2. Problems Begin

Beginning of the End

While I was in Boston over Labor Day Weekend in 2002 (yes, I have it pinpointed that much when my jaw problems really started) , I woke up one morning and it seemed as though I had slept wrong on my face. My jaw felt skewed off to the right, and it was clicking every time I opened my mouth and popping when I’d yawn. I’d had it happen several times before when my jaw was just sore for a few hours, and so I assumed that this was the same type of situation and it would work itself out. However, after I had been back home for a week, I became worried since it was still bothering me to the same degree as the very first day. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until my dentist appointment in November, since I didn’t want to panic and I was sure that it would be gone by then. In the meantime, I went to my regular doctor, Dr. C., for a checkup and I mentioned the pain and clicking. She listened to the temporomandibular joint and pronounced that while my right side sounded fine, she could hear clicking on the left side. Dr. C. also noted that I had a lack of stability in my jaw, since when opening and shutting my mouth, my jaw would snap back so quickly that my teeth would clack together. Since I was in a bit of denial, I still decided to wait until my scheduled appointment with my dentist, Dr. S., later in November rather than schedule an appointment with him sooner. When I finally described my problems to him, he recommended I go see an oral surgeon immediately. He suspected I had TMJ, and wanted me to take care of it before it got any worse.