5 weeks ago I tripped on something in my house and my head hit the side of the coffee table right alone the jaw line.
(felt like a sucker punch to the jaw)
No pain, no inflammation, no cuts, nothing except embarrassment.
Later that evening while having dinner I noticed I was having lots of pain in my jaw joint when I tried to chew anything.
From that moment on my life has been turned completely upside down…
I have severe headaches, blurry vision so bad at times I can’t read, neck stiffness, sore shoulders, jaws joints cracking like popcorn, severe ear pain, sore cheek muscles, stuffy ears, numbness in arms and fingers, dizziness and vertigo so bad I can’t even walk in a straight line.
Now I’m on the doctor “merry go round”
Urgent care doctor (x-rays my jaw, says it looks ok and treats me for sinus infection)
Primary care doctor (says I have TMJ and it’s all stress and sends me my dentist)
Dentist (x-rays my teeth and says it looks ok and sends me to oral surgeon)
Oral Surgeon (does Panoramic X-Ray says it looks ok and sends me to ENT)
ENT (orders CT scan of ears and sends me to neurologist)
Neurologist (orders MRI on my head and sends me to Spine/Neck specialist)
Spine/Neck Specialist (orders MRI on neck)
So... I figured before I seek any TMJ treatment or see anymore doctors I should first get a Complete TMJ Diagnostics so that I know what damaged I have done. So… If anyone can help me I would forever be in you debt.
X-ray, tomograms, arthrograms, CT scan or MRI
Neuromuscular junction testing
Transcranial or lateral skull x-rays
Intra-oral tracing or gothic arch tracing
Standard dental radiographic procedures
Range of motion measurements
Computerized mandibular scan
I did find University of Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
(Dr Gary Warburton) but I can’t see him until May.
P.S. How do you know if you are getting the best Complete TMJ Diagnostics?
If your TMJ was fine before the injury, and you now just have the problem due to the injury, it sounds to me like having a lower 24/7 splint to enable the jaw to relax and heal is what you need, and the sooner you have one the better. And to combine it with Cranial Osteopathy.
In your merry go round of doctors visits, I think the problem went wrong on your visit to the dentist. I suspect your primary care doctor assumed your dentist would know more about the TMJ than they did, and would have been able to provide you with a splint. Unfortunately most dentists think they are only responsible for your teeth. So I would suggest trying another dentist, maybe a neuromuscular one who treats TMJ.
Hi there....If nothing is coming up on x-ray that is substantial, I would seek out help from a Neuromuscular dentist that specializes in TMJD, and craniofacial disorders. There are some fabulous doctors posted on the GReat tmj doctors thread at the top of this page...there may be someone a bit closer to you that you can get a good eval. from. I have posted quite a few in the past..and I always post docs that have treated, or are treating my friends. Good luck to you...and keep us posted on your recovery.
Hello Fellow TMJers,
Austin, I feel badly for you. TMJ issues can definitely have an impact on your life.
I agree with the other posters that you need to get an evaluation sooner than later. The sooner you get a handle on what's going on the better off the long therm outcome will be. I agree that it sounds like a bite plate should help.
I'm a patient of Dr. Gary Warburton, and I highly reccommend him. On the flip side, I'd do my research and get in to see someone a whole bunch sooner. I'm also concerned that you live in Texas and Dr. Warburton is here in Maryland. TMJ treatment is usually an ongoing process that requires numerous, often many, many appointments. I'd be concerned about working with a doctor who is so far away.
Like the other posters have said, there are a whole heap of names of good doctors at the site. If you still don't find someone to work with I'd look up the nearest Dental School. They are at major universities and have the best doctors around (in my humble opinion). I'd go online and find their number for the private practice phone number of the professors. I'd call and tell them that you need the top person for TMJ. That's how I found Dr. Warburton.
Please keep us posted on how you're doing.
I hope that things work out for you.
Please keep the questions coming.
Monday I went to Austin Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for a TMJ diagnosis.
What I know so far...
Panoramic X-Ray shows condyles in good shape.
Jaw Movement up & down Normal. Jaw Movement side to side Limited.
Doctor orders MRI on TMJ. He advises conservative treatment to start and recommends splint therapy to take some pressure off the joints.
The only issue I had with this doctor was that he was to fast to blame a lot of my symptoms on other things. He said he has never heard of TMJ causing blurry vision, or dizziness. He also said since my pain has decreased to around a 2 that I shouldn't worry so much... I said to him "of course my pain has decreased the ENT put me on 20mg of Prednisone for 2 weeks for my sinus inflammation."
The ear CT scan and the head MRI came back normal.
I see the Spine & Neck doctor tomorrow for neck MRI results. (I know I need work there)
Thanks for the advise!!! The first few weeks were the hardest because the symptoms came on so fast while I was trying to get up to speed on TMJ.
Now that I have all my various test results back I am proceeding at lightning speed to get a complete diagnosis. I called Dr. Warburton first but can't see him until May... I am lining up others though. I'll definitely make Dr. Warburton my back-up. I even told his office that I'd move to Baltimore if need be!!!
Would a splint help, or anything else, until I get a complete TMJ diagnosis?
Or am I putting the cart before the horse?
HI again.....This makes me absolutely nuts...when surgeons do not fully understand the ramifications tha tmj has on your Central Nervous system. Of course TMD causes dizziness and brain fog...if you look on any tmj site...those are the number one symptoms besides pain. You can research Central Nervous System Sensitization with TMJD, and you will understand. Good luck with everything...J.