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Old 10-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
littleleaf HB User
Need some reassurance. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

Hi everyone,

I know it's lengthy, but I really hope you all read...

Almost a month ago from now, I noticed myself clenching at night. I would consciously place my tongue in between my mouth, and would wake up from biting down on it. And the since then, it all went a little like this...

- 3 localized dull pain/headache near base of skull along with neck soreness just below, which I chalked up to a new firm pillow I bought.
- On the day of 3rd headache, I got intense pressure on my left ear, and left side of jaw, with slight eye pressure, left side.
- The next day, both sides hurt, facial pressure, and again, ear pressure.
- Following day, only my right side hurt, along with jaw, face pressure of right, and INTENSE pain on lower teeth.
- Went to the Doctor, gave me antibiotics for sinus infection. No ear infection, UTI negative, throat culture came back for Staph. a. no symptoms.
- Things got better for a week or so, but ear pressure, and jaw pain was still there.
- Redid throat culture. No Staph A. Mentioned jaw discomfort and ear pressure, rechecked ears, no infection. Told me it was "arthritis"
- Sometime the same week, the pressure settled on just the left side for 2/3 days, teeth and all. Around this time, my back started to hurt, shoulder pain, on and off chest pain for a day, which I thought was from my shoulder pain, mostly left, alllll the way down to my butt cheeck, felt like sciatica.
- 5 days ago, I started having a twitching feeling on the left side of my head, above my left ear. Just a few seconds, a few days during the day.
- The next day, started having a tingling sensation on the left side of my scalp. No pain. On and off.
- At one point, i felt a sudden, sharp pain in my left ear. Hasn't happened since.

Since then it has been downward spiral EXTREME. I thought it couldn't get any worse. I was at school, and my right jaw/face/side of head (temp. area) started to hurt/pressure badly. I flipped, went to the Urgent Care. Dr. listened to all my symptoms, felt my jaw, and told me I had TMJ. Sent me home with Ibuprofen, and instructions to see a dentist.

I went to an Orthodontist (he offered a free consultation), took x-rays and found that my bottom wisdom teeth were impacted under the gum line, horizontally, and I have 2 small teeth growing under the skin above my two front top teeth. He referred me to an oral surgeon.

Since then, the tingling sensation on my scalp has been constant for 4/5 days now. It's absolutely painless, and light, but annoying and keeps me up at night. That, and my anxiety, of course. It only tingles on the top left side, and on the back of my head a little off to the left, and occasionally a little more up and right. I haven't really gotten headaches. I didn't noticed any intense clicking/popping at first, and even know, it sounds more like a crunch sound, and I hear it in my ear when I yawn. When I open my mouth, occasionally, the right side feels like the muscle is shifting over. And the more I open and close my jaw constantly, the more pressure I feel in my ears.

The severity of discomfort comes and goes, and when it came again, I paniced, and went to the ER 2 days ago. Blood check, urine check, BP, all was good. The first NP that saw me, told me she thought a CT scan wasn't necessary, but I should go see a neurologist, because of my tingling. She finished her shift before I left, so a PA-C came in, and he told me that he agrees that its TMJ (he claimed to have had it). And that I was also having an anxiety reaction. He sent me home recommending I see an ENT. And a therapist... and with a muscle relaxer (which I haven't taken). That night, I started having tingling under both my armpits, and I eventually felt it randomly on my arms, and hands. This day, I was super anxious. This also only lasted a whole day, and have been feeling it under my armpit occasionally now.

I have been so completely devastated. Crying on and off sometimes, thinking I have a brain tumor, or brain aneurysm. Can't sleep well. I have an Drs. appt. at my local community health (I have no insurance) on Monday, AND I also have an appt. with an TMJ specialist that same day.

Yesterday, I couldn't open my jaw more than 2 fingers until I started to feel discomfort. Today, my ears feel super stuffy, occasional tingling near my armpits, my teeth and jaw feel sore, I still have this annoying tingling sensation on my scalp (I think this is what drives me insane the most), and something new I noticed is, I feel pressure on the front of my hard palate, mostly when I lean my head down, where I'll also feel the pressure on my jaw.
My shoulders, and neck are tender, but now only when touched down on. I'm a side sleeper, so it hurts to sleep on my face, so I've been trying to sleep on my back more.

Does all this sound like TMJ? Can TMJ cause all these bizarre symptoms? Could it have to do something with a nerve being pinched somewhere? Do you think the muscle relaxer (Norflex) would help at all? I've mostly avoided it because I'm currently still nursing my daughter, but I'm willing to take it (and pump and dump the milk) if I knew it would really help.

Thank you soo much.

