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 Post subject: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Please!

Ok, here's the skinny, I have CFIDS (13 yrs) which affects my muscles (fatigue & pain) and over the past few years I've developed chronic migraine, several migraines daily (most days). The doctors have been as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. I mentioned to my doctor that I thought I might have neuralgia because I get lots of pain around my eye but it doesn't always seem to be a migraine but she said it was all migraine. I also get a lot of stiff neck & a cramping/locking feeling on my neck on the same side. My dentist said that my bite was ok, even though my teef were sliding back into their original overcrowding positions. Due to getting braces fitted in the spring I have realised that I am clenching my teeth in my sleep, I've popped a couple of my brackets off so far.

Anyhoo, tonight I took a sudden and painful migraine with ear pain, I do get ear pain with some of them and just figured it was the migraine (I get a lot of sinus migraines, migraine with aura). I googled TJD and after a bit of jaw wiggling realised that the side of my jaw the pain is on is making a crackling sound (my neck cracks a lot too, at the base of my skull). I've had this before too and also occasionally get baaaaad cramps on that side that make it really hard to open & close my mouth.

I will approach one of the gps about this but just wanted to ask for opinions and advice here while I wait in my appointment. I remember from the old boards that a few people here have it.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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sorry to hear you're going through this! i clench my teeth too and in times of great stress the pain and inflammation is just horrid. the side of my face/jaw swells up and i get the clicking and the pain every time i try to open my mouth, chew or talk.

you say you get ear pain, this could be from clenching as the joint is really close to the ear and sometimes that's where you'll feel the pain though the focus is the actual joint. since you mention clicking too, it makes me suspicious that it's the clenching/ grinding that's causing your migraines.

i've found a few things helpful in my case:

camomile tea, and lots of it. peppermint is also very relaxing, but camomile is my first choice as it contains natural sedatives.
no caffeine in any form!
facial massages
something warm like a towel soaked in hot water held over the jaw joint to relax the muscles; or if there's inflammation (swelling) an ice pack
working out, long and hard, both cardio and weightlifting. this relieves stress and relaxes me all over thus making the clenching less pronounced, especially at night
sleeping on your back with no pillow
magnesium supplements, apparently though i can't personally vouch for them yet
tiger balm
anti-inflammatory medication if it's very bad, but it doesn't always work...

i hope you feel better soon!


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Your suspicion does sound plausible to me. I used to get jaw pain and clicking sounds from whatever my orthodontist was doing to shift my jaw into its proper position. I've also experienced what felt like ear pain, but was really my jaw. I started grinding my teeth in my sleep as a kid and often get a stiff neck and tension headaches, although that hasn't happened recently. I noticed that the muscles in my left arm and shoulder were a lot weaker than on the right and started trying to even myself out with weights. My dentist made me a guard so I would stop grinding. I brought it up and he said he could see that my teeth had signs of wear consistent with grinding. I seem to have a vague recollection that the book on Migraine that Appifanie mentioned had a section on migraines mixing with tension headaches (if you use the google sharing Firefox plugin, you can see the US version of google books).


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 Post subject: Re: TJD (TMJ) people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Thanks guys! The more I think about it I think I've had this for years. I was put on nasal steroids by a gp over 10 years ago who said my clicking jaw was because I was mouth breathing at night. I've been thinking that the pain was just muscle cramps associated with the CFIDS and I also thought the crackling noise when I open my mouth wide was just ear noise (yes, I'm a dumbpants!). I've also remembered tonight that I get jaw pain when eating crusty bread.

It might be that it's not the root cause of the migraines but it's possibly causing more than I need to be putting up with. Even if I could reduce them it would be a huge bonus!

Apart from the anti-informatories & exercise I'll start trying those things on your list cosmiclettuce, thank you for taking the time to give me so much detail. Migraines aside, your symptoms seem a lot more severe than mine, I'm sorry you have to suffer it!

Thanks chipmunk (glad to see you made it to the new boards!), I saw an ad for an English ortho who offers a guard that fits on the front teeth, it's supposed to train your muscles to stop clenching. I'll have to see if I can find it again and talk to my ortho at my next appointment. I'm also due my yearly dental check up in Nov so hopefully my dentist can help diagnose/rule it out if need be. I was thinking of buying that book on appifanie's recommendation so I'll have another look.

I think I'll have to try to download my relaxation tracks onto my ipod again!


Last edited by fezza on Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:16 am 
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fezza wrote:
The doctors have been as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.



