Jaw problems

GretaGreta 2.0 PRO Posts: 3
Hello from New Mexico. This is both an introduction and a question...Have been singing, playing music my whole life but don't feel completely comfortable- 'not good enough'. A vocal coach awhile back said I need to get over that, and in passing told me about KTVA. Finally decided to try it. So far, I have a better grasp of what breath support really feels like. I have often been encouraged to open my mouth, my jaw wider. And I can't. Because of worsening jaw pain over the years I finally checked it out, and xrays show I had an old injury, possible a broken jaw and ruptured tmj disc After several specialists and a second/third opinion, it appears that the only remedy is jaw joint replacement surgery, since mine has degenerated from what they call severe reactive arthritis.. Many hoops to jump through and any surgery, if I decide to proceed, will be over a year from now. Problem is, I've lost motivation to sing. Confidence comes and goes. I wonder what's the use if I can't open my mouth wide like really great singers. I suspect that helps, but that it's most important to have good strong breath support. The opening at my throat is also smaller than normal, I have learned since recent eval for sleep apnea. I have learned that sleep apnea can result from jaw displacement. People like my voice, but I don't always 'own it' with a song. I suspect that with good instruction and breath support, I can still sing out stronger. Are there any great singers that don't open their mouth/jaw wide?


  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,977
    Good morning, Greta,

    a warm Welcome to the Forums from Germany. My name is Marco, I am 49 years old and I started the course 15 months ago. I am a Medical Doctor.

    I can see that this is your first post. I want to suggest to you to start the course gently. After you found your way through the starter exercises you could upload a video of you doing the basic LAH triad scale in a way that it comfortable for you. It would be great to have a video. We could check the video and tell you our opinions and what we think of your jaw opening. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is not necessarily the result of a jaw displacement. It could be but I must not be necessarily. Let's check the fact when you posted a video.

  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,977
    PS.: A question: Do you have constant pain in the joints of the jaw when you chew?
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 4,860
    I'm not advanced enough to answer your question about the problem of not being able to completely open your mouth and if it will stop you from singing well. Can you sing without pain at all if you monitor how wide it is?
    Welcome to the course though! I hope that being here will reignite your passion for singing. Maybe @highmtn can give you some tips to help you in the meantime?
  • GretaGreta 2.0 PRO Posts: 3
    Thanks to Doc and Wigs for your responses. A video, a great idea! Discomfort is always there in the jaw on the rt side but quite painful with eating . ( I eat anyway) No increased pain with singing, jaw opening isn't noticeable with talking, but barely 2 cm between upper and lower teeth. A little more than that is possible but not for more than a few seconds. I wonder if resonance is impaired, don't really like the sound of my voice. Hoping that learning vowel shaping at the back of the mouth/throat and consistently having really good air support will help. Thanks again for your replies. Doctors who are not musicians don't understand, so I haven't brought this up with them. I mentioned that 'I can't really belt it out' when I sing. And he said he 'didn't sing good either'. Not a priority for 'normal' people. G
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 4,860
    When you do post a video, pop it in the student area of the forum, you can find this under categories and they are colour coded. Maybe new student demo or what is appropriate for the subject or question you have. 🙂
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,977
    Hi Greta,

    I will be very sincere. That you have pain when eating is not a good sign and tells me that you have a severe problem in the mandibular joint. Probably the surgical replacement might be the only solution one day. In Germany we are very temperate with any joint replacement and try to maintain the function of the natural joint as long as possible.

    On the other hand it is good to read that singing does not cause any extra pain. I think to post a video in the internal students' area (e.g. New student demos would be a good idea.

  • GretaGreta 2.0 PRO Posts: 3
    Thankyou for your note. In the U.S. conservative measures are thought best, and I feel surgery is always a last resort. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, I'm going to study to be the best singer I can be with more support, awareness of tone, and always pitch, and work on self confidence!
  • TammyBTammyB 2.0 PRO Posts: 17
    edited November 2019

    Oh Greta !!

    My heart goes out to you, and my humble opinion is that YES, you CAN still sing.
    Do you love singing?
    You wrote: "have been singing, playing music my whole life but don't feel completely comfortable- 'not good enough'. A vocal coach awhile back said I need to get over that, and in passing told me about KTVA. Finally decided to try it. " It sounds like you really love to sing, and it would be a shame for you not to do it.

    First.....Check out this deaf girl on America's Got Talent singing beautifully. She hasn't been able to hear for 11+ years This brought me to tears.

    I'm guessing that if you've been singing your whole life, then it's in your blood and spirit!

    While you may have "many hoops to jump through", we all do too, or we probably wouldn't be here. And I almost gave up on singing myself (for other reasons). But the worse we start off, the better the story will be one year from now when we are better and more confident. You can be an inspiration for others who think they are limited for one reason or another. I have faith that you can do it.

    You say you've lost your motivation to sing, but the fact that you bought the course and showed up here could indicate that your Spirit wants to sing! There is so much you can work on to improve your voice, and you can get the sounds in many ways. There are tons of athletes and artists who play with prosthetic limbs or limited abilities (from their peers), and "failures" who end up making it big despite severe limitations.

    Don't let this stop you. I'm starting back again at an older age and my voice is HORRIBLE right now, and I actually can open my jaw, so my issue is in all of the other things.

    If you LOVE singing, and you have a voice inside of you that wants to come out, then you give it your best damn shot and beat the odds. All good stories have a Hero that had to overcome great odds. Your story can be amazing if you let it out!

  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,070
    hi Greta, i suggest you check out this page: https://www.diyjointpainrelief.com/jaw-joint-pain.html

    it is free information on how to solve a lot of issues yourself. i had a very persistent tendonitis from playing guitar (i had it for almost a year), and after finding this page and doing the exercises, it disappeared within two days. i am not suggesting this is the typical "miracle" you should expect from the exercises, but they are definitely worth looking into.

    good luck!
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