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Old 10-05-2008, 11:02 PM   #16
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

In 2 days I will finish taking the doxepin tablets I've been taking, as I will see the jaw specialist again (on wednesday) to see what step to take next (2 weeks ago I had a jaw x-ray done at his request so hopefully that will give him greater insight as to how to treat the problem).

During the first week of taking the tablets I took one per day, then during the second week 2 per day then during the third week 3 taken throughout the day. I do feel as though the tablets have made the tightness along the left side of my head/forehead feel different (as in, it feels as though the medication is affecting it) but the symptoms remain as they have been (the tightness remains) as well as the weird perception I constantly have of my nose which is a direct result of the tightness along the left side of my head (which affects the left eye which is obviously situated on the left part of my head).

The specialist says he believes the problem is that a muscle along, or near, the left part of the jaw has been constantly tight possibly because of dental word I had done when I was 16/17 (before this health problem began) where I had to open my jaw on a continual basis for dental work.

So, hopefully the x-ray can reveal exactly where or what the specific tightness is and hopefully he'll be able to suggest some more direct treatment that will finally resolve this 6 and a half year problem.

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas and what they think will be able to finally resolve this problem I'd love to hear them.

Thanks.

 
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #17
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Well, after many years of suffering, and my dentist noting the double clicking noise emitting from my jaw each time I opened my mouth, he referred me to a "jaw specialist" or a myofacial specialist/surgeon. This was back about 10 years ago maybe? He did a very thorough exam, xrays and such he declared that I have "severe" TMJ.

The treatment included Diazapam, biofeedback once weekly and relaxation techniques. He also suggested I ramp up my exercise routine, as exercise helps release endorphins, a natural pain reliever. Oh, and I had a special mouth guard made (very pricey) and had to see him every two weeks and he would have to readjust it based on how much my jaw moved. I'm not a grinder, I'm a clencher, as in I've always clenched my jaw. This all came about from a fall directly on my jaw back in 1985 (!) from a height of about 6 feet, plus extensive dental work and then a car accident in '89.

I suffered for many years and could barely open mouth. I had constant headaches and ear pain but just lived with it, popping lots and lots of Ibuprofen. Silly me.

I don't wear the mouthguard anymore as I moved away from the doctor and it's not feasible to have it manipulated anymore. I just live with the double clicking. My new dentist actually refers to me as his "double clicker" whenever I go in to have my teeth cleaned! Ha ha, very funny.

I stopped taking the diazapam years ago, as well. I just try relaxing techniques that I was taught. It's just something I have to live with. Hopefully your doctor will be able to teach you some techniques or turn you towards things such as biofeedback. My doc said surgery was absolutely the last resort and could actually make matters worse.

But every case is different.

Best of luck to you! I hope you find relief soon!

Last edited by dogmom; 10-08-2008 at 02:33 PM.

 
Old 10-10-2008, 06:17 AM   #18
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

My jaw x-ray came back fine (my jaw and teeth looked fine, in fact he said my teeth looked like i had never had any fillings).

So, he increased my dosage from 25mg of doxepin tablets up to 50mg doxepin and for the next 2 weeks I am to take two tablets per day and for the 2 weeks after that take 3 per day.

I really hope this will finally resolve the long term, and constant, tightness i have along the left side of my head/forehead which has also distorted my perception and concentration.

Thanks.

 
Old 10-13-2008, 12:37 AM   #19
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

How long should it take for these 50mg doxepin tablets to resolve my long term problem with a very tight muscle along the left side of my head (I'm taking 3 tablets per day for the next 3 weeks).

I feel like I'm going mad waiting for this medication to work (I really need to get better soon otherwise I'm sure I will go insane).

Last edited by Jerry1985; 10-13-2008 at 12:43 AM.

 
Old 11-02-2008, 04:03 AM   #20
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Could the long term tightness (over 6 years) I feel along the left side of my forehead/head be the result of my left jaw joint (or the muscle near that joint) negatively affecting my trigiminal nerve (or another significant facial nerve)?