I am so sorry to hear about your TJD; I have no advice to offer but just had to say how much your quote made me laugh.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:35 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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no problem, fezza, i hope they work for you! mine is usually mild, but i went through a period of great stress recently and it just manifested itself in evil tmj distress. it's improving, though.

let me know if you have good recommendations for relaxing music. i've been listening to a lot of random new age-y stuff but i need something new.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:38 pm 
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I have TMJ issues too.

I went to a dentist who is used to seeing this as it's very common. I went in with what I thought was a toothache and within 2 minutes he knew it was TMJ. I'd also been waking up with headaches for longer than I can remember as well as chronic neck and back pain.

I was fitted for day and night plates. I wore the day plate for 8 weeks and then weaned myself off. The night plate I will wear forever. I had to have porcelain put on my 4 lower back teeth on both sides of my jaw (I chose this rather than orthodontic work). My jaw wasn't perfect after the plate but now I am so much better.

The dentist wanted me to take corticosteroids when I started treatment but I declined. My Dr (who is also a naturopath) gave me a liquorice tonic as it has steroidal properties and I took arnica tablets as well as a magnesium supplement. I've continued taking the magnesium.

I've noticed I wake up with jaw pain if I've eaten something I'm sensitive to because once I've eaten it I get either a runny or blocked nose which means I don't breathe well while I'm sleeping.

I hope you get it sorted, try and find a dentist who can have a feel of your jaw.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:57 pm 
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I always always clench my teeth when I sleep. I only do it when I'm awake if I'm stressed. The only preventative thing that has helped was the dentist filing down my teeth a tiny bit so I don't move my jaw laterally at all when I go from "home" position to "clench" position. After that, even when I do clench, I never get horrible headaches, really bad jaw pain, or a frozen jaw.

I don't wear a night guard because I don't grind my teeth at all. There's no wear on them. I did try wearing one for a bit, and it made the pain worse because my teeth were further apart.

When you do have jaw pain, it's nice to microwave a wet towel and hold it to your face, neck, and shoulders.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:16 pm 
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I am missing part of my right jaw joint, confirmed by several x-rays. My ortho recommended I see a physical therapist, or even a chiropractor. I was like, dude, I just paid you $5K, I can't go see another doctor. Anyway, I have awful ear pain somethings and I swear I'm losing my hearing when I am not. I think all of cosmiclettuce's (hilarious handle, by the way) suggestions are fantastic. I started to feel a lot better when I wore rubber bands on my braces but now that the tooth they were pulling is in place they are horrible!

If you can get a dentist to give you a massage (some do!) it is AMAZING. I learned how to give myself a relatively okay one that really makes me turn from super bad witch to happy witch.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I have TMJ, I don't really know if I had always had it or if I just never noticed it but 2 years ago it came on very strong, out of nowhere. I couldn't chew gum, open my mouth very wide to eat, or talk for more than a few minutes at a time without excruciating pain. My job at the time was basically a call center so that made it even worse, along with slouching forward at my desk all day long. Luckily my oral surgeon and (former) company were very sympathetic and I was eligible to take a paid short term disability leave on the condition I go to physical therapy. Even though I was in tons of pain all the time I was pumped, I was basically getting the summer off, paid at 80% of my regular pay and only had to go to pt 3x a week. For the first few weeks I lived off of V8, protein shakes and vodka drinks because I literally could not get anything thicker than a fork into my mouth. Healthy, I know. But as I started getting serious about getting better I started doing what my pt told me to and it made a huge difference. I also had a retainer made which I wore to sleep and it helped alot with the clenching.

I would have my (ex) do the massages that my pt did. Rub 2 or 3 fingers in gentle but firm circles starting right next to the ear and going down the jaw. Also rub the neck and shoulders.

Don't slouch forward if you sit all day, it puts a suprising amount of pressure on your jaw because gravity is kind of pulling it forward. Yoga helped me alot with this.

Get a cervical pillow, like this one http://bracesupports.com/190.htm (I got mine much cheaper at walmart) especially if you are a side sleeper. Sleeping like that pushes your jaw to the side. Sleep on your back with the pillow under your head. It takes all the pressure off and you are able to relax your head and neck without straining them.

Get a bite gaurd or retainer to wear to sleep, especially if you are a grinder or clencher. It also helps keepyour jaw in place.

I took muscle relaxers and/or ibuprofen 800 at night ( I wouldn't do that now just because I don't take prescription anything anymore, unless of course if it was a life or death sitch) Now I would do arnica and magnesium

Do exercises to strengthen your shoulders and neck.

Heating pads work wonders.

And no oral - although even when you are feeling better, having a jaw ache is an easy way to say no :)

I've been noticing lately that I'm getting more headaches and my jaw gets tired/sore easier than usual, I've been slacking off too long and need to start taking my own advice. Good luck! TMJ sucks!

