Will Muscle Relaxers Over the Counter for chronic treatment help?

I have a mild case of TMJ (my fraternal twin brother has it really bad where he cant open his jaw without it popping). My jaw doesnt pop nearly as much as my brothers, but I find my jaw getting “stuck”. If my jaw is closed , the right side of my jaw only opens up about halfway, and once it reaches that point, it wont open anymore. I find that if i massage my jaw while i try to open it, then it opens. I am only 20, so I dont have any experience with muscles relaxers, but if I were to take them when this happens, would it relax my jaw muscles enough so that I could open my jaw normally?

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Muscle Relaxers Over the Counter for chronic treatment.

ANSWER 1. Actually your “mild” case of TMJ is a more advanced stage of TMJ than your brother’s because he has reciprocal clicking (beginning stage) and you are already in the intermittent locking stage (the next stage of TMJ after reciprocal clicking). You need to understand what is happening to your jaws when you have a TMJ disorder first.

Muscle-Relaxers-List-General-Image-068Most temporomandibular joint disorders are due to an internal derangement and this is what you and your brother have. Clenching, grinding, stress, and all those other things people and dentists who do not know about TMJ blame it on as the cause is not true. They will aggravate an existing TMJ condition but not cause it. When you have an internal derangement a structure that is part of the jaw joint called the articular disk becomes forced out of place or dislocated when the teeth are together and when you open your mouth the disk pops back into place.

Muscle-Relaxers-List-General-Image-069The dislocation and popping back into joint of the disk causes a clicking sound to be heard and is called reciprocal clicking. Over time this will worsen to intermittent locking where the disk will start to bind and when this happens the disk acts like a doorstop to prevent the mouth from opening more than 3 fingers wide. When your jaw gets “stuck” and you massage it to try to get it to get back into joint, that is called recapturing the disk. Until the disk goes back into joint the mouth cannot open more than 3 fingers wide. Relaxing the muscle either with heat or message will make it easier for the disk to go back into place. Muscle relaxants will also help but the dosage you will need to take to relax the muscles enough will render you bed ridden.

TMJ disorders due to an internal derangement never go away, never get better, and always worsen over time. It would be in your best interest to find a dentist who knows how to treat TMJ (not all do) to fix your problem, especially since you are already in the intermittent locking stage and at such a young age. BTW, avoid oral surgeons and traditional orthodontists, trust me. If you wait until your condition gets worse your condition will become a closed lock without reduction and this stage is extremely difficult to treat because the disk will be permanently locked out. The best time to fix a TMJ disorder is in the reciprocal clicking stage (where your brother is at). Your time line is more immediate.

ANSWER 2.¬† I’ve had plenty of experience with my jaw getting stuck. My dentist, oral surgeon, and orthodontist were of no help. So I’ve taken to researching and finding my own remedies to my problems.

I have no experience with muscle relaxers. I’m a bit wary of using them only because they can impair your ability to function. Many people I know that take them, are often too tired to drive or do normal things afterwards. I suppose if your jaw is frequently stuck, then you could try them.

My jaw is usually stuck in the morning when I wake up, and if I don’t realize it right away I panic and jerk it open – which is really really bad. The best thing I’ve found is to get a hot water bottle and just hold it against your joint for awhile. The heat will relax and loosen the muscles and the joint. It usually takes about 30-60 minutes before I can comfortably open my mouth again.

Look into trying a bite guard while you sleep. Grinding and clenching your teeth aggravate the issue. Make the conscious effort to not rest your chin on your hand while sitting at a desk or table. Avoid chewing gum and other really hard, chewy foods.

You can view this site, for Muscle Relaxers Over the Counter for chronic treatment info, and contact a trained professional.

In these cases it is very common to make the mistake of using muscle relaxants without first consulting a physician specialist. And really, is a very serious mistake, because it can have permanent effects unpleasant.

A practice that if we can recommend in these cases, the muscle relaxation exercises and meditation.