When the thread started, I suffered mild-to-medium pain, but could still function normally.
I can no longer eat something as pathetic as Wonder Bread [sic] without severe pain.
I’ve been seeing a specialist for several months (my own dime; insurance does not cover TMJ issues) and have had some wonderful success. For example, I am no longer in moderate pain all the time (the omnipresent, dull ache is diminished).
The doctor is fantastic, but pragmatic; there is only so much he can do short of surgery, an option he cautions is a VERY last resort and of limited likelihood of success.
ETA: I have never had a cavity or wisdom teeth removed (I’m 40+). When I saw my dentist last, I was told when such things will be required, I will have to be under heavy sedation, probably general (did not press for details) due to inability to open my mouth enough for her to work.