A little over a year ago, my TMJ symptoms started, first with just a lisp that I could feel in my front teeth. It felt as if my overbite had worsened because I could feel the air between my upper and lower teeth when I tried to pronouce the letter "S". Months later, that developed into a slur of sorts. Over the last 6 months, my jaw and facial aches have gotten worse, my bite is definitely off, and now in the last week or two, I can't talk because I sound like I've had a stroke. I have no other health issues or have had any symtoms relating to a stroke however. Today I was supposed to have an MRI but I panicked and left, now I'm waiting for my doctor to okay them to give me something so I can endure that MRI. Part of that was, I have this thick "gunk" in the back of my throat today, so when I lay down I can't breathe, and when I can't breathe, I panic. The noise from that MRI machine didn't help either!
I have increased saliva, chewing is a chore, and my mouth just aches. It aches when I try to talk too much or when I eat for too long. When I chew, I seem to chew with my front molars only, because it feels like my back molars don't come together. It hurts to yawn. I'm not sure if it's clicking or what, but when I open my mouth wide to yawn, it feels like my jaw doesn't come together right. Even when I watch myself in the mirror, my jaw tends to move to the right when I close it, so I know there's a TMJ problem, but this speech thing really has me worried.
I know my doctor wants this MRI and wants me to see a neurologist, and it's probably a good idea, but I still think this problem is in my jaw. My question, has anyone else had these severe speech difficulties with TMJ? Honestly, you'd think I had a stroke because I can't form the words with my mouth. When I first talk in the morning, the words come out great, like this morning. As soon as I got onto that MRI table though, my speech went crazy and I couldn't talk. It's like my jaw is fine when I first wake up and the more I try to move it, the more messed up my speech becomes. My mouth just won't move the way it's supposed to because it feels stiff or it won't move right.
I'm waiting for a call now to see if I go back for that MRI today or have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday. This speech problem is so perplexing though beacause I honestly feel fine other than my mouth not moving the way it's supposed to.
Sorry to hear about what you are dealing with. If your jaw is misaligned, it can definitely cause speech problems......You probably need to consult with a tmj specialist, someone who devotes a huge part of their pratice to tmd. Mine is in Wisconsin, and he does tmj, functional Jaw Ortho., and sleep apnea. What probably needs to happen is for you to get an orthodic to realign your bite...a lower orthodic that has grooves in it to "hold" your jaw into the correct neuromuscular position, 24/7. I believe that it would alleviate most of your symptoms, especially for you to be able to eat again, talk better, etc. Whatever you do, don't let anyone talk you into surgery right now...especially the doc. ordering the MRI. Also, ask them for a copy of the report, so you can have it for reference if you go on a tmj specialist consult. Good luck with everything. Take care, J.
Hi Jill, Thank you so much for responding to my post! Yes, I'm sure this is TMD and that I'll need to consult a specialist, just have to find one here in Wisconsin, hopefully in my area. This morning, I hear the definite "click" on my left side, and my jaw noticeably deviates to the right when I open and close. My list of symptoms just keeps growing! My plan is to hopefully and with lots of medication, get through that MRI tomorrow, and the neuro visit on Wednesday, and then ask for a copy of my MRI report to take to a TMD specialist. I'm hoping they do get images of my jaw; in fact, I'm going to ask if they do and see what happens. I never imagined that my jaw could cause such debilitating speech problems. Thanks, Jill, I'll do some research now on TMD specialists in Wisconsin.
Mine is in Middleton, Wi....I drive about 2 hours to see him....he's brought me out of a pain level off the charts....to a 5 within months. If you are looking for a specialist, make sure that they do Functional Jaw Orthodontics, and Neuromuscular dentistry and have practiced at least 10yrs. These credentials are crucial in finding the correct help, IMO.
I did some checking online, and the nearest I found were in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Madison. I'll check with my current dentist first and see what he has to say. Green Bay would be just a little bit closer to me than Madison or Milwaukee, but I'm going to check credentials and see what I can find. Not being able to talk well at all is what's bothering me more than anything, and the pain is tiresome too. We'll see what the MRI says and I'll be sure to bring my list of symptoms to the neuro on Wednesday and go from there.