Thursday, September 1, 2016

Toothache or TMJ disorder? You be the judge!

Fellow TMJers unite!

What populist blog would be complete without details of my latest medical plaints? Not this one! Lately, I've been suffering from what is either my worst toothache ever or my worst TMJ disorder flare-up ever. It's utterly ambiguous what it is.

One hundred percent of people who have ever lived suffer from TMJ disorder. Seriously. I don't think I know any adult who isn't a TMJer. Not a big deal at all to me anymore. But I've had TMJ disorder since I was about 11 or 12, and I got madder than hell the first time I suffered from it. I didn't understand it yet, and I didn't know it had a name for years afterward. Against the advice of every "professional" website on the subject, I don't change my food intake because of it.

Lately, my jaw on the lower left has been stiffening and then returning to its relaxed state with a satisfying crack that amazes friends and fam. Again, not a big deal. I get lots of laughs for it. TMJ flare-ups like this do occur. I'd rather it stay like this forever than suffer a common cold ever again. But yesterday, I began suffering a toothache at the same spot as the jaw crackage. It's a major one too. I thought it was the worst since that bad one in the summer of 2003, but it's actually even worse than that. Of course, even this isn't as bad as a cold. Not by a longshot. I've had some awesome toothaches in my time, but none have been as bad as even a "mild" cold.

Let's face it: A cold doesn't let you crack your jaw like TMJ disorder does. I won't stand for a cold. I'll tolerate a lot of other ailments that everyone else thinks are worse - unless it signals a far more serious condition. It's the '70s America I know and love.

I've thrown in the towel on learning how to sleep on my back to keep my TMJ disorder from worsening. It can't be done.

I still plan on visiting the dentist in a few weeks. Maybe the troublesome chomper will become medical waste. Because of lax laws on toxic waste disposal, one of my lower left teeth may someday be washing up on the shoreline of a waterway near you.