In Feb. 2011, I got an elbow to the face while playing hockey. Following the hit, I had a misaligned bite for 1 week or so then everything went back to normal.
Since April, I started getting ear aches or a feeling that something is stuffed in there. After 3 visits to the clinic, I'm told there is no infection and everything is clear. That feeling is still there today. The doc told me it was related to a cold, but at this point I think it should have gone away...
For the past 2 weeks, I'm getting that misaligned bite again for the majority of the days. My jaw is sore and I can hear some clicking when opening / closing my mouth. I have also started to get shoulder / neck pain (soreness) which tends to get worse in the evenings. I had a "bite plate" done a few years back, so I have been using it when going to bed for the past 3 days and the soreness seems to go away come mornings. However, it returns at the end of the day...
Is it possible that all of these symptoms are related to that elbow to the face? Could the injury have been lingering all this time although I wasn't showing any of the symptoms until the past couple of weeks?
I made an appointment to the dentist to see if it could be TMJ, but do you have any other suggestions on how to get a proper diagnosis?
Sorry to hear about your injury. It does sounds like some symptoms of TMJ- the elbow could have caused your disc to come out of place. I had a sports injury as well that did the same thing. Your muscles are probably very sore now trying to compensate for the disc being out of place, which is causing your bite to be misaligned. The clicking is your disc going back and forth into the right spot. Physical therapy can definitely help to correct this problem as long as the injury did not cause any bone damage. I had a condylar fractured that was missed by several doctors, which healed incorrectly due to this. I have had a lot of problems now.
My best suggestion is to see your dentist first to get x-rays to ensure you also have no fractures. I'm not a doctor, but what you describe sounds like a disc/muscular problem
Hope this helps!
The Following User Says Thank You to navymid For This Useful Post: raleclerc (05-26-2011)
I think it very well might be TMJ. When your jaw gets misaligned, you feel like your bite is off. And the jaw position influences the position of your first neck vertebra C1 that causes the neck and shoulder pain. If you get pain in just one shoulder, that is probably the side where your TMJ is off. Also, is the ear pain mainly one-sided or is worse on one side? Not to scare you, but if untreated, the pain may spread to your spine and low back.
From what you said, the bite plate definitely helps, but you have to wear it 24/7 for some time to stabilize your jaw and get lasting relief. Seems to me that a consultation with the TMJ specialist is a good idea. Good luck!
The Following User Says Thank You to TMJ82 For This Useful Post: raleclerc (05-26-2011)
Thanks for the feed-back! The pain in my ears is worst on the side where I get the jaw clicking.
Also, I'm noticing that I get easily irritated when I start getting the mild headaches / neck & shoulder pain in the early evenings. It's like a switch is turned on all of sudden.
I'll start wearing the bite plate 24/7 to see if it makes a difference. I had only been wearing it for bed, so I'll see if it makes it any better.
Keep a journal of your pain & symptoms. If things keep getting worse get an MRI.
The reason you are getting more pain and mild headaches in the early evenings is that when your TMJ pops and clicks it puts more pressure on both your jaw joints and the muscles surrounding them which makes them work overtime. (Remember your jaw works on a hinge, one joint effects the other)
Try to rest your jaw more during the day. Try eating a soft foods.