I was diagnosed with TMJS 25 years ago by an Orthodontist. He told me that if I did not get it taken care of, it would destroy my body and possibly drive me crazy. I thought he was nuts, especially since I had never heard of it.
As I continue to read and research this disease, I believe that the Medical/Dental profession knew much more about it years ago than they know now. This fact was stated not long ago by a very well known Oral Surgeon who now lectures on the problems created by surgical intervention.
We all have trouble getting Doctors in any field to connect the symtoms. James Costen observed the whole picture with clarity in 1936. His description of the syndrome was: disturbed tmj function, lack of mobility, clicking, arthritis in the joint, joint, facial and neck pain, burning sensations in the nose, throat and tongue, ear problems such as, hearing loss, congestion, tinnitus, dizziness, eye pain and the list goes on. James Costen summarized the desciption of these symtoms as the sum of a neuralgia and a dysfunction. The TMJ is innervated by the auriculotemporal nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve. The auriculotemporal nerve is a very sensitive nerve to pain, thus when irritated it produces the abundant and strong symtoms the patient complains about. At that time it was called Costen's Syndrome.
Sometime during the 60's, modern medicine took over and changed the name to Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome and decided that the entire disorder was confined to the TM joint, caused by a bad bite. This led them to believe that if they fixed occlusional problems, the joint would be fixed. When that did not work, they decided to invade the joint and fix it. They know now that this very simple minded approach has been disasterous to those who were unfortunate enough to be in the experimental phase of trying to figure out what TMJD is. However, they will not admit to it and there are still very few who will connect all of the symtoms.
When I found this board a few months ago, I was almost
"crazy." I had just been told that there was absolutely nothing else that could be done for me. You that have read any of my posts, know that I am a surgical mess. In the last five years, I have developed all kinds of problems that no one would or could help me with. One thing that all of these Doctors agreed on was that none of these problems were related to my long term TMJD or the damage from multiple surgeries. When I read Marlene's Post of Symtoms, I could have jumped up & down. I had most of them and they were TMJD related. Since then, I have read everyone's posts, tried a different approach with researching this problem and found out so much that I did not know. I still have a lot of weird symtoms, but at least I know I am not going crazy (yet).
Everyone who posts on this board makes a great contribution, either with experience, knowledge, or by asking thought provoking questions.
In the last few weeks, I have run across some very interesting information that answers a lot of the current questions on the board. Some of it from other countries. I also have some of the problems that are being discussed.(I tried not to repeat any information, but I may have and I'm not trying to use a lot of big words, I just figured out that by identifying the muscles involved in TMJD and searching the medical names, you can find out a lot more than by just typing in TMJ and hitting search.)
Ear problems are very common with TMJS. It's due to the tensor veli palantini and the tensor tympani muscles connecting to the muscles of mastication and the ear. Grinding, clenching, chewing and talking causes these muscles to shorten and that puts a constant pull or pressure on the auricular cavity. This can cause ear pain, ache, fullness, congestion, tinnitus, hearing loss, etc.
Eye problems are caused by the zygomandibularis, which is a bursa of the tensor veli palatini and connects to the orbital bone below the eye. The sphenomandibularis originates at the sphenoid ( the base of the skull), connects to the mandible and then attaches to the boney structure behind the eye. These muscles are very small, but are involved in every facial movement and can cause severe eye pain.
This explains why we have ear and eye problems. All of these muscles are connected and are also served basically by the same nerves and blood supply. Anyone who has any degree of TMJ dysfunction can cause undue stress on these muscles just by eating and talking. Grinding and clenching really aggravates them. (By the way, modern medicine says that these two eye muscles are "New Discoveries". Costen mentions them in a paper he wrote in the 30's, he just called them something else.)
A report I read from a Swedish Univ. very simply says that with all of the muscles of mastication so very dependent on each other and the intricasy of the neural network, that anyone with TMJD would most likely suffer from some form of sinus cavity abnormality. In short, the neurotransmitters do not send the correct signals or the signals get blocked and the sinuses do not drain properly, so we have sinus problems and congestion.
My last report is a Spanish Study of 1000 people who suffer with TMJ symtoms. I tried to condense it a little. Here are the symtoms most often reported.
Pain: when chewing, opening mouth, yawning, talking, swallowing liquids or food,. Pain that wakes you up or interupts your sleep.
Location of pain: front of ear, temple area, inside ear, one or both joints, maxillary sinus, in and around mouth. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif
Pain refers to: head, chin, teeth, neck, back of neck, shoulder, armpit, back, arm, hand, upper jaw, palate, throat, face, cheek, eyes and ears. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif
Other pain descriptions: sharp or burning pain in ears, poundings, burning at temples, difficulties swallowing, burning in mouth, numbness in face, cheek, ears, and upper lip. Electric shock sensations all over head and face. Itchiness or stinging in ears, nostrils, throat, palate or tongue. Involuntary blinking, tearing, red eyes, eye fatigue and pain, swollen eyes, double and blurred vision.
Facial skin rash. Electric shocks or sharp pains in eyes and ears. Burning sensation on scalp. Nausea and vomiting.
Noises heard in ears: whistles, buzzing, crickets, pounding, roaring and vibrations.
Functional problems: jaw locks, jumps, or dislocates.
Can not open, chew, move jaw from side to side, muscle contractions, muscular tightness, and awakens with jaw deviated to one side, sometimes can not talk.
Teeth: pressure and pain in teeth. Grinding and clenching, teeth don't fit together.
Ears: stop up, dizziness, unbalance, loss of hearing, hyperacusis, tinnitus.
Other symtoms: nervousness, anxiety, depression, sleep patterns altered. Dryness of mouth, throat, and nose. Excess salivation. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif
"BAD TASTE; BITTER, SALTY OR METALLIC." http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif
I know this is a little scattered, but it is an English interpretation of a report from Spain. (and it does mention some symtoms that I have not seen anywhere else)
I just thought I would share with everyone that ours is a worldwide problem. I know that some of the symtoms are duplicates of what we have seen, but some are expressed a little differently. All of this information is on the web for public view. I would not advise anyone to take any symtom for granted as being TMJD related without going to a Doctor. A lot of these symtoms could be something else. It just helps a little when you have exhausted all possibilities, that there is a reason for some of the weird symtoms we have.
I have a lot more info, but as you can see, it's too much to post. If you're interested and have not already searched some of these muscle or nerve(medical) names, you will be surprised with a whole new world of information about TMJD.
[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 01-19-2003).]
[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-15-2003).]
[This message has been edited by Cymy Sue (edited 05-25-2003).]