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Old 11-07-2001, 07:03 AM   #1
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Gengrrl HB User
TMJ and sinus

Does anyone have experience with tmj causing sinus problems -- post nasal drip, headaches and congestion. I am assured by docs that sinuses are perfect yet have these symptoms. My jaw popped a year ago and the symptoms persist. thx for a response.

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thx. gengrrl

 
Old 11-07-2001, 01:24 PM   #2
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Dear GG:
Yes, tmj can create problems with sinuses. I have been in pursuit of this issue for almost 3 years now. In the past several months, I have finally gotten answers to my sinus/congestion/cold problems. Allllll my cat scans of the sinuses came back fine. Allllll the ENT's I went to said everything was fine. Finally, I was diagnosed with fibro and tmj. My dentist, rheumi, tmj specialist, and allergist all agree that tmj affects the sinuses. I NEVER had a problem with sinuses until the tmj started to creep up on me very quietly at first...Because I have many allergies on top of the tmj, they have to start me on prednisone right away when I get a cold. I've had post-nasal drip and congestion for years, and it's progressively gotten worse and worse. I hope you don't get to the point where I'm at cause it's miserable. I would recommend seeing an allergist and rule in/out any allergies. Because if you do have allergies, I would do whatever you could to avoid the allergens. Good luck and take care. Dawn

 
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Old 11-08-2001, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Thanks, Dawn2 for your reply. I never had this sinus problem until the jaw incident, so I feel it is very related. I've been to allergists who checked for environmental allergies--negative. Any other tests you would recommend. What have you find that helps to alleviate your symptoms with post-nasal drip? Thanks, again

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thx. gengrrl

 
Old 11-09-2001, 03:16 AM   #4
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Gengrrl:
Unfortunately, the post nasal drip is a result of any congestion caused by allergies or tmj. Even tho you don't have allergies, I would try an over the counter antihistimine just to help dry up some of the mucous. You want an antihistimine that has a decongestant. The decongestant reduces swelling and will help even more. Read the precautions on the package tho - if you have high blood pressure or heart problems, etc., you wouldn't want to do this. I have the post-nasal drip and it is very aggravating, but I'm on Clariton D cause of my allergies and I can notice a BIG difference when I don't take it. I also have acid relux due to the post nasal drip and have to be on prevacid daily. Quite the domino affect from tmj, isn't it? Good luck. Dawn

 
Old 11-09-2001, 09:38 AM   #5
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Dawn2 -- gengrrl again. I am glad I found this board and am not crazy. My stomach never bothered me before the p-n drip and I was on stomach medicine for 4 months. I use flonase which helps keep the passages somewhat clear. Hopefully, it's relatively safe to use daily. With allergies on top of all this, I truly empathize with you. It's amazing how much this stuff can impact your day-to-day. My next step is try acupuncture since I've heard that helps sinus and TMJ sufferers. It's costly though...

Take care.

 
Old 11-09-2001, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: TMJ and sinus

GG:
Yes, this board has helped me out a lot. When you use the flonase, be sure you do not spray straight up the nostril, spray off to the side and up a little. It's not good for it to go into the septum. Flonase can cause thinning of the membrane cause it is a steroid. It's so little tho, it doesn't get into your system. Are you quite stuffy without the flonase? I've been on it for about 6 years. Have you ever heard of somnoplasty that reduces the turbinates? If you're pretty bad, that is an option. I've had it done twice. Also, the worse my tmj got, the worse the nasal congestion got. Not only in the turbs, but the drainage is the problem - inside too. I've heard that acupuncture works too. Anything to relax those muscles. If you do have major problems, you're nearby a really good clinic - the one that MissIM goes too and myself. I have chemical sensitivities (you respond as if you're allergic) and I stay away from things that have a lot of preservatives. Notice if MSG makes you more congested or not. I don't sneeze, I just got stuffed up. The center said there are some foods/preservatives that stimulate the muscles. I'd just watch what you ate and see what you notice. Of course, coffee, tea etc. is in that category too. Let me know how you make out with the acupunture. I'd be curious. Yes, this certainly does impact our daily lives. And the cost, well, let's just say that has added to the muscle tension! Dawn

 
Old 11-12-2001, 06:41 AM   #7
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Dawn2 -- thanks for your email. aside from the allergies, your TMJ problems are so similar to mine. What clinic are you referring to? I've been to many different doctors who just prefer to see me go away... My nasal congestion is non-existent -- my congestion is all in my head and causes headaches and p-n drip. I'm not sure how to get to the muscles that are causing all these problems. Did you try any physical therapy? Would you consider prolotherapy. Have you had any success or recommendations for braces? I have a slight overbite and will see an orthodontist who specializes in TMJ next month. Thx. for a response.

 
Old 11-12-2001, 12:08 PM   #8
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Dawn2 -- more questions for you -- hope you don't mind. Has any doctor given you an explanation for why/how your jaw affects your sinuses. Have you tried any splints or other devices that were supposed to help with this? The NTI is not improving my situation and I'm looking for the next step. Thanks again for your response. GG

 
Old 11-12-2001, 12:13 PM   #9
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Re: TMJ and sinus

Dawn2 -- more questions for you -- hope you don't mind. Has any doctor given you an explanation for why/how your jaw affects your sinuses. Have you tried any splints or other devices that were supposed to help with this? The NTI is not improving my situation and I'm looking for the next step. Thanks again for your response. GG

 
Old 11-12-2001, 02:03 PM   #10
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Re: TMJ and sinus

GG:
The clinic I go to is called the Gelb Orofacial Pain Center at Tufts Univ. in Boston. Their number is (617) 636-6817. They are quite good and thorough. Only thing is, I started with my local dentist who made a nightguard for me and it isn't quite what the center wants. Therefore, I have to have another guard made for at night (more $$$$). I did get a daytime guard from the center. So, if you start with your local doc, I wouldn't confuse things going elsewhere. If you're pleased with the ortho, then go that route. Yes, I have heard of someone who got braces to correct the bite. She wore the night-time guard for awhile first - then braces for two years. She is basically pain free today. Now and then she wears her nightguard. As far as how tmj affects the sinuses, when muscles get tense/or shift somewhat, it causes restriction. It doesn't take much restriction to start slowing down the sinuses. The average person makes about 2 quarts of mucous a day. People with allergies make twice as much usually. That's a lot to keep moving! The tmj will cause headaches. You usually feel it behind your eyes and up your forehead and even around the temple area. You may even feel pain around the cheekbone area which they so often mistake for sinus pain. You may get what's called a "humming" around the cheekbones when the muscles are tense. I tested negative for all allergies except ragweed but I'm allergic to many many things even tho the tests show nothing. I would just try an antihistimine just for the heck of it and see if you feel better. I would stay away from dairy products as they thicken the mucous and drink lots of water as water thins mucous. As far as the mouthguards, I do feel they have help as it has cut back a lot of the facial pain and headaches - although - I'm far from painfree, but it has helped. I've never used the NTI so I can't say about the pros and cons on that. I've only started on this journey. Ironically, it was the sinus problems that got me to dig deep into all this and that's how I found out I had fibro and tmj. So, I do believe you're on the right path. I had colds all the time being exposed to kids - never had a problem - never even got a sinus infection. Then it started 3 years ago and each sinus infection/headaches got worse and worse until this last one I had total blockage. You talk about pain - two months straight of migraines. That'll make you pursue what's wrong! Some people don't have the problems with sinuses with tmj - it just depends on where the restriction is, how bad it is, and are there any other factors to make the problem worse.Let me know how you make out at the ortho. Dawn

 
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