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    Old 11-27-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
    annea
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    tmj and ear ache

    This is my second post in 2 days. I was hoping someone might have had some experience with my symptoms and how to alleviate them.
    I have an MR1 which says right disc fails to recapture: there is medial displacement of the meniscus and the meniscus is very thin and worn.
    I have an earache on the right side nearly all the time. I have tried two flat plane splints which just give me an earache on the left side as well. The right side feels a bit better with splint in, mainlydue to having pain in the left.
    I have been having this problem on and off for many, many years.
    Does anyone out there have any answers or experience of this. ? The ear ache, which has no ear pathology (I've had all that tested) is enough to drive me insane. I realize most of you people are in the U.S. but the U.S. seems to be far in advance of most other countries in this field, so I'd really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

     
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    Old 11-30-2011, 06:23 PM   #2
    Shirlett
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Annea,

    I really do not know what to offer that can help. 20 years ago I went again and again to my doctor complaining of ear aches, I thought I was getting them from the pool and swimming too much (I live in Florida) and he never could find any ear problems other than some slight swelling in the ear cannel. I even began to wear ear plugs in the shower along with the pool. The ear ache progressed to facial swelling and then slurred speach. THEN my isurance company decided "I had a problem" and allowed me to get an MRI. The doctor that did the MRI was the first person I ever heard utter the word TMJ. Have you been seen by an Oral Surgeon? The only suggestion I can make to you is try switching off using heat then ice, try not to chew and train yourself to place the tip of your tounge on the roof of your mouth to give the joints a rest. I hope you get some answers and relief soon!
    Take Care!
    Shirlett

     
    Old 12-01-2011, 02:03 AM   #3
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Hi Shirlett. Thanks for your reply. Did you also wear mouth splints? Did your MRI show any damage to the disks or joints or cartilage. I'd really appreciate your reply. Many thanks, Annea

     
    Old 12-01-2011, 06:23 PM   #4
    Shirlett
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Annea,

    Surgery WAS my last option. I found out I had TMJ via MRI then began with splint therapy 23 hours a day, soft food diet, ect. My "first" TMJ surgery was a rib graft reconstruction, I was not comfortable with any "objects" being put into my body at that time so we try to use my own ribs to reconstruct my left and right jaws. I have been walking the TMJ road for a long time. I will be glad as I am sure others will be on this site to give you support and try and help you deal with TMJ. You do have this site to help you, you are not alone.
    Take Care!
    Shirlett

     
    Old 12-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by annea View Post
    This is my second post in 2 days. I was hoping someone might have had some experience with my symptoms and how to alleviate them.
    I have an MR1 which says right disc fails to recapture: there is medial displacement of the meniscus and the meniscus is very thin and worn.
    I have an earache on the right side nearly all the time. I have tried two flat plane splints which just give me an earache on the left side as well. The right side feels a bit better with splint in, mainlydue to having pain in the left.
    I have been having this problem on and off for many, many years.
    Does anyone out there have any answers or experience of this. ? The ear ache, which has no ear pathology (I've had all that tested) is enough to drive me insane. I realize most of you people are in the U.S. but the U.S. seems to be far in advance of most other countries in this field, so I'd really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.
    Hi Annea,

    I discovered my TMJ due to ear problems I had. First I started with a stuffy ear, which didn't pop for over a year, then the severe ear pain set in. It felt like I had a bad ear infection but my PCP, ENT and Audiologist couldn't find anything wrong. I actually figured out the TMJ thing on my own and had it confimed through MRI, 3D CT and other tests through my TMJ dental specialist. I've posted many times on this board about my journey.

    The earaches were mostly caused by muscles constantly spasming around my ear due to the tmj.

    I had a flat plain splint for years due to bruxism. I found out from my TMJ dentist that the flat plane splint actually put my jaw in a position that was pushed back into my ear. There is a high liklihood that it actually contributed to my TMJ. When my current TMJ dentist put me in a lower mandibular repositioning splint, I eventually found relief. I've been in that splint for 16 months now. It took many months for my ear symptoms so subside, but the repositiong splint actually worked much better in positioning my jaw and worked well for me.

    In addition to the splint therapy, I incorporated other approaches recommended by my dentist in my treatment as well:

    1. I found a physical therapist trained to work with tmj, cervicalgia and myofacial pain. For the TMJ, she did orofacial trigger point releases. These really really hurt, but they help loosen those knots in the facial muscles. With my tmj, I also ended up with some major tenseness in my neck as well that the therapist worked on since treating both at the same time was important. The therapist also gave me facial and neck exercises.

    2. I changed up my diet. It is important to eat anti-inflammatory foods in order to help the body heal.

    3. I worked with my chiropractor on my neck alignment as well since having your tmj out of whack also throws the