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Mitch5 06-03-2009 12:50 PM

Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
Ok I know this title sounds a bit insane but let me explain...

I was diagnosed with both at the same time and I am convinced they are related. At the same time I got muscular TMJ I started having swallowing problems which they then said was a hypotensive esophagus due to GERD. However the bloating and nausea continued and upon further testing discovered I have Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) but it gets even better. I went down to Mayo Clinic (the best of the best) and they found out my stomach was emptying too rapidly (Dumping Syndrome) so they are figuring out if maybe my stomach is either too hypo or hyper in emptying on any given day. Nevertheless, it is all due to a dysfunction of the vagus nerve and they cannot find a cause. The vagus nerve runs I believe from the brainstem all the way down to the lower part of your intestines and can cause autonomic dysfunction.

Well what I'm wondering is if maybe the vagus nerve is messed up and BOTH TMJ and motility stomach issues are both connected somehow. I have heard people on here state they get nauseated and I know the ear can cause this but for some without the ear doing it, maybe it is the stomach dysfunctioning as well and it's due to the vagus nerve, causing both the TMJ and stomach issues?

Are any of you with both TMJ and stomach motility disorders and/or do you have any info on this or is this just a crazy theory I have? I cannot ignore how the TMJ and stomach problems both happened at the same time, though. I can't seem to shake that there's a connection.


Thelma-Louise 06-03-2009 02:03 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
Although maybe not the exact same issue you are describing - yesterday at my tmj dentists - he's a holistic dentist - we were discussing something similar - when he was doing muscle testing on me he asked if I had digestion problems and then asnwered the question himself and said of course you do - you can barely chew and swallow food - then he re-phrased it and asked did I have problems before the tmj pain pain and total dysfunction started and I did - I first started with chronic indigestion with everything I ate and then graduated to taking Rolaids like they were breath mints, had gall bladder attacks, a bout of gout at one point and it worsened once I got new bridges on my front teeth. From there I developed a hiatal (sp?) hernia and acid reflux - surprisingly - or maybe not - once the tmj started and I could no longer chew and swallow and went to a bland soft if not mushy diet, it all went away - only now I was dealing with the tmj pain and jaw dysfunction. He said its really not uncommon for tmj to "silently" cause a host of medical condtions before the "tmj" condition makes itself known.

I am not too familiar with the vegus nerve but if its as you describe and runs through the brain stem - I would think it is possible if the c-spine has been impacted by the tmj dysfunction for it to be compressed or infringed on or disturbed in some way. Maybe in effect it becomes overstimulated and reactionary to what is happening to the c-spine. Its right up there with some drs suggesting MS, dystonia or an autoimmune disease to me when my tmj first started as the commonality of some neurological condtions involves the loss or deterioration of myelin found on nerves that run through the brain stem as well.

So while I can not answer your question with any certainty I myself would not be surprised if there is a realtionship there - and certainly don't think you are insane for considering or asking about it either. Sometimes I think anyone with tmj must be a little insane though - no "sane" person would be able to tolerate what we do.:eek:

StillHope 06-03-2009 04:07 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I don't know much about the stomach disorders which you mention. I can only tell that just about 3 weeks after my back crowns were removed and my VDO lowered I started having the stomach problems. Back then I was not even on blended food as I am now for about 5 years. Surely enough my digestion is getting worse. I also have difficulty swallowing, constant burping which I never had in my entire life until tmj started and often discomfort even from the healthiest foods.

I have no doubts that the stomach functions are related to tmj!
I saw interesting anatomical pictures in my osteo's office. It shows how the tongue and the whole digestion system is basically hung on the hyoid bone which is strongly affected by the mandibula position, which in turn is strongly related to where the teeth are and how high.

So you are right that this coincidence was not by chance.
The problem is how to get out from the tmj nightmare??

Mitch5 06-03-2009 07:31 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
Thank you both for your responses!

Thelma L, you hit it when you talked about how there are other neurological conditions that seem to be misdiagnosed or closely related to TMJ such as MS and your C - Spine theory is very intriguing as well.

