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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

A few questions

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Old 07-05-2005, 12:12 PM   #1
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ermc HB User
A few questions

I'm starting to think that perhaps I have TMJ. Thanks to this board I have been able to find a link to all these strange symptoms I've been having. I have a few questions however. With your TMJ did the pains and symptomes gradually become worse over time or did they just sort of show up one day? For me it started as a funny feeling in the right hand side of my throat and slight pain in my ear and has gradually transitioned over nine months to what I'm experiencing today, a tender feeling, almost swelling in the right of my throat, increased pain in my ear, headaches on that side,blurred vision, clicking or almost thudding sound in throat when swallowing with my head an neck at certain angles, sore eyes, redness in my right eye, ect. I have no pain when swallowing food or beverage and no swollen glands

I've spoken to family members and my younger brother seems to experience a few of the same problems like headaches and throat discomfort on one side although not as severe as me. I've also learned that my aunt on my mom's side has Fibromyalgia. I will eventually see a doctor for these problems but from past experience it's best to research as much as you can and be very assertive in what you think maybe wrong with you when speaking with doctors, especially when you don't have medical insurance for a lot of misdiagnoses and repeat visits. I appreciate any feedback.

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Old 07-05-2005, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: A few questions

My chief complaint that led me to my GP and then a neurologist and then my dentist and then eventually my TMJ specialist doc was headache. It wasn't until I saw the TMJ doc that I was able to piece together all of the other TMJ related symptoms I was having: neck pain, ear pain, temporary loss of hearing, dizziness, night grinding, chronic sinus infections, cervical kyphosis (hunched over at the neck), sore throat, difficulty swallowing, inability to open my mouth to the "normal" size, there's prolly more that I can't think of right now. Other symptoms (that I did NOT have) include: jaw locking, popping, cracking, face muscle fatigue especially when chewing, unstable bite, mouth doesn't open straight, and prolly quite a few more...

TMJ can have a lot of possible causes, and the causes of it can determine whether or not symptoms come on gradually.

Surgeries or medical procedures that require your mouth to be fixed open
I'm not sure if grinding your teeth at night is a cause or a symptom
Although stress doesn't cause TMJ, it can certainly aggravate symptoms

From my experience, TMJ treatment can be a long, painful, and expensive ordeal. Long because many people delay getting treatment because they think their symptoms will go away (and sometimes they do) or because they get the healthcare runaround while trying to get diagnosed and by the time they get diagnosed and start treatment (ex: splints) their facial/neck muscles have been under so much strain trying to compensate for the injured/defective joint it may take weeks or months just to stablize the muscles. Painful because sometimes the treatment makes things worse before making them better. Expensive because most health/dental insurance policies don't cover treatment.

Please realize that most of which I typed above is just my personal experience and what I remember my doc telling me...And as always, every person is different and every case is different.

I wish you health and healing. Feel free to ask any questions you still have.

Old 07-05-2005, 03:03 PM   #3
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patti23 HB User
Re: A few questions

You seem very knowledgeable about symptoms that do not include the disc itself. I have suffered with a lump in the throat feeling for almost 2 yrs. Now it seems that my neck feels swollen but its actually not. Pain below the earlobe when pressed. Ear feels full and the feeling of swelling all the way under the chin. Had an ent check me out and thought it was gerd. But after 3-1/2 mos on nexium, I actually felt worse so I stopped that. I've had wisdom teeth out and periodontal surgery twice in my life. I am missing the last 2 teeth on the right side bottom (which is the side that bothers me) Had tonsils out and I do have an overbite. I have my teeth cleaned every 3 mos. but my dentist has never mentioned anything. But I never realized this lump in my throat could be jaw related. Any ideas?


Old 07-05-2005, 04:16 PM   #4
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hannahbob04 HB User
Re: A few questions

It's definitely possible that your problems are caused by TMJ. Especially if you have been seen by a doc and the cause of your problems is still unknown. My dentist didn't recognize my TMJ and it seems to me he should have noticed that my mouth didn't open very wide...but, anyway, I think just as many MDs lack the knowledge needed to recognizing TMJ, so do a lot of dentists. Thankfully, when I brought up the idea of TMJ (only because I had a friend recently diagnosed with it) to my dentist, he used good judgement in recommending me to the TMJ doc I now see. My dentist didn't try to tell me whether or not I had it...he realized that TMJ was not his specialty so he referred me right away.

Now that I think about it and after reading your post, I do remember having a feeling of fulness in my neck and especially all around my jawline and under my chin. My TM joint didn't hurt, nor did it crack or pop or lock, I think that made it a lot harder to figure out that it was TMJ...because these symptoms would specifically point to your jaw.

I don't know where you're from but if you look up tmj or Craniofacial pain online you should be able to find a doc that specializes in the treatment of TMJ. Or call your dentist office and see if they can refer you. I hope this helps.

Old 07-06-2005, 07:15 AM   #5
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patti23 HB User
Re: A few questions

Thanks for the info. I see my gp in a couple of weeks. Then I see my periodontist in Aug. I'll talk to both of them about this. Can i ask what treatments you're going through to help you. I like to go in with knowledge so that I don't get blown off that its all in my head. If you could let me know what your stepping stones to treatment were, it would be appreciated.


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