Hey. My name is Nils, i'm 18 years old and I live in Sweden.
I have TMJ problems and it all started about 2,5-3 years ago. I was an avid nail biter and had probably been biting my nails for 4 years or so before my jaw started to click and crack. The first time I noticed it was when I and my family was eating and all of a sudden this loud crack came from my jaw and everyone in my family could hear it. I didn't really think much of it and it continued to click for couple of months with me doing nothing and just continued to eat as I use to. I did stop biting my nails and haven't been biting them sence. I went to my dentist on a yearly visit about 1 year after it started to click, and by now the click was gone and was instead replaced with me being unable to open my mouth more than 2 cm. I told her about my problems and she didn't really seemed concerned. She also told me I had a crossbite but didn't seemed concerned about that either..
I haven't been to a dentist sence, as I thought my problems would just go away, but they didnt. My problems today is that my face is more assymetrical than is has ever been. My whole mandible is shifted towards my affected side and I have an unilateral crossbite that when I bite down forces my teeth and jaw to turn to the right (affected side) I don't know if I had this kind of crossbite before and if it has made my assymetry and tmj problems worse or if is vice versa and my problems made my crossbite worse. It doesn't seem very noticable to other though, or perhaps they just don't want to say anything. I can't open my mouth more than 2 cm and when I do open only my left condyle move and my right doesn't unless I really try to move it and then it moves some, but not as much as the left, it that makes any sense. I don't have any pain unless I move my right condyle too much or in a strange way and the pain I then get only last for a couple of sec. I also get some pain if I put and push my finger where my right tmj is. But I wouldn't really call that pain, more of a sensation. It also feels as my muscles on my right cheek is alot less functional and I only use my left side of my face when smiling talking etc, and the right kinda droops in a way. In some lightening I can see that I have sort of a dimple under my cheek bone on my right side that on my left side is hard because of muscles. When I try to smile and use the muscles on both sides equally I really have to struggle and focus on using the right face muscles.
I have read alot about this trouble and I understand that It could be alot worse and I could be in tremendous pain. But this is really affecting my life and seelf esteem. My guess would be that I from the beginning had disc displacement with reduction on my right side and that has sence developed to disc displacement without reduction. I probably have some damage do condyle or ligaments as well as I sometimes feel this grinding sensation in my joint but there is no pain or click, it just feels like something is rubbing against something. I usually feel this when I wake up. I don't know whats wrong with my muscles but something definitely is. I now have an appointment to my dentist next week and I will ask for an referal to a specialist. In sweden we don't have TMJ specialist but we have something called ''bettfysiolog'' which means bite specialist. Dentist usually refers TMJ patients to them and they are somewhat familiar with it. But I have as I said read alot and surgeions in Sweden usually removes the tmj disc in patients with disc problems. I have read alot of cases in Sweden where they have done it, but non in the US or Canada. It doesn't seem as they replace the disc with something either, and couldn't this cause problems in the future? I guess my questions with this post is, what procedures can and should be done to fix my problem. I although understand that its hard to say without seeing me in person. Also, should I get bracers for my crossbite, as I have read that bracers can make tmj problems worse?
Thanks for reading, Nils.