Singer LeAnn Rimes recently cut short an Oklahoma concert, foregoing an encore due to jaw pain.
The 31-year-old country/pop star has long battled with temporomandibular disorders (TMD), as well as the dental surgeons who performed a 2012 surgery to correct the problem. Rimes sued the dentist, claiming that her “ability to perform as an artist has been and will continue to be significantly compromised until all re-treatment is complete.”
Such was the case at a recent performance at Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma, when Rimes was in too much discomfort to sing an encore for her fans. Rimes tweeted after the event: “Oklahoma!!!! I love you so much! I’m sorry for no encore. I had my jaw pop out of place & I can’t hear out of my left ear.”
TMD is a chronic condition causing pain, discomfort, and even “popping” or “crackling” sounds at the points where the jawbone attaches to the skull. Sufferers may experience pain when opening their mouths too far or after prolonged, heavy chewing. Some patients experience TMD as a result of an underlying condition, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) or a misaligned bite pattern.
Patients can also experience headaches, earaches, and, in Rimes’ case, the jaw popping “out of place”.
Regarding her TMD, Rimes says she’s been “living in a dental nightmare”.
Most TMD specialists recommend a series of strengthening and stretching exercises, along with a bite splint, which can help the jaw achieve a more relaxed position. Surgical corrections are rare, and occur only in extreme cases.