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:37 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Oh that's great advice, VeganFoodRocks! What's arnica?


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:07 am 
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There are also stretches and exercises that are supposed to relax and strengthen muscles in the jaw, and help keep things aligned. I've never managed to do them consistently enough to report on how well they work though.

Commiserations. TMJ can be pretty awful.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:03 pm 
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Sorry to hear about your TMD - I am just beginning to deal with mine and your situation sounds pretty similar with all of the insane headaches.

I have gone to the doctor, physiotherapist, and dentist. The doc gave me prescription anti-inflammatories (naproxen) that I didn't think helped at all. The physio I also haven't found to be doing much, but much of the advice that he gave me has been useful:
-remember when you find yourself clenching your teeth, think lips together, teeth apart. I know it sounds insane, but I do have to remind myself not to clench my teeth together, especially when stressed
-don't chew gum
-don't eat anything that takes a long time to chew, such as hard raw veggies (no carrots!)
-sit as ergonomically as possible
-don't do any activities that cause you to protrude your jaw, such as smoking, drinking from a straw etc
-try to keep your jaw only open a little when you yawn
-once an hour, put your tongue behind your top front teeth and lower your bottom jaw. Do this 5 times.

As for the dentist, he recommended a dental splint that does not allow my teeth to touch together while I am asleep, and keeps the back teeth further apart than the front as the back usually take the worst abuse. He also recommended taking 1000mg of glucosamine 2x per day to help in the development of new tissue - if you are like me, you are getting headaches/migraines because the muscles attached to your jaw are not in balance with one another. The splint is supposed to hold your jaw in a certain position to allow new muscle formation (I think - I may have this last part worded wrong).

Hope some of this helps!


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:28 am 
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Thank you everyone, some great advice here!

I saw a gp today and he reckons it's not a TMJ disorder, which I was beginning to suspect due to having so much pain but never having had my jaw lock (mayo clinic say if it hasn't locked it's probably not true TMJ). He reckons it's muscle tension mimicking TMJ, although bless him, he was so fresh out of medical school he had to get his little medical dictionary out. He admitted he was giving me some wooly answers when I was questioning him about treating it but agreed that I may get benefit from following most of the TMJ advice as a lot of it is based on muscle relaxation. He didn't think I would benefit from sleeping on my back but I'm going to train myself to do that anyhow to see if it decreases the shoulder/neck stiffness and morning migraines.

So yes, disappointed that it isn't an answer to my migraines but hopefully treating it as TMJ will reduce the tension & headaches.

<3


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:26 pm 
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cosmiclettuce wrote:
Oh that's great advice, VeganFoodRocks! What's arnica?


Thanks! Now if I could start following it again my jaw wouldn't hate me!

Arnica comes from a plant and is made into topicals like gels, salves, etc. It soothes muscle aches and inflammation. You can also get it in those little homeopathic blue tubes they sell at whole foods to take internally.
You can also get the gels(looks like aloe but its yellowish) at places like GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:01 pm 
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I'm reviving this thread to ask if anyone has experienced an offset jaw as a result of (and exacerbating) TMJ. I haven't worn my lower retainer overnight since it broke several years ago, so I think that all my jaw clenching and grinding at night has resulted in my lower teeth shifting around and resetting my bite. I noticed I'm only chewing on one side of my mouth these days and in a recent photo of myself I saw a great deal of facial asymmetry that I didn't have a few years ago. I'm going to the doctor this week and hopefully can get a referral to a TMJ specialist, but it'd be nice to hear I'm not the only one and maybe that this is reversible! I'm not sure if it's my bite or some weird muscle tension causing my jaw to be offset, but it's awfully painful! I also have the clicking and headaches that also come with TMJ so it's just buckets of fun right now!

I'm hoping I don't have to have more orthodontia to correct this. Has anyone here done exercises to strengthen their jaw muscles?

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:35 pm 
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I'm going to have to come back to this thread and read up on this. My jaw has been clicking for years, and I also get a sore jaw when I eat too-chewy things (like crusty bread!). I also have been told by a dentist that it looks like I clench/grind at night. I have not ever had any bad symptoms though so I didn't think anything about it. Maybe I should be taking steps to avoid getting them though as now it seems I'm definitely at risk for this.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:43 am 
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couroupita wrote:
I'm reviving this thread to ask if anyone has experienced an offset jaw as a result of (and exacerbating) TMJ. I haven't worn my lower retainer overnight since it broke several years ago, so I think that all my jaw clenching and grinding at night has resulted in my lower teeth shifting around and resetting my bite. I noticed I'm only chewing on one side of my mouth these days and in a recent photo of myself I saw a great deal of facial asymmetry that I didn't have a few years ago. I'm going to the doctor this week and hopefully can get a referral to a TMJ specialist, but it'd be nice to hear I'm not the only one and maybe that this is reversible! I'm not sure if it's my bite or some weird muscle tension causing my jaw to be offset, but it's awfully painful! I also have the clicking and headaches that also come with TMJ so it's just buckets of fun right now!

