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Old 01-17-2013, 01:01 AM   #1
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Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Just wondering if anyone else who has had chronic sinus infection symptoms has looked into ruling out temporomandibular Joint syndrome?

After 5 rounds of antibiotics, different painkillers which don't work, 4-5 different GPS and 3 ENT specialists still in a lot of pain!

After 3rd ENT specialist I saw on 9th of January said "we'll do sinus surgery to see if it makes any difference" I saw yet another GP about pain management. He said it could be tooth roots pushing on sinus nerves, or Jaw joint (TMJ). So I have to wait 4 weeks to see a dentist for consultation.

When I read up about TMJ, I realised that all the symptoms I've had (apart from disgusting green mucus) could be attributed to TMJ.

Headaches (constant 24/7 for over 6 months) with tender points on cheekbone, eyebrow and near jaw)
Increased nasal discharge
breathlessness and extreme fatigue
tinitis, loss of hearing
sore throat ( with enlargement of glands in neck on and off)
dizzynes & unbalanced feeling.

Now, reading about pain causing increased mucus production and inflammation I increased my codeine and hey presto, pain eased off a little and so did discharge! Unfortunately I can't take codeine for more than a couple of days, and when I stop..mucus production gets worse again!

Of course, if TMJ causes increased mucus production, and throw in the mix a severely deviated septum & cocho bullosa..there is the possibility that TNJ contributed to a true infection (due to trapped mucus) which cleared up with the antibiotics, but discharge & pain persists but isn't infected...if you get what I mean???

So has anyone with antibiotic resistant "sinusitis" or whose CT scans show minimal infection/inflammation , actually gone down the route of being checked for TMJ?

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:33 AM   #2
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

This is quite an interesting theory as I have the exact same symptoms as you. And a concha bullosa and deviated septum.

I looked TMJ up and discovered the following; Bruxism has been shown to be a contributory factor in the majority of TMJ cases.

That's what I find so interesting. I have such bad Bruxism that I sometimes have to take muscle relaxants before I go to sleep and I've had lock jaw a few times. I always thought it was a side effect of the sinusitis but I suppose it could be the other way around.

Do you have Bruxism?

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Not sure about Bruxism, but I realised that I have been unconsiously clenching my jaw during the daytime. Yesterday I went and bought some Cat's Claw and stopped the Codeine during the day. I found a you tube video that shows how to do facial massage for TMJ, and did that yesterday evening...I'm still taking amitriptyline and zopiclone and co-codamol at night, but the pain has been much less since I have been consiously focusing on not clenching my jaw and clamping my teeth together...putting my tongue to roof of mouth!

Other sign of clenching jaw is that the inside of my cheek on right hand side is chewed, often sore and I recall looking at it before to find red, blood blisters on inside of my cheek.

I have also ordered some cheap "splints" that you mold in hot water..pack of 4 is only about £3, so will try them when they arrive as it could be weeks/months before I can get a custom made one through dentist.

All I can do is go down the sinus path and the TJD path at the same time...I am sure that the TJD would cause sinus issues rather than the other way round.

I'd try the face massage if I was you.

I've just done face muscle massage, around the jawbone, in the dimples either side of base of nose, around mouth, back to jaw bone area and temples, and across cheekbones and eyebrows and the cheekbones had very tender spots...now all the pain that had been building up during the day has eased! Only just taken cats claw, diclofenec, amityptyline and zopliclone and 2 co-codamol, so they will help relax my muscles. I have also been doing jaw exercises available on hub pages! I seem to have had significatly less pain since I started doing this..maybe it'll work for you too!

Last edited by moderator2; 01-17-2013 at 04:36 PM. Reason: addition

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

I've flipflopped between sinus and TMJ. After CT scan ruled out sinus pathology the second time, I put my neuromuscular orthotic back in my mouth and have decided to try and give it a better go. I had worn it for 3 weeks and it didn't seem to be helping, but now I am using it along with doing deep neck flexor exercises and will be seeing an osteopath to help me with myofascial release. I'm also doing a food diary for my naturopath to see if I have any food intolerances. I've heard that gluten is a biggy for stuff like this.

If you do end up deciding to go to a dentist, find one who specializes in neuromuscular dentistry. I could go on and on about this but if you mosey on over to the tmj board, there is loads of info on there.

I'm still in the early stages of doing these things so we'll see how it goes!

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:51 AM   #5
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

It's not that straight forward in the UK. Unfortunately I have paid taxes into the NHS system for over 25 years, only to find that when you need specialist help, it is almost impossible. Fortunately I do have a NHS dentist, but haven't a clue whether any of the partners specialise in neuromuscular issues. It is something that I will ask about. The chances are I will be referred to a department of the NHS hospital, and will have to wait months to see anyone

But I do seem to be in much less pain since doing the face exercises and massage...If I can cure myself then I'll be happy!

I tried the gluten/dairy free diet...really doesn't make any difference for me unfortunately.

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:21 AM   #6
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

@Nightwarrior - Glad to hear that the facial massage has made you feel better. And that you're off codeine during the day.

