I’d been having jaw pain for a while and went to see my dentist. He felt it was TMJ and we were working on solutions. First, he gave me a nightguard. That didn’t stop the pain. Next, he adjusted my bite, shaving some teeth and building up others. That cost me quite a bit of money. Again, no change in the pain. He told me to give it time. I gave it a couple of months and still no change in the pain so I went back. Now he saying that my TMJ Disorder is a result of my diabetes and there is nothing that can be done about it. The best I can do is take ibuprofen to manage the pain. Here are my questions. First, can diabetes even cause this problem? Second, if he knew that, why did he cost me all that money with treatments that he knew would not work?
This sounds very frustrating. Before we get into this in more detail, you should know that ibuprofen is a contraindication for diabetes. While most people can take them, NSAIDs are not a good idea for people in your situation. I don’t want you getting into danger with your health.
Let’s answer your first question first. Is it possible for diabetes to cause this problem? Technically, yes, though it is rare. While about 20% of diabetics develop general neuropathy, only .05% will develop craniofacial neuropathy.
As for the treatments he did thus far, he did start with the least invasive treatment. That was good. However, even if your cause is the diabetes, saying there is nothing more he can do is really dropping the ball. What you need is someone with real TMJ training. Someone not in over his head, which is what I suspect your current dentist is. There are quite a few options left in getting you some relief.
Find a dentist with extensive post-doctoral TMJ training and let him examine you and give you the options. You will be able to get out of pain.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.