Because I've read that the jaw joint and the trigiminal nerve are very close to one another so could my long term feeling of "tightness" along the left side of my head/forehead be caused by a main facial nerve being impinged upon? And, if that is the case, could a procedure or surgery finally relieve me of this tightness which has negatively affected my life since 2002 (I feel like my life has been pretty much on hold during this period).

Thankyou.

Last edited by Jerry1985; 11-02-2008 at 04:04 AM.

 
Old 11-02-2008, 06:03 AM   #21
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Jerry,

It sounds like you've explored every possible cause and solution to your problem and you are still having problems. If you are interested in going one step further, you may want to consider Lyme Disease which can present in some people with TMJ problems. Lyme is running rampant in some parts of the country but it is difficult to diagnose..so you may want to check out the Lyme Boards for more info on symptoms, testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

Another poster on this thread is also experiencing similar symptoms to yours...to my knowledge that poster has not been diagnosed with Lyme, but she has shared with us that she has been bitten by ticks on more than one occasion.... Seems like too much to be a coincidence to me not to at least consider Lyme causing the problems.

Good luck

Last edited by bethsheba; 11-02-2008 at 09:14 AM.

 
Old 11-03-2008, 01:23 AM   #22
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntieLeela View Post
Probably lots of dental work, possibly a night guard to prevent bruxism.

Rather than go whole hog and do the joint replacement surgery you could have arthrocentesis of the jaw to "clean" the joint of any debris. This often reduces inflammation considerably.

Other surgical options are disk repositioning or discectomy. If you've heard "popping" noises coming from your jaw, it's likely you have a slipped jaw disc. The discs are made of cartilage and protects where the jaw joint joins the skull.
My jaw definitely feels "out of whack" on the left side. When I move my jaw to the left, I feel it move out of position (how else can I describe that?) and I hear a loud popping noise.

Could this cause neurological symptoms--eye problems, trouble walking, fine motor problems, numbness, etc..?

 
Old 11-03-2008, 06:09 AM   #23
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

At least two posters on this board have similar symptoms, no known cause, but have admittedly been bitten by ticks in the past. Although it may be a coincidence, it may be Lyme Disease which can present as TMJ, jaw popping, ear and neck pain, etc.

And more than two of the posters on this board live in high risk states for Lyme which include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Last edited by bethsheba; 11-04-2008 at 06:34 AM. Reason: spacing

 
Old 11-08-2008, 04:12 PM   #24
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

You might want to check with another dentist. I was watching a local health program and they were talking about TMJ. There is a plastic thing they put in your mouth I think while you sleep that moves the jaw slowly back into position. Check around

 
Old 11-08-2008, 11:52 PM   #25
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

My specialist has taken me off the "deptran-doxepin" tablets and has now started me on clonazepam tablets which is meant to be a highly potent anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant.

What do you all think of this new medication in terms of how effective it could be in treating the long term tightness I have in the left side of my head/forehead?

If this doesn't work I have no idea what else to try? What else could be causing such long term tightness in the left side of my head? It couldn't be a problem originating below the neck that is expressing itself up in the left side of my head (everyone tells me that things don't "travel up" so I guess thats unlikely).

The jaw x-ray showed my jaw was fine so for some reason (perhaps during dental work I had done when I was younger) the left part of my head is very tight and constantly distorts my perception (because I can't open my left eye properly because of the tightness) so hopefully this new medication can resolve because I can't think of what else to do.

Thankyou.

 
Old 11-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #26
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

I am so sorry for your very long medical nightmare and I really hope you have discovered your long standing problem. I know it was a very hard struggle through the medical mine field and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing and perhaps someone having those symptoms may learn from your ordeal. I am hoping the best for you and hopefully this will ease the pain of the never ending medical expenses. Good luck.

 
Old 11-09-2008, 12:46 AM   #27
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

What is lyme disease and could that present itself as long term tightness in one region of the head/forehead?

I don't recall ever having been bitten by any creatures.

Last edited by Jerry1985; 11-09-2008 at 12:48 AM.

 
Old 11-09-2008, 04:40 AM   #28
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Jerry,

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, sometimes accompanied by coinfections...it can eat away at muscles, nerves, bone, tissue, etc. It's difficult to diagnose (I think I've read that there may be about 300 different strains) so the "best" diagnosis is done by Lyme Literate Medical Doctors who base their clinical diagnosis on symptoms, in addition to tests because the tests tend to be so unreliable.