I just know that it cannot be a coincidence that my TMJ and stomach dysmotility came at the same time. It simply cannot be unrelated, I just wish I knew precisely what happened because the key to maybe helping both problems is finding out why this happened in the first place. I like your C spine theory, I think it fits. I am a bundle of muscle tension and dysfunction from the neck all the way down to the lower legs. I think this could easily affect you internally.

StillHope, do you suffer from nausea and bloating at all? I can get so bloated I feel like I am pregnant, I can hardly believe how bloated I get. Also, have you ever had a gastric emptying study to evaluate your emptying due to your digestive complaints? That's the other thing... doctors miss stomach motility disorders, especially in women, because many times they will claim anxiety or depression as a cause or they'll just go with chalking it up to GERD or doing an upper GI to rule out something obvious like a tumor. But it takes specialized testing to find out how the stomach is working and that is called a gastric emptying scan that nuclear medicine does where you eat a meal with a radioactive material and they watch the movement of the stomach, and even small and large intestine if you get the complete study. I am really wondering if more people with TMJ don't have motility issues in the stomach but they are misdiagnosed or thinking it is just GERD related?

Thelma-Louise 06-03-2009 08:28 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I bet a holistic dr or practioner could better answer your questions. My dentist has a chart in his office that lists each tooth and then across from the tooth what internal organ, what system (central nervous, neuromsucular, endocrin or lymph, etc) and muscles or muscle groups correspond to it as well as what vitamins,herbs and supplements affect them. Interestingly enough when I told him I had a bout of gout where my big toe hurt for more than 2 years - he asked if that was right after my braces had been removed - and it was - but he didn't seem surprised though.

The other issue you might want to consider is mastication - the ability or inability to chew food thoroughly as this helps with not only swallowing but digestion. The less masticated food is when swallowed the more work stomach acids need to do - if this continues over some time period it seems likely that our bodies would start to produce more stomach acids to get the job done - this in turn can be damaging and disruptive to our internal organs and other body systems.

StillHope 06-03-2009 08:50 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I saw these dental-organ charts too. I wish it would help dentists to understand the importance of the proper balanced bite but unfortunately, theory is one thing and practice, or their practice is another.

Yes, I do have nausea once in a while. I think it happens when my jaw "falls" too much to the back. Then I can't swallow, feel nauseous and feel choking. Bloating goes up and down. I think that if I'd be able to exercise actively this will be reduced. I believe it's because the body has to move and to chew.

No, I did not have any tests done on my stomach b/c I don't like taking inside any radioactive metals and also I am not going to take any pills if doctors will prescribe them for my stomach. I know that the cause of the problem is my wrong or absent bite. Until this will be fixed the rest is a cover up. So I 'll better just hang in there till my jaw will be fixed.

jingnui 06-18-2010 12:26 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I too am suffering from TMJ and stomach problems. They did come on around the same time but i thought they were from different causes. But now im starting to wonder. My stomach bloats tremendously and its always making noises now and im nauseous alot. I am just now dealing with the TMJ since for weeks i thought i had a terrible sinus infection. I have severe head pain, swollen face and continuous vertigo. I believe i was stressing so much that i was clenching and grinding my teeth and the worse the symptoms got, the more i would do this. Now that i understand what is going on im trying to relax, but im worried if i have caused irreparable damage? I cant fathom how i got this bad. But back to the stomach, there definitely seems to be a connection there. Wish i had more answers :(

Ivy80 06-25-2010 12:27 AM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
Hello Mitch! I don't have an answer for you but I just wanted to share that I've been suffering with the same symptoms if not more than what you're describing. The first doctor I saw thought my stomach problems was GERD and prescribed me meds like prilosec and pepcid which didn't help at all. Another doctor diagnosed my stomach problems as IBS. No testing was done to conclude any of this. Both could be misdiagnosed. The symptoms in the early stages were stomach problems, dizziness, nausea, headaches, difficulty swallowing, constant burping, anxiety, insomnia which all started at the same time (5yrs ago when I had a bad dental job done). The problems have gotten worse and the list of symptoms continue to grow. I'm also very bloated that I feel/look pregnant to the point that none of my old clothes fit me anymore and i have difficulty breathing. I agree that there is some of kind of connection between TMJ and stomach problems but none of the doctors I've seen have been helpful. The place I was going to didn't want to hear my problems as a whole but wanted me to make a separate appointment for each symptom.
I switched insurance this yr. I have some appts coming up I'll pose the question on them. I'll let you know if I get an answer.
Take care.

Lily Mae 07-22-2010 05:00 AM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I too am suffering from EXACTLY the same problems that you describe. It's sort of comforting knowing someone else knows how you're feeling. I have had this for about 5 years or more on and off. I seem to be at my worse at the moment. Stress definitely a contributing factor. Trying to be less anxious. I have had this for so long I do take comfort that it is nothing more sinister as it is so easy to think the worse. I have such a loving husband that has been so supportive through my worse times. I have now been referred to a neurologist as they think it could be nerve end problems. Good Luck x

bostonandparis 12-06-2010 08:46 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
hi. any news on the motiity issue because i got diagnosed with it also. bostonandparis

Another Sarah 12-18-2010 04:08 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
This is fascinating, as I have exactly the same problem. I suffer from delayed stomach emptying, particularly during a migraine (which causes nausea). But generally every day I suffer from pain in my upper abdomen, which has been investigated and no ulcers or inflammation found. This has coincided with the worst of my TMJ symptoms, ie since it became a real problem for me a couple of years ago. It's too much of a coincedence, isn't it?

angrysomoan 01-14-2011 12:00 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I am new to this board. I have had TMJ since I was 7 years old. I have been diagnosed with a sliding hiatal hernia. In the past year I have also developed LPR or Silent reflux. Not helped very much by ppi drugs.

I hope this helps, but I have come the conclusion that they are absolutely related.

Mind you, I am no doctor. I read a book about the esophagus that said if Dr's would just consider the longitudinal muscle, which most ignore, we could perhaps solve both problems.

I have been helped tremendously by taking Xanax and Prozac. Apparently a cck imbalance (a neuropeptide) can cause violent contractractions (just as when one vomits) in the long muscle of the esophagus. So, just as it can wreak havoc with your stomach (hiatal hernia, etc), it can and does pull down with equal force, affecting your jaw, ear, and all that the esophogas is connected to.

Xanax is aparrently a cck antagonist.

Search for Dr. O. Arthur Stiennon (deceased).

Tahoetonia 02-26-2011 09:37 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I had a four hour Gastric Empty Study done and still had the egg in my stomach at the end of the test. I had complications after Lap Nissen Fundoplication with Vagotomy and Pyloroplasty with a Gallbladder removal.
I basically have permanent nerve damage from so many vagus nerves being cut and I have had pains that drop me to my knees. I took Gabapentin/Neurontin for nerve pain. I took 1 of these and was dropping things because I could not feel my hands. I never took another one.

I suffer from bloating and nausea when I eat and sometimes I don't have to eat for this to happen. I don't leave the house without my Phenegran for the nausea. I also take Nortriptyline for stomach motility. I am not sure about the connection with the TMJ, but I will certainly check it out.

bostonandparis 02-27-2011 12:10 PM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
Hi: I have motility issues and digestive disorders but no tmj. for motility, the doctor wanted me to take dom peridone (sounds like the champagne) which could only be ordered from canada. when i looked it up, a side effect was lactation. so i told the doctor i didnt want to take that medicine because i am 62 years old and who wants to lactate at that age! i am going to see her again. i had a big surgery in june called a laparascopic sigmoid colectomy where 1/3 of my large intestine was removed--not sure if that was part of the cause or a result of the motility issue. i too had a stomach emptying test. but i just didn't want to take some drug that had bad side effects when i felt i was getting along ok as it is. so thats my story--but no tmj! bostonandparis

bimik 04-19-2011 01:48 AM

Re: Anyone have TMJ and Stomach Motility Disorders?
I also have tmj and LPR an dnwo for a month bloating after eating and indigestion. Did you guys do anything to get treated? How do you treat your tmj? Can tmj exercises solve the problems? thnx

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