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Old 11-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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New and have a ton of questions:)

Hello About four months ago I started having some strange neck pain and ear problems. My ears felt stuffy all the time. I've been to four doctors about it, including an ent. They all say there is nothing wrong with my ears, its probably allergies, take this medicine, etc...I've been on nasonex, antibiotics, about twenty different otc allergy meds, nothing works. My jaw is popping on the right side and my teeth feel sensitive. I get weird sinus pressure across the bridge of my nose, I feel sort of dizzy, and my molars feel like they don't quite meet the same as before. I've had an mri done, and am scheduled for a ct sinus next month. My question is, I strongly suspect, after reading some of the posts here, that tmj is my problem, not allergies. Does this sound like tmj to you?
Im not the richest woman in the world and I don't really want to pay for yet another test to tell me nothing. So I'm wondering if the ct is even worth it.
Second question- where do I go for tmj? do I need a dentist?
Third, I've noticed that there doesnt really seem to be a whole lot that can be done for tmj. Is this true? I've tried the exercises for your jaw, heat, and different meds, they dont seem to help. If it is tmj, am I just stuck like this?
The stuffy ear is horrible.
Sorry for all the questions, I'm just getting tired of feeling yucky every day
Thanks!

 
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

I am sorry you may be joining this club. It's not fun. I don't have dental insurance and my medical isnt' willing to cover anything either so this is what I do. Ice and hot compresses, to me heat feels better. Ibuprofen when it's really bad. Soft diet, yes, it's miserable at times, but the hard, chewy crunchy things are just not worth it. No bagels, burgers, (too wide), no steak, no gum, etc. It's hard at first, as I love crunchy things,,but when I am in a flare-up I really watch (like today). Feel free to ask anything else, for me more tests arent' going to help, I already know what it is, but maybe someone will have better answers for you about this. Hang in there.

 
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Old 11-19-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggertoo View Post
Hello About four months ago I started having some strange neck pain and ear problems. My ears felt stuffy all the time. I've been to four doctors about it, including an ent. They all say there is nothing wrong with my ears, its probably allergies, take this medicine, etc...I've been on nasonex, antibiotics, about twenty different otc allergy meds, nothing works. My jaw is popping on the right side and my teeth feel sensitive. I get weird sinus pressure across the bridge of my nose, I feel sort of dizzy, and my molars feel like they don't quite meet the same as before. I've had an mri done, and am scheduled for a ct sinus next month. My question is, I strongly suspect, after reading some of the posts here, that tmj is my problem, not allergies. Does this sound like tmj to you?
Im not the richest woman in the world and I don't really want to pay for yet another test to tell me nothing. So I'm wondering if the ct is even worth it.
Second question- where do I go for tmj? do I need a dentist?
Third, I've noticed that there doesnt really seem to be a whole lot that can be done for tmj. Is this true? I've tried the exercises for your jaw, heat, and different meds, they dont seem to help. If it is tmj, am I just stuck like this?
The stuffy ear is horrible.
Sorry for all the questions, I'm just getting tired of feeling yucky every day
Thanks!
HI---Yes, unfortunately it sounds like tmjd. The reason why your jaw is popping is ---the pop you hear is your disc between the condyle bone and socket, popping back into place. The disc is recapturing itself doing this, but over time, the wear and tear can cause damage to the disc. If you lock closed, please gag yourself hard, this may recapture the disc and restore your opening to normal. I've done it myself many times. Honestly I would not pay for another CT scan until you get to a good tmjd specialist. Do you have insurance for tmjd? Do you have good dental insurance? The guy to see out near Las Vegas is Dr. Clayton Chan. He is expensive, but if you have insurance, it will help. OTherwise, they may refer you to another good specialist closer to you. Don't wait to get a consult, the longer you wait, harder it is to treat. You can do all the exercises you want for tmjd, but you need to get your bite looked at and examined from a specialist who treats tmjd. (dentist). The sinus CT will probably be a waste of time.
Question, did you have any dental work to trigger all of this?? Usually that is what brings on symptoms in people that are predisposed to a tmj problem. You may be clenching hard at night as well. This may cause teeth sensitivity, and lead to all the problems you are having as well. All of this will be looked at with a tmjd specialist. Good luck---let me know if you have anymore questions. I've had this crap for almost 20yrs, so I'm well aware, unfortunately. J>