I've also caught myself clenching my jaw subconsciously and the inside of my cheeks are full of scars and ridges so I've obviously been doing it for a long time. While I think TMJ is a possibility I still think I was diagnosed correctly with chronic sinusitis. Most of my pain is in and around my sinus passages. And I have a continuous PND. Sometimes I feel like I'm choking on it. My jaw pain comes and goes but the sinus pain and congestion is constant. My surgery is just over a week away and I'm pinning all my hopes on that. If it doesn't work I suppose I'll look more seriously into TMJ.

The last 4 weeks have been a little rough. My infection got worse and the neti pot isn't even helping anymore. I finished a course of Zinnat 500 mg and 400 mg Flagyl on Tuesday and my ENT faxed a new script for a different antibiotic to my local pharmacy this afternoon which I will pick up in about an hours time. Hold thumbs that it takes the edge off till my surgery!

I am very interested in the TMJ theory and anything you find out. Please keep me updated on how you're doing. I'm going to google the facial massage video anyway and give it a shot. Thanks again!

@Cold247 - So sorry to hear that your second CT scan didn't give you answers. It's so frustrating to be sick and know that you're sick and not be able to find a reason. Good luck with the neuromuscular orthotic. How have you been doing? Are your symptoms any better? Worse?

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Unhappy Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenity0202 View Post
@Nightwarrior - Glad to hear that the facial massage has made you feel better. And that you're off codeine during the day.

I've also caught myself clenching my jaw subconsciously and the inside of my cheeks are full of scars and ridges so I've obviously been doing it for a long time. While I think TMJ is a possibility I still think I was diagnosed correctly with chronic sinusitis. Most of my pain is in and around my sinus passages. And I have a continuous PND. Sometimes I feel like I'm choking on it. My jaw pain comes and goes but the sinus pain and congestion is constant. My surgery is just over a week away and I'm pinning all my hopes on that. If it doesn't work I suppose I'll look more seriously into TMJ.

The last 4 weeks have been a little rough. My infection got worse and the neti pot isn't even helping anymore. I finished a course of Zinnat 500 mg and 400 mg Flagyl on Tuesday and my ENT faxed a new script for a different antibiotic to my local pharmacy this afternoon which I will pick up in about an hours time. Hold thumbs that it takes the edge off till my surgery!

I am very interested in the TMJ theory and anything you find out. Please keep me updated on how you're doing. I'm going to google the facial massage video anyway and give it a shot. Thanks again!

@Cold247 - So sorry to hear that your second CT scan didn't give you answers. It's so frustrating to be sick and know that you're sick and not be able to find a reason. Good luck with the neuromuscular orthotic. How have you been doing? Are your symptoms any better? Worse?
Thanks. My ENT didn't offer me any different antibiotics, I've had 5 now, and I'm also sure that I did have an infection..but I'm wondering now if it was caused by the trapped mucus as a result of the pain. Really hard to tell at the moment. Unfortunately the pain has come back again today and normally I would sleep for an hour or two, but trying not to sleep during the day as I'm not sure if it makes the mucus build up more ..

All my pain is in my cheekbones and temples at the moment...not in the jaw..but it seems the trigeminal nerve spreads across these areas.

I'm just trying anything and everything! I thought the cat's claw was working, but it may have been increasing my amitriptyline by 10mgs on Monday night, and maybe I need to increase it up again!

Maybe just thinking about how to get rid of the pain is making the pain worse

Hope your surgery goes well, and hopefully it will make a difference to you.

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

I hope you have success with surgery as well.i to have struggled with sinus/jaw pain allergies and neck/shoulder pain since march 2012.The one thing I can honestly say is modern medicin isn't so modern ,it's just drug pushing.None of my doctors can tell me what my problem is! Only thing I know is I have a crooked body bigtime and I think sinuses and tmj both link to posture in some cases.Pinched nerves,crooked tense muscles always compensating for whats not aligned etc has to be a link .trigger points and posture as well!! My only chance is to redress my body back to being straight,control my allergies and hope my tmj and sinuses stop being problematic ! This all started for me after weight training so my bet is on structural for my problem.

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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Unhappy Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

sounds so familiar...mine started about the same time. Not sure exactly when but I know I was in constant pain by June 2012.

Funny you should mention mis-allignment...my hips are totally wonky..to the point that if I wear tight clothes, one hip is significantly lower. I always thought I had one leg shorter than the other!! But what I don't get, is that I've had it all my life, I've had allergies all my life...I had a dodgy jaw in my teens, but that was fixed about 25 years ago....so why all this now???

I had an hours sleep, and my pain was gone temporarily, now less than an hour later it's back!! I just want to go back to sleep again.

I'm considering finding a chiropractor now...and acupuncture...I'll try anything to get rid of the pain!

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:15 PM   #10
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Oh lol I now know why my headache has come back bad today...totally hormonal just another complication to add to the mix when I'm trying to gauge if/how well the painkillers are working!

I might as well bang my head against a brickwall...not like I'm going to notice the difference!

