, but felt good enough to go back to uni after 2,5 weeks. As I mentioned earlier, I have not had headaches after the surgery. (Before the surgery I had a terrible headache 4 to 5 times a week on average.) However, the complete recovery time is about 6 months to 1 year after this type of surgery (bonegrowth, joints re-adjusting, getting used to new bite etc.).

      My lower jaw looks slightly more forward, so it looks nicer than it used to, but other than that the shape of my face did not really change. And I look at it in the mirror probably about ten times a day :)

      I might also add that if you'll have surgery, I strongly recommend that you'll have a maxillofacial surgeon operate, not a plastic surgeon (who also sometimes do them), because this type of surgery requires expertise knowledge of the nerves in lower jaw in order to avoid damaging them permanently.

      I have still about 2 months of treatment left ("finishing touches" with braces), after which I will get my braces taken off, and I am looking forward to that. :) Just in time for my summer holiday.

      #6; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 17:53:00 GMT