I'm hoping I don't have to have more orthodontia to correct this. Has anyone here done exercises to strengthen their jaw muscles?

I haven't experienced that, but I hope you were able to get a referral - how did you go?

It's been 4-5 weeks since I went to the dentist and had a new plate fitted, I'm picking it up this week. They've made changes to how they make them since I went 4-5 years ago and I'm worried that I'm going to stuck going back weekly to adjust of mend it, like I did when I first got my plate :/

Mars - it could be a good idea, maybe just a plate to wear at night so you're not ruining the surface of your teeth?

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:32 am 
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Yes, I went to the student clinic a few weeks ago! I totally forgot to post an update in this thread.

So the PA I saw did say my jaw is offset and it could be because my bite is messed up. When I open my mouth, I also open it angled to the left instead of straight, which I never even noticed! I scared myself reading online because TMD can sometimes cause the bone to wear on one side, which causes permanent problems only correctable by jaw surgery. Fortunately, I don't have that! She said part of the facial asymmetry is caused by a weak right jaw and weak facial muscles as well as an offset bite. So I would need orthodontia to correct the bite, but since I can't afford that right now, she has referred me to a physical therapist to learn jaw strengthening exercises, which will help with the asymmetry, the clicking, and the weird way I open my mouth.

There are special splints you can get to to help prevent clenching and align your jaw but they're super expensive, so all I'm doing right now is wearing my upper retainer to keep me from grinding my teeth. I've already noticed after a few months of wearing my old retainer my jaw hurts and clicks less, so that's a good sign!

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:44 pm 
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It's great that she referred you to a physio, I hope the exercises help :)

I had my appt this morning to pick up my new plate, it looks like a little alien

Image

My previous plate was the same sort of mouthguard with the hook hanging down below, but the wire and aqua bits are a new thing, they're meant to lift your top lip a bit and help you breathe better but my dentist warned me that if they're not exactly in the right spot, the plate will be really uncomfortable and I will have to come back right away for an adjustment.

Also, I've found that I spend all day with my tongue pushing against the back of my front teeth because it's what I do at night with my plate in, it leaves my face feeling really tense. I went for a massage twice and both times they told me I was really tense and to relax my neck/jaw by putting my tongue on the bottom of my mouth, where it apparently should be. Now I have to remind myself constantly all day. I mentioned this to my dentist but he had nothing to say.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Hi everyone, I too clench and grind my teeth at night. I actually clench my jaw on and off during the day and get headaches. I got a mouth guard to wear at night and do the jaw stretches. I've read online that it's possible to get botox in the jaw muscle to help relieve this condition. But I brought this up with my doctor and she kind of blew off the idea. I'm wondering if anyone else has heard of this as a legitimate treatment for tmj?


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:18 pm 
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I've read about it but I don't know how common it is. Did you talk to your dentists about it? My dentist was so dismissive of my tmj, even though it causes me loads of pain and cause major issues so I kind of lost faith in any GP/dentist. There are specialty doctors you can see who might be more knowledgeable.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:25 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
I've read about it but I don't know how common it is. Did you talk to your dentists about it? My dentist was so dismissive of my tmj, even though it causes me loads of pain and cause major issues so I kind of lost faith in any GP/dentist. There are specialty doctors you can see who might be more knowledgeable.

crikey, get to a specialist! I had to escalate several times, from dentist to level 1 specialist all the way up to surgeon specialist, but no more pain in over 15 years.


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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:38 pm 
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VeganFoodRocks wrote:
And no oral - although even when you are feeling better, having a jaw ache is an easy way to say no :)
But but that's how I got mine :( Well, I clench and have had it for years, mostly in the winter and when stressed from primarily night clenching, but I seriously aggravated with a bit too enthusiastic oral session. That's when it became something else entirely.

I hope it calms down because I don't want it as an excuse!

ETA- spoiler because TMI. if you don't want TMI, don't look.

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 Post subject: Re: TJD people, talk to me.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:47 pm 
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yes, that was the event that seems to have pushed me over the edge and caused my jaw to lock. definitely not a good thing.

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