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Old 10-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,571
CherylLynn24 HB UserCherylLynn24 HB UserCherylLynn24 HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

First off, relax and try not to stress. Worry will only cause you to clench more at night and hold yourself tight. (I know, easier said than done)

With that being said, it does sound to me like you have some sort of jaw dysfunction going on. I'm sure the Specialist that you're seeing on Monday will be able to offer you more information, upon examination. Write down all of your symptoms to tell him/her, as we often forget when we're in their offices.

Have you tried taking Ibuprofen and if so, did it help? As for the Norflex, that's entirely up to you whether to try or not. TMJD doesn't have a cookie cutter solution, so what may work for one, might not work for another. I've met people that muscle relaxers work wonders for and others who see no relief from them.

What you can do prior to your appt. is try using heat on your jaw/neck and wherever you're feeling pain. (I think they sell those "Bed Buddy's"/microwaveable rice bags everywhere) Try the Ibuprofen if you haven't already. Also, have you already thrown out your old pillow? If not, go back to using that for a while and see if your pain levels improve. Quite often, a new pillow can cause havoc on your jaw and neck.

Above all, don't assume the worst and try your hardest to relax. As I said, the more tense you are, the more you'll clench and hurt.

Hang in there and let us know how your appt. goes on Monday.

Here are the symptoms of TMJD from the post pinned at the top of the page, on case you didn't see it.

The Kinnie-Funt Visual Index of Head, Neck and Facial Pain and TMJ Dysfuction:

Eye Pain and Eye Problems:
- eye pain above, below, behind
- bloodshot eyes
- blurring of vision
- bulging appearance
- pressure behind the eyes
- light sensitivity
- watering of the eyes
- drooping of the eye lid

Head Pain, Headache Problems, Facial Pain:
- forehead pain
- temporal pain
- "migraine" type headache
- "cluster-type" headache
- sinus headache under the eyes
- posterior headaches, back of head, with or without shooting pains
- hair and/or scalp painful to touch

Mouth, Face, Cheek, and Chin Problems:
- discomfort or pain to any of these areas
- limited opening
- inability to open the jaw smoothly or evenly
- jaw deviates to one side when opening
- inability to "find bite" with teeth

Teeth and Gum Problems:
- clenching or grinding at night
- looseness and or soreness of back teeth
- tooth pain

Jaw and Jaw Joint Problems:
- clicking, popping jaw joints
- grating sounds
- jaw locking opened or closed
- pain in cheek muscles
- uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements

Ear Pain, Ear Problems, and Postural Imbalances:
- hissing, buzzing, ringing, or roaring sounds
- diminished hearing
- ear pain - without infection
- clogged, stuffy, "itchy" ears, feeling of fullness
- balance problems, "vertigo", dizziness, or disequilibrium

Throat Problems:
- swallowing difficulties
- tightness of throat
- sore throat without infection
- voice fluctuations
- laryngitis
- frequent coughing or constant clearing of throat
- feeling of foreign object in throat
- tongue pain
- salivation (intense)
- pain of the hard palate in the mouth

Neck and Shoulder Problems:
- lack of mobility - reduced range of movement
- stiffness
- neck pain
- tired, sore neck muscles
- shoulder aches
- back pain upper and lower
- arm and finger tingling, numbness and or pain

Old 10-12-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
littleleaf HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

You don't know how much I appreciate your reply. I feel like others think I'm going nuts.

I've taken 600 mg Ibuprofen. It helps somewhat. The most obvious annoyances the past days are my ears (stuffy feeling), and the tingling at my scalp, but the ibuprofen helps with neither of those.

I'm still using the new pillow. I wasn't for about a week, but then went back to it. I'm gonna try swapping it out.

I actually have that Bed Buddy warmer! I've been trying hot wet compress (just a small hand towel), but it gets cold too quickly.

Thank you so much.

Old 10-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,571
CherylLynn24 HB UserCherylLynn24 HB UserCherylLynn24 HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

Trust me, I know that you're not going nuts. 10 years ago when my 13 year old came down with an acute case of TMJD, he became suicidal due to the pain, which led me here. Some people can claim they have TMJD while chewing gum, whereas for others, if can be life-altering.

Try continuing with the Ibuprofen until you see the Specialist on Monday, but be sure to eat with it, as you don't wanting it eating a hole in your stomach.

I found that trying new pillows with my son years ago was a bad idea and usually increased his symptoms. I eventually did switch his pillows, after his treatment began and now he swears by his contour pillow. (It takes the pressure off of his neck/jaw)

That's wonderful that you already own a Bed Buddy. Keep heating that up and wrapping it around your neck and gently holding it on your jaw, alternating sides as often as you're able to.

