TMJ Disorders: Mysterious Causes of Epidemic Proportions
Don’t talk, laugh, cry, sing, chew gum, or eat any chewy food or candy, and don’t grind your teeth, or clench your jaw. Take it easy and stay away from stress.
This was the advice one of my well-intentioned friends offered when I told them of my TMJ disorders. Well, do you think she could have covered any other human action — like maybe breathing?
If you’re like I was, and are experiencing the pain of temporomandibular jaw disorders, then you already know just how intense it can be. You’re also well aware that this painful condition can not only disrupt your daily life, but it can wreak havoc with your sleep as well.
Waking or sleeping (or just trying to!), you carry with you the constant ache of TMJ Disorders. If you’re experiencing the pain just in your jaw, believe it or not, you’re one of the “lucky” ones with TMJ. Don’t think so? Well, read on.
Unexplained pain? Undiagnosed TMJ?
There are thousands of people in the United States alone who live with undiagnosed TMJ disorders. Their aches and pains aren’t reflected in the jaw. Instead, they complain of unexplained headaches, backaches, difficulty swallowing, and/ or an uncomfortable or uneven bite. In some cases, these individuals visit doctor after doctor only to be told that nothing is wrong.
Consider this staggering statistic for a moment: The average individual with a TMJ disorder visits a minimum of seven specialists before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Some individuals need to visit 13 professionals before uncovering the problem. In fact, one of those who had to see that many doctors was the well-known actor Burt Reynolds.
The News Only Gets Worse
What exactly is a temporomandibular and how do you know when it’s “out of order”? That’s what this book is about to tell you. It’s as if there are hidden, mysterious causes of this health concern lying in wait for you, ready to ambush your good health at any second. One wrong move — a backpack that’s too heavy, too much clenching of the teeth, poor posture — and TMJ disorder will pounce on you as fast as a cheetah pouncing on a gazelle.
But that’s really only half the story. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “I’ve got good news and bad news. Which do you want first?” When it comes to the prevalence, treatment and diagnosis of TMJ disorders there’s a slightly different slant to the question: “I’ve got bad news and worse news. Which do you want first?”
I’ve just given you the bad news. Now comes the worse news. So far, I’m only talking about individuals who have been able to receive an accurate diagnosis. These are the lucky few who know what they’re dealing with. What about the others — maybe yourself, your spouse or your child — who deal with pain every day and haven’t been diagnosed yet? How many individuals are we talking about now?
A recent study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine said that between 40 and 75 percent of all adults have at least one symptom of a TMJ disorder.
Is it possible that the incidents of this apparently burgeoning health problem are actually far more widespread than what these first few statistics convey?
You call it a simple tension headache. But your spouse says you grind your teeth at night. “It’s nothing,” you admonish him. “Been tense at work lately. A couple of deadlines coming up. Important ones.”
It starts out innocently enough. The symptoms certainly are subtle enough — and that’s the deceptive power of TMJ disorders. Could your seemingly unrelated health problems be due to something as simple as your posture or your heavy purse burdening your shoulder?
Indeed, it’s possible. As a person who has suffered for years with this, at times intense, pain, I know exactly how you feel. I visited doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, only to be told that there was nothing wrong. At least nothing the conventionally trained medical professionals could find.
This Book Was Written With You In Mind!
Faced with this continued response, my first reaction was to believe them. But, then I realized that no one knew my body better than myself. And it was about time, I decided, to take control of my health. It was time for me to examine my habits – all of them – to see if I could discern what was wrong with me.
It took me literally months to finally discover that the underlying cause of my pain was due to TMJ. During these months I spent hours on end searching the web, seeking out books at the library and at all the area bookstores.
When I eventually learned that the problems I experienced actually originated in my jaw… well, my jaw did drop! And with focus and determination I was able to help my body heal itself, without the use of prescription drugs with all their harsh, unwanted and even potentially dangerous side effects.
A friend, who witnessed my journey through this period, urged me to write a book so that others who are battling unexplained health problems could discover for themselves if TMJ was the real cause. She told me that even individuals who were already diagnosed could benefit from the vast amount of information I had gathered.
At first I dismissed the idea. But the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded. After all, who is better to help you with your TMJ disorders than someone who has “been there and done that”?
The intention of this book is not to replace any advice your personal health care provider has given you. It’s not meant to diagnose your problem. And it’s definitely not meant as a prescription for a miracle cure.
If you suspect you do suffer from TMJ disorders, visit a health care provider you trust. Talk about the issues you’ve read in here with her. Together you’ll be able to determine the exact causes of your pain.
In the meantime, you may want to try some of the natural remedies in this book. Go ahead. Did you find any relief? You may just be surprised.
If there’s one thing I learned early on in my search for answers: never discount anything. I learned that if the supposed remedy carried no unwanted side effects, I needed to maintain an open mind.
I was able to overcome and beat the relentless, overwhelming pain of TMJ disorders. And so can you. The pages of this book do not only explain what TMJ disorders are, how they manifest in your body, and why they so often are woefully under-diagnosed; I’ve also included your potential options if you decide conventional medicine is the route you choose to take. And I’ve included potential answers to your pain, through behavioral and nutritional changes, as well.
What are we waiting for? Let’s make this journey of discovery together. It’s time you received some answers to your questions and some relief to that pain.