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Old 09-26-2004, 11:26 AM   #1
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Neuro HB User
Facial numbness and TMJ?

I was wondering if people could tell me if I have TMJ. For about a week and a half now I've been having a bad neck strain which hurts on my left side especially when I rotate my head to the left. I feels like a pressure in the back of my head. Weirdly though, the pressure is worse when I rotate my head with my mouth open, then when I do it with my mouth closed.

I have also been having facial numbness. I am not sure if that is a symptom of TMJ. Finally, about a year ago on 2 seperate occasions when I was sleeping and someone else was in the room, they said they could hear my grinding my teeth. Both of these times occurred when I was really stressful. I guess this is called bruxism and can cause TMJ.

Right now I'm really stressed so I think that I'm really grinding my teeth at night.

Given all that, do you think it's possible I have TMJ? The thing I'm most worried about is my facial numbness on the left side mostly on my cheek. My neck strain has been getting better. Also, how can a doctor test me to see if I have TMJ. Thanks.

 
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:55 AM   #2
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

To be tested you should go to your dentist or a TMJD Dentist. Until then I would go to the nearest drugstore and buy a nightguard to help with the grinding. I bought one, it cost about 30 bucks CAD.

 
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Old 09-26-2004, 01:30 PM   #3
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grrmotts
To be tested you should go to your dentist or a TMJD Dentist. Until then I would go to the nearest drugstore and buy a nightguard to help with the grinding. I bought one, it cost about 30 bucks CAD.
I will do that. Thanks. Do you know if a family doctor would be able to diagnose it. Also, how would they diagnose it, through an MRI?

 
Old 09-26-2004, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

My neuro could diagnose it, so could my ENT, but apparently that is very, very rare. My dentist was suprised that they both got the diagnosis so accurately. My MRI showed I had no disc problems, no degeneration of the joint, etc. However the neuro knew I had TMJ from a physical examination, palpation of the joint, very gently, my limited opening, putting his fingers in my ears and having me open made me almost scream, and listening to the joint with a stethoscope while I opened and closed. He did everything my dentist did in the initial exam. This floored the dentist to no end. The neuro also ordered the MRI which was nice because apparently the insurance is more likely to pay for it when it's ordered by an MD (who knows why)? We eventually got to the point where I wasn't responding to first line conservative treatment though, so I did go to a dentist. It's taken a while to reverse things because it took a while to get treated for things. If you are really comfortable with your doctor, it wouldn't hurt to see him, but it's rare for them to know what to do, much less diagnose it correctly. You might get misinformation. The nice thing is that he might be able to give you muscle relaxers and pain killers to tide you over until you can research and get into a good dentist. Good luck...start researching now for a dentist.

Oh, by the way, I've heard of arm and hand tingling and numbness, I'm not sure about facial numbness. I guess it could be some sort of neuralgia, but it could also be some sort of neurological problem. Maybe you should start with your doctor. I would start looking for a dentist though...it does sound like you have bruxism too. It takes a while to find a good dentist.

Last edited by daydreamer504; 09-26-2004 at 02:35 PM.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 03:14 PM   #5
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feelines HB User
Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Hi,

C-1 in the neck can refer pain to the face. This happened in my case. This is sometimes overlooked by dentists or TMD specialists. A physical therapist can help you with this. Try to find someone trained to gentle manipulations and Rocabado exercises. That's my recommendation.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Migraines can do this too...that is what causes my facial numbness.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Thanks for all the advice. I am just worried about my facial numbness. I hope it's not anything serious. I want to have an MRI done but it seems like the family doctor is resistant to it. I guess it costs too much money or something.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamer504
Migraines can do this too...that is what causes my facial numbness.
Really, I haven't really had any bad headaches. Just some neck pain when I rotate my head to the left.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

You can have the migraine without the pain, but the fact that you aren't having headaches makes me think it's probably a cervical problem.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 04:48 PM   #10
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daydreamer504 HB User
Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

You could ask for a referral to a neurologist if you're worried, and he's resistant to further testing. I thought he was comfortable treating everything. It doesn't seem that way though.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 09:57 PM   #11
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamer504
You could ask for a referral to a neurologist if you're worried, and he's resistant to further testing. I thought he was comfortable treating everything. It doesn't seem that way though.
Well I'll give it a week and see how it goes. Hopefully it is just a migraine with no pain. I have had a few headaches lately but that i think is due to my neck pain and moving my head in weird directions. I hope it goes away soon and I'm doing some massaging on my cheek which seems to help a bit.

Last edited by Neuro; 09-26-2004 at 09:58 PM.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 10:22 PM   #12
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daydreamer504 HB User
Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

You can try rotating heat and ice on the neck and see if that helps. I use a small wet towel in the microwave for a couple of minutes for moist heat, usually on the neck and jaw, whereever I need moist heat. You may have to take it out with potholders though. I hope it gets better.

 
Old 09-26-2004, 11:28 PM   #13
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamer504
You can try rotating heat and ice on the neck and see if that helps. I use a small wet towel in the microwave for a couple of minutes for moist heat, usually on the neck and jaw, whereever I need moist heat. You may have to take it out with potholders though. I hope it gets better.
Daydreamer, I think you were right. It was a migraine that wasn't giving me that much pain. The reason is because I started touching near my ear and felt a big artery pulsating that wasn't felt on my right side. I put some ice on it and massaged it. It became smaller and my numbness magically went away. It must have been compressing my facial nerve.

Plus, one symptom of bruxism is migraine headaches, which can lead to facial numbness. It's all connected.

I'm going to take some tylenol so the migraine can go away completely. Thanks you've been a big help in guiding me to what it could be.

 
Old 09-27-2004, 03:11 AM   #14
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Re: Facial numbness and TMJ?

I'm glad it went away that easily. Mine usually don't. You are right though. My clenching will contribute to my migraines.

 
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