If your Specialist suggests seeing an ENT or a Neurologist, don't panic. Many Specialists like to cover all bases. My son probably saw a Specialist in nearly every specialty.

My son has had many of the same symptoms as you're currently having, don't despair. I highly doubt you have anything life-threatening, even though it may feel like it. Most importantly, don't cry! (Crying tenses up your face and seems to make it all hurt far worse)

Try to relax this weekend and let us all know how your appt. goes.

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h02w (10-29-2012)
Old 10-29-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1
h02w HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

I just wanted to say how helpful reading this post was. I too am a recent sufferer of similar TMJ symptoms.

I'm 28 years old and went to see my dentist for a regular 6 mo. checkup back in July. He told me I needed a couple cavities filled...ok, no big deal. I came back the following week and had them filled and immediately noticed something wasn't right. The cavities were filled in tooth #2 and #3 (top right molars). I noticed at first that all my teeth on the top right side of my mouth were sensitive to cold - not normal. Several days later the right side of my face started to ache. I couldn't really explain it, but my face just hurt. Most of the sensitivity went away after several weeks, but my face continued to hurt and then I would get these strong, throbbing pains above the tooth and into the roof of my mouth. Felt like somebody was trying to crush my mouth.

After everything I have been through over the past 3+ months...getting 2nd opinions, seeing 2 Endodontists, getting a CT done, losing 20+ lbs, not sleeping, anxiety over what was going on with me, I had a Root Canal done on Tooth #2 on the 15th of October. The filling was deep and placed practically right on top of my nerve. I was very swollen and bruised after this treatment. Could barely open my mouth, but things have improved.

In addition to the nerve pain that I was feeling (and has almost completely subsided, thank the Lord), I was told by my dentist that I started clenching my teeth during all this - throwing my bite off and causing my muscles to tense up.

It's a scary feeling when these things start happening to you and you have no idea why and everybody tells you something different. My jaw on the right side starts to ache throughout the day. I get sorness in my neck behind my right ear. I also get tingling/stinging pains sometimes in my face through my cheek. My dentist didn't think this was any neurological damage, but just from the muscles. I pray and hope he's right. It's not easy to deal with every day, especially as I work full time and am a Mom of two young kids. The past week has been better...yesterday was probably my best day in quite sometime.

I take 600mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day, along with lots of natural/homepathic medications to help...Ginger and Tumeric are natural anti-inflammatories. I also take Kaava and Valerian to help calm me down and a natural anti-stress remedy. Massages and going to my Chiropractor have helped a little. My dentist also made me a bite guard...I've had it about 3 weeks now. I wear it at night on my top teeth and throughout the day if I'm feeling uncomfortable or uneasy about it. It's embarrasing and somewhat difficult for me to speak with on (as it has a bump in the middle that keeps my teeth apart), but I think this has helped greatly.

Any other reassurance or advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope I continue improving. It's a reassuring feeling to know I'm not alone, as I have felt very alone through this whole process. Thank you for posting your stories!

Old 01-30-2015, 07:01 AM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2
megan8806 HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

Originally Posted by littleleaf View Post
You don't know how much I appreciate your reply. I feel like others think I'm going nuts.

I've taken 600 mg Ibuprofen. It helps somewhat. The most obvious annoyances the past days are my ears (stuffy feeling), and the tingling at my scalp, but the ibuprofen helps with neither of those.

I'm still using the new pillow. I wasn't for about a week, but then went back to it. I'm gonna try swapping it out.

I actually have that Bed Buddy warmer! I've been trying hot wet compress (just a small hand towel), but it gets cold too quickly.

Thank you so much.
LittleLeaf - This is a shot in the dark since I know this post is very old, but did you ever find out what was wrong? I'm going through something pretty much exactly the same! I've been having a clogged ear feeling and pain (both ears, but the right one is worse) for about 3 months now. Every doctor says there's no infection and everything looks good. My jaw sometimes feels tight, and I've also had some head pressure and the TINGLING on my scalp. It's not pain, very light sensation, but it's super annoying! I had a head MRI that came back normal (no tumors, no MS), so I'm still trying to figure this out. I went to the dentist about a week ago and I could see that my wisdom teeth are also impacted horizontally, but I really didn't connect the two at the time. Did this end up being the problem?

Old 01-31-2015, 04:48 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
littleleaf HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?


