Hello TMD sufferers. It has been awhile since I posted here, but I do lurk here often. My main TMJD problems are ear symptoms, so I spend a lot of time over on the tinnitus support boards. I have had a lifetime of tinnitus, but it wasn't until my tmd kicked in, causing earfullness, crackling and increased tinnitus that my ear problems became such an issue in my life. I have been wearing my repositioning splint for two years, and have had some improvement, but I feel I am at the end of line as far as this splint helping me is concerned. I have never had it adjusted, and every time I go back to my Doctor, he says "just keep being patient, $60 please". I haven't seen him for months because I figured he has done all he can do. I have been thinking of seeking someone else, but good doctors are so hard to come by, and tmj specialist are so expensive, and hardly ever seem to be covered by insurance. Does anyone think it would be worthwhile to seek out another specialist?
My ears always crackle when I move my head, and lately it seems like my ears will kind of stiffen up for a few days until one day when I flex my jaw muscle and suddenly I will hear a huge crack in there. after that, I get a crackling sound kind of like those pop rock candies you had as a kid, for a few days. very weird. My doctor says that it might be arthritis setting in, in the joint. When I have the pop rock crackling going on, the fullness does feel a little better, like things are loosening up in there. I don't know I'm just getting so sick of this, and I want my life back! I will be going on 5 years with these symptoms, and I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. I have been very depressed lately. Sorry about the long post I just needed to vent... I've also been sitting in the house for four weeks with mono, so that doesn't help with the depression. I thought kids were suppose to get mono, I'm 42 years old... Thanks for listening.
I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going well. Yes, I would seek out another specialist for help. As for the mono, don't feel bad, I come down with it every year. Take those vitamins!
Hope you feel better soon.
Last edited by CherylLynn24; 11-02-2003 at 10:39 PM.
We share alot of symptoms, mainly the ear symptoms. I have severe hyperacusis and tinnitus.
My jaw also makes that really loud pop, on my right side, usually while I'm sleeping. And afterwards I'll have the gravel sound in my joint all day long. However, it has adverse effects on me, it usually makes me more symptomatic.
I asked my doctor about these symptoms as well and he also said it could be arthritis setting in, but he couldn't say for certain. Personally I think it may be the disc slipping out of place, resulting in muscle tension, and then poppping back into place; breaking down the cartilage some.
I've got an appointment with a new TMJ specialist Oct. 17th. He came highly recommended, has TMJ himself, and is an instructor. So I hope to get some relief soon. If you're treatment is stagnating, I think you should explore a new doctor.
Hi Cheryl, thanks for the kind words. Mono every year? That is a little much, especially with the TMD.
MarkCE, The "gravel sound" you describe, is that in you jaw or your ear? Mine is in my ear. It only crackles when I make slight head movements. I get no sounds opening and closing my jaw. I feel this has effected my Eustachian tubes somehow. Would you share your current treatment for your condition. do you wear a splint? Thanks.
Yes the gravel sound is in my jaw for about a day after a loud pop. I also get the gravel sound when I turn my head.
My e-tubes are definitely affected as well. It feels like they're compressed and they also pop when I swallow.
I haven't done much treatment other than wasting time with a subpar doctor. I wore a stabilization splint for about a month with minimal effects. I take xanax which helps with the ear symptoms until I can get my jaw under control. Muscle relaxers also help some.
Hopefully this new doc I'm going to see will have a better idea for treatment.
I do the xanax also, mostly for sleep, but lately I have taking them more often. I just developed eye floaters and have been having a hard time dealing with those. They say it is a natural part of the aging process, and my eye doctor says I will get use to them. Hmmm, where have I heard that before? They are driving me crazy!!
Anyway, I know what you mean about wasting time with a sub-par doctor. My jaw guy seems to be good enough, he has tons of patients...it took me almost four months for a consultation. But it seems, he uses the same techniques for all of his patients. And I have to fight my insurance to cover it. But he did order an MRI, and it clearly showed my discs displaced, where the other doctor I saw did not order one, and he said I did not have TMD. But in my experience, Mark, a month is not very long, splint wise. I have been wearing mine two years, and I still experience subtle changes.
Have you ever checked out any of the hyperacusis or tinnitus support boards. I find the TSMB at ez board to be very helpful.
So I decided to take Cheryl and your advice, and seek out another doctor. I called the University of Buffalo's TMJ clinic, here in Buffalo. They are suppose to be very good and up to date in the newest techniques for TMD. I have to pay out of pocket, but at this point I will pay anything. They were closed today, but will be open tomorrow. So I am feeling better about getting a second opinion.
I hope your new jaw guy works out for you. Please keep us posted. I will be following this thread with interest.