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Personal stories about surgery for temporomandibular disorder

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Ann, age 35: Although I have severe symptoms, they are new. I am treating this TM disorder by eating pureed foods, using medication for muscle spasm and pain, and wearing a dental splint, and soon I'll be starting jaw exercises.

Bill, age 27: My doctor and I have decided to use arthroscopy to clean out my joint area, because there's stuff in there that's in the way and I can't open my mouth very far. She says that I have a good chance of that working as long as I do some physical therapy afterwards. I'm going to give it a try.

Karen, age 40: I considered surgery years ago when my TM symptoms got severe a couple of times, but I've learned how to manage the condition. I have managed my TM disorder for over 10 years now by not overtaxing my jaw, doing jaw stretches, wearing a dental splint when I'm under stress and grind my teeth at night, and using medication when muscle spasm becomes a problem. It'll never be "right" again, but I'm afraid that surgery would make it worse!

Terry, age 55. Apparently, my rheumatoid arthritis has broken down my jawbone enough that only reconstructive surgery can fix it. I hate the idea of surgery, but I'm in such pain that I can barely use my jaw anymore.

Author Monica Rhodes
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Last Updated January 24, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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