I ended up having all my impacted wisdom teeth removed 2 months after the initial symptoms, and unfortunately, those were not the problem. Luckily, for me, the surgery didn't make it any worse, either. I had head and jaw MRIs done (normal), 2 CBCT scans, and regular x-rays, as well as saw an ENT and endodontist for the pain in my molars. The CBCT scan report came back showing impacted wisdom/supernumerary teeth, mandibular tori (bony growth in my mouth, which I believe is thought to be due to bruxism, and/or genetically influenced), AND "evidence of sclerosis for the superior/posterior surface of the condyles and the posterior slope of the eminentia." then stating "This is consistent with osseous remodeling mostly functional in origin." Have you had a CBCT scan done? You might want look into getting one. I had one done at the orthodontics (when I didn't know any better) and at the "tmj specialist" I saw.

It also mentioned, as a side note, that my styloid-hyoid ligaments were both calcified and elongated (associated with eagles syndrome), and this is an anatomic variant, but to keep it in mind as a differential diagnosis. Have you

A little over 2 years later, and I'm still struggling daily with the pain, although a lot of my original symptoms have gone. No more stuffy ears, or head tingling, but I do still have jaw pain (I have good and bad days), aches in my molars, shooting ear pains and cracking if I open my mouth too wide, or chew too much, occasional headaches, and overall stiff/achy shoulders and neck.

I have yet to get proper care. I mostly do magnesium supplements, tumeric, cold/hot compresses, etc. but when that's not enough, I end up popping some ibuprofen a few times week. I kind of gave up after seeing multiple dentist and that supposed TMJ specialist, but being that I now have insurance, I plan on seeking out whatever help that might be able to get me.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Last edited by littleleaf; 01-31-2015 at 04:49 PM.

Old 02-02-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2
megan8806 HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

LittleLeaf - First of all, thanks so much for responding! I can't tell you how frustrating it has been to find a thread that matches my symptoms and never be able to find out what happened to the OP

I actually go to my GP tomorrow for my head MRI follow-up visit so I'm going to talk to him about the other possibilities. I will be sure to ask about TMJ, and the CBCT scan.

I was actually just at the dentist a couple weeks ago and he didnt seem concerned about my wisdom teeth either. Although, he did ask me if I was having any problems and I said "no" because I really didn't connect my ear pain and scalp symptoms to my teeth at all (until I started researching some more). Would you say that your scalp sensation got better after having your wisdom teeth removed? Or you think it went away later, for some other unrelated reason? That's honestly what's bothering me the most at this point. I actually end up wearing tight headbands most days, cuz it doesnt seem to bother me as much (maybe because it gives my brain a "reason" to feel the tight sensation? lol idk)... All I know is the scalp sensation is the worst symptom to deal with at the moment. I will say it has probably gotten a little better since it started though (I've since started taking thyroid meds and magnesium supplements)...

I'm actually starting to think it might be more sinus-related... It all started about 2 months after moving into a new house. We had a moisture problem that has since been "fixed" but some people say it still smells kind of musty. And I have a mold and dust allergy, so I'm staying optimistic that it's something pretty simple (even though I'm not having too much nasal congestion). My next biggest symptom besides my scalp is definitely my ears. They have been popping and crackling since October. I had a tympanogram done that did show fluid in my ears, but I'm just not sure how that would be connected to my scalp sensation? Unless me trying to yawn/pop my ears every day since October has caused TMJ? lol.. I wouldn't be surprised, but who knows at this point...

I'm just glad to hear that you are still alive and well And that it's probably nothing serious for me too. Please keep in touch and let me know if you finally find the culprit!

Last edited by megan8806; 02-02-2015 at 09:52 PM.

Old 02-08-2015, 03:32 PM   #9
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Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

If you are clenching at night you shoudl have a custom night gaurd made - it won't prevent clenching but will aleve some the wear and tear on your joints and that should help to some degree - I clench at night and found wearing a night gaurd helped.

I'm sure you don't have a brain tumor etc. So stop worrying yourself unnecesarily.

Get an MRI of your TMJ joint; sometimes the disc gets stuck and that can be responsible for limited opening; an MRI will show whether the the disc is moving the way it should.

Good luck.

Last edited by Administrator; 02-08-2015 at 08:02 PM.

Old 02-09-2015, 12:56 PM   #10
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Arggg HB UserArggg HB UserArggg HB User
Re: Need some reassure. Are these possible TMJ symptoms?

I've had TMJ most of my life and the bite splint (night guard) has definitely been helpful. I have actually broken teeth from grinding at night if I forget to wear it.

Also, find a reputable chiropractor who adjusts extremities. You should be able to find one in your area or in a nearby town. It will be well worth the time and expense. My chiropractor adjusts my jaw every time I see him and the results are miraculous. (He also adjusts my hands, feet, arms, legs, knees, elbows, etc. as well as my spine, of course.)

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