 
Old 11-19-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

No, I didn't have dental work, but my regular medical doctor mentioned she thought I might have it. A few years ago my two daughters were killed in an accident and ever since then I don't sleep well..sometimes I wake up and my teeth are clenched together...doctor thought maybe the stress might be causing it..also I was in an accident myself in 2002, had a concussion and bad neck problems. Not sure how it really started tho.

 
Old 11-19-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggertoo View Post
No, I didn't have dental work, but my regular medical doctor mentioned she thought I might have it. A few years ago my two daughters were killed in an accident and ever since then I don't sleep well..sometimes I wake up and my teeth are clenched together...doctor thought maybe the stress might be causing it..also I was in an accident myself in 2002, had a concussion and bad neck problems. Not sure how it really started tho.
My God, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughters. I can't imagine the pain you have been through. Know that I'm here for you and will answer any questions you have about tmj. I'm sure stress is playing a major role in your jaw pain. You may need to only get a nightguard to protect your joints at night, but only a specialist can determine that. The doctor I gave you inthe last post is a highly respected doctor that specializes in tmjd. I heard of him through researching, and I asked my current doctor about him, and he said he is one of the best. Please let me know if I can help with anything, or ask away at more questions. Take care, J.
ps--I'm sending you a big hug.....

Last edited by Jill 227; 11-19-2009 at 05:09 PM. Reason: forgot...

 
Old 11-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

Tiggertoo,
I'm not an expert on TMJD, yet... I was just recently diagnosed. I have an ear that hasn't popped and his been stuffy since last March. That is almost 10 months now. I went to my PCP, ENT and two Audiologists before I realized through internet research that it might be TMJ related. I asked my dentist and he agreed and referred me to a TMJD specialty dentist.

I had to pay out of pocket for that TMJ Dental appointment. They had me fill out a large health history and symptom packet in advance. During the first visit, he did a 3-D CT of my jaw, did a physical exam, had two seperate discussions with me, took molds of my teeth, gave me a different temporary splint to try out and a long list of things to do to follow-up.

I'm a big-time bruxer. At night, I clench and grind my teeth. I've had a guard for years to protect my teeth, but it still allows my jaw to move back and forth in the grinding motions. This has caused all of the muscles in my jaw, neck and shoulder to be very tight which is causing issues with my ear as well.

I'm currently receiving PT to work on loosening my muscles, tightening them in the correct position and to work on getting my body back in better alignment. Apparently, my hip alignment has been affecting my jaw as well.

I've had allergy and sinus problems for years so I can't speak on the impact of those on the TMJ directly. I do know TMJD can influence the sinus pain.

I think that it would be worth it to persue the avenue of getting a good TMJD assessment.

Take care,
MountainReader

 
Old 11-20-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

I am so sorry about your daughters. I imagine you are clenching all night long, who wouldnt in your situation. I hear flexeril is a good muscle relaxer that may help if you take it during the night. It may help the clenching. Ask your doctor or dentist about it. Please keep up posted and talk to s wheneer you need to.

 
Old 11-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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Re: New and have a ton of questions:)

Thank you so much for all your replies It's been so frustrating getting tests that don't show anything- my boss just laughs at my "ear problems". I'm out of sick time- bleh.
I have flexiril from my last doctor who thought I was just having muscle spasms.
It seems to help a little at night but I can't take it during the day because it totally knocks me out.
I have found a tmj doctor close to where I live, so I'm in the process of finding out what, if any, part of this might be covered by my work insurance.
It sounds like this might be a long process, but its been nice to find people who don't just think I'm complaining about nothing. Thanks again for all your help!

 
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