Because it is an infection, it can do different kinds of damage all over our body...and as a result it can mimic about 200 other conditions, TMJ being just one.

It is treatable with special antibiotics, and for longer periods of time than a doctor would treat an "ordinary" bacterial infection...this due to the life cycle of the tick.

When I first started reading your post, it occurred to me that you may have this condition...but I've found that until some people have tried absolutely EVERYTHING they don't consider Lyme, probably because they are not familiar with it.

In my area of the country it is an epidemic...and even then many of the doctors don't consider the possibility. So it may be somewhat understandable for people in other states may not consider this condition even though it has been "discovered" in the lower 49.

You might want to do some reading on the Lyme Boards.

Good luck, Jerry!

Bethsheba

PS I realize I didn't answer your questions. Personally, I believe that it could cause a permenant tightness over your forehead...although I haven't read of this symptom specifically, I know that bacteria can eat and damage tissue, muscles, bones, and nerves and it may be that the bacteria has damaged the muscles and nerves in that area of your head.

I think it's fair to say that most people don't remember being bitten by a bug/tick...there are many reasons for this. But again, I would hope you would continue to seek the answers to your questions on the Lyme Boards. There are some great resources, old and new, there!

Last edited by bethsheba; 11-09-2008 at 04:41 AM.

 
Old 11-10-2008, 12:49 AM   #29
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Thankyou Bethsheba for your informative response.

I am seeing my GP tomorrow and as well as complaining about my current muscle relaxants, "clonazepam", will enquire about the possibility of my problem being lyme disease.

Many years ago (I was in high school when I noticed this so could have been around the time this health problem started) I noticed a small red mark on the middle of my right hand and there was a pale white circle around it. I think at the time there may have been a small amount of red marks around it as well and at the time I thought it was weird but eventually it subsided so didn't think much of it.

So, if it is lyme disease (which would be decided by my symptoms and some tests I assume) would a specialised concentration of antibiotics (maybe by IV? I've been on antibiotic tablets before when I had a foot infection and all they did was resolve my foot infection) finally resolve this?

Thanks again.

P.S. I live in Melbourne, Australia. This problem is entirely possible here right?

Last edited by Jerry1985; 11-10-2008 at 01:07 AM.

 
Old 11-10-2008, 04:14 AM   #30
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Re: My Ridiculous 6 Year Health Problem: So The Jaw Is Responsible?

Jerry,

You're very welcome...again, I can't diagnose you, simply point you in a direction in which you may wish to pursue further.

The circle you describe, very much, sounds like the tell tale bullseye rash left by a tick bite. Less than half get the rash (or if they get it don't see it) so in that respect you are one of the luckier ones as it is one of the more definitive signs of Lyme...(there are very good pictures of the bullseve rash on the internet.)

The disease is best determined by a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor as tests are very inconclusive...some of these docs treat based on symptoms even if nothing shows up on the tests. Treatments with special antibiotics for lengths of time longer than for "typical" infections are used for Lyme infections (Lyme may include more than one infection so some people are treated with different antibiotics). Some people with Lyme actually feel worse intially, and that is due to the herx reaction but then they feel better.

It's interesting that you note that you are from Melbourne, Australia...I have seen a number of posts on various different boards from Australia (including another poster on this board with symptoms similar to yours), that I strongly, strongly suspect are describing symptoms of Lyme Disease...in my opinion, it's definitely there but not recognized!!

Board rules limit the links I can post but this may give you a head start on info...but don't let the title dissuade you!

[url]http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol1no1/russell.htm[/url]

You may have to do a considerable research on your own in order to get treatment...but don't let that stop you...and until you get a definite "yea or nay", don't take any steroids as your condition may rapidly deteriorate if you do.

Take care, Jerry! And do keep us posted...others with similar conditions (and yes, there are several currently posting on these boards) will benefit from your experience and your knowledge.

Let us know if we can be of further help!

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 11-10-2008 at 05:51 AM.

 
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