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FAQ:  TMJ / TMD - Jaw Joint Pain

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Yesterday I started to eat oatmeal and it became very difficult because I could not press my teeth together to chew, so I had to chew from the tip of my mouth instead of from the side. Earlier that day I had a huge burrito and I think I might have opened my mouth to wide.

Well I thought I could shake it off but it is the next day and it is still hard to eat. I also cannot open my mouth wide enough to eat certain foods and the right side is in minor pain. My mouth plates are also off, the bottom plate seems to be forcing its self to the left. What do you think is wrong and what can I do? ...Melanie in CA

Melanie, from your comments, it sounds like you might have some inflammation in your jaw joint (tmj) and some tight muscles limiting your opening. I would recommend you take some anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin (if no allergies or stomach ulcers) at a concentration of 800 mg (over the counter is 200 mg so you need 4) every 4-6 hours.

I would also advise you to take a muscle relaxant such as Flexeril (again assuming no allergies) but this is a prescription med. If you do not have access to the muscle relaxants, use Ice followed by heat over the weekend with the Motrin and chew only soft food. when you said "plates" I am assuming you mean dentures. If you are in dentures, please be sure you have no obvious ulcers or debris under the plates or flange and keep them out at night.

You should go see your dentist on Monday for an exam! This is the best I can advise having not seen you or done an exam. Please be sure that any medications you take do not cause problems with other meds you might be on and that you have no allergies.

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