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #11
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Check out occipital alignment and atlas alignment ,Ive learnt a lot off this and it's links to posture .jaw.neck etc.Also I as well have had minor problems young,and it all crashed in 2012.I think if your body is crooked like mine it gets progressively worse until its placed back.Its the muscles fault ,as the brain senses misalignment it sends a message to the muscles to tighten up.( to prevent further degradation).Unfortunately the brain(human body) is far from perfect, and in doing this causes further misalignment.I wish the brain would listen instead of doing automatic reflex signals.its very easy to see if your crooked and which side 1: do a door frame pectoral stretch one side should be tighter and hurt more to stretch. 2: do a lunging leg stretch once each leg,you should have a much harder time on one side. 3: do a standing side stretch hands on top of head.you will stretch more on one side. My bet is all the harder stretches will be all on one side.Here is the tricky part, the side that hurts the most isn't the crooked side,it's the other side!! The harder side is compensating for the crooked side.Now if your like me you will see some major discoveries about yourself .Now imagine the poor jaw and neck being pushed day in and day out crooked to one side.Its no wonder I'm in pain and stress and caffeine both make it worse, because what do both do ..... Tense muscles! That's why I have trouble with chiropractors what don't do trigger point release or massage.If they don't its like trying to move rebar in a foundation after the cement has dried?!? Adjust the spine while its incased in a solid tensed muscle = not gonna happen ,or not going to cause relieve for more than a few hours

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:09 AM   #12
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwarrior View Post
Thanks. My ENT didn't offer me any different antibiotics, I've had 5 now, and I'm also sure that I did have an infection..but I'm wondering now if it was caused by the trapped mucus as a result of the pain. Really hard to tell at the moment.
I have no idea why my Doctors keep throwing more and bigger doses of antibiotics at me. They don't work anyway and the bigger the dose the worse the side effects. My latest course is Tavanic 750 mg (Levofloxicin). It's not working. I'm on day 4 and I don't feel better. Just dizzy and confused. I suppose they are just trying to ease my discomfort by attempting to cure the infection. It's not working though. My ENT even told me last week that I'm not going to get better till I have the surgery. And that the only reason he's prescribing antibiotics at this stage is to keep the infection from spreading. Apparently he can operate while I have a sinus infection but not with a chest infection. He says a sinus infection is like an abscess. And to surgically treat an abscess you wash it out. So he will thoroughly flush and wash out my sinuses next week and that will clear the infection and the trapped mucus.

I definitely think there is a good chance you have trapped mucus. According to most of my Concha Bullosa research that is a common side effect of a concha bullosa. That and pain in the site where the concha bullosa is situated (that's what my GP told me). If you don't get that mucus out it's just going to stagnate and that leads to infection. Why don't you look into a surgical sinus wash. They just put you under general anaesthetic, thoroughly wash out your sinuses and discharge you the same day. A friend of mine had it down about 6 months before her septoplasty and she said it tided her over until the surgery and got rid of most of her pain and symptoms.

Last edited by Serenity0202; 01-21-2013 at 03:12 AM. Reason: Spelling error

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:03 AM   #13
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

As far as I can tell, the lead ENT specialist is going to do a clean out at the same time as fixing my deviated septum and opening concha bullosa. And I just have to wait till they send me an appointment, and they gave me an estimate of 2-3 months...not much else I can do about it! ENT specialist don't seem to understand how badly it is affecting my life! i asked about whether he could do endoscopy to take a sample for culture, and he said he would do that when he does the surgery if he finds anything!

I'm still continuing with daily saline flooding and steroid nose drops. At least that combined with anti-inflammatory drugs is keeping my sinus from being inflamed...I haven't had any stuffiness/congestion for a few weeks now..though this morning I had a trace of blood from saline rinsing.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:36 AM   #14
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Yes, the doctors have no idea how debilitating it can be. I suppose they are so used to seeing sick people that they start to lose the ability to sympathise. For them it's routine and they see it every day. While we're not used to living/feeling like this. It takes over your whole life. Since March last year I've had 20 sick days off work, spent thousands on doctors and medicine. I don't have a social life anymore. I literally just live one day to the next trying the cope with the symptoms and NOBODY understands!

I think the bleeding is quite common with prolonged sinus problems. I've had it on and off for a few years and almost constantly for the past 2 months. Every time I "neti pot" or blow my nose there seems to be traces of blood.

So you've decided to go ahead with the Septoplasty/Turbinate surgery? I think you're making the right decision. I've spoken to a few people who have done it and as well as read many accounts/blogs online of people who have done it. And I have yet to find someone with a deviated septum, concha bullosa or both who regretted having the procedure.

I know 2-3 months seems like a lifetime when you're suffering but it goes quickly. I found out I needed to have this surgery in September last year and I had already been sick since March and I'm only have the op next week.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #15
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Re: Starting to think my sinus problem is TMJ instead!

Please let me know if the sinus surgery fixes your problens nightwarrior because if yes, I'm gonna have a new discussion with my ENT

 
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