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  • TMJ, salivary gland problem, or other...I'm not getting any answers from the docs.

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    Old 10-31-2006, 02:56 PM   #1
    wonderingtoo
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    TMJ, salivary gland problem, or other...I'm not getting any answers from the docs.

    I've been to my doctor about this twice, and my dentist 3 times. My doctor didn't seem to think I have TMJ because I don't have the popping or clicking in my jaw. My dentist also was reluctant to label it TMJ for the same reason. But neither one seemed concerned, or frankly to care at all. My doctor did refer me to an ENT, who did a quick exam and said my symptoms are seen a lot in people with anxiety. He didn't order me any tests to find the cause. My dentist finally had a splint made for me after my third visit because I told him I wake up in the night with my teeth clinched.

    Here are my symptoms:

    Jaw and face pain
    jaw and neck on affected side feel swollen all the time, but appear normal.
    small rubbery lump on my jaw right behind my lower back tooth
    ear on affected side congested on and off and sometimes aches
    eustachian tube on affected side sometimes hurts to the touch
    my face feels like it's sagging on affected side, but again doesn't look it.
    sometimes my upper teeth on affected side ache into my sinus'
    sometimes my tongue feels swollen of affected side
    sometimes there is a burning feeling in my mouth.
    Today it feels like my salivary gland is irritated under the very back of my tongue on affected side.
    All the symptoms seem to improve for a couple of hours when I take ibuprofen, but come right back.
    rubbery lump on muscle where upper and lower jaw connect

    Again, I have no popping. I had a jaw x-ray which showed the joint space is intact, no bony disturbance is seen on either side, but there is slightly decreased excursion on affected side.

    Would an x-ray show if there was a tumor on my jaw or a salivary gland issue?

    Thanks so much for any reply. I'm really depressed about this as I'm in a lot of pain, have two kids to take care of, and we are going on vacation soon and I want to have fun but am afraid I'll be in pain the whole time.

     
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    Old 11-03-2006, 09:08 AM   #2
    kitkat77
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    Re: TMJ, salivary gland problem, or other...I'm not getting any answers from the docs.

    I've suffered from the same pains you describe and yes I do have anxiety. The problems for me occur during the night when I clench and grind my teeth, then I have all these symptoms during the day because of the resulting inflammation. Use your mouth guard -- it will help tremendously if your problem is due to clenching and grinding.

    Incidentally, I know someone who really does have TMJ (and a bad case too), and all they've done for her is given her a special mouth guard to wear during the day, another one for the night, and massages and exercises for her jaw. After all is said and done she claims the best treatment was the night guard.

    Wear your guard religiously, take the ibuprophen and try not to think about it. Good luck!

     
    Old 11-04-2006, 03:22 PM   #3
    CTmom
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    Re: TMJ, salivary gland problem, or other...I'm not getting any answers from the docs.

    Wow! I've had almost exactly the same symptoms for a year-and-a-half now. Only difference is I don't have a lump under my jaw, but the source of my pain seems to be behind and beneath by back lower molar (wisdom teeth are gone). I've been through everything - endodontists, ENTs, dentists, oral surgeons, neurologists.... and nothing has helped. Yes, an x-ray will rule out a tumor and is worth doing just for peace of mind. It may also show a salivary stone. However, mine did not and I ended up having a salivary gland removed anyway because of my symptoms and because not all stones show up on x-rays. Didn't change my symptoms at all. You're lucky that ibuprofen helps somewhat - it never did anything for me. I have no symptoms at night but they gradually get worse during the day. Like you, I'm young with three children and have a full life and am frustrated by this day-to-day pain.

    I've kind of been left with the thoughts that this may be an undiagnosed crack tooth that is wreaking havoc with the nerves in my jaw, or some type of TMJ that affects the muscles and therefore the nerves of the lower jaw. Can't seem to find any doctors that specialize in this type of pain and am tired of paying money just to get sent from doctor to doctor. I've decided to take a break and just live with it for awhile.

    Please let me know if you ever get a diagnosis or if you find anything that helps. It's been suggested anxiety may be my problem too, but I don't buy that as I've never had a problem with anxiety before and it seems to be what doctors blame it on when they can't figure something out. It's good to know I'm not the only one with these crazy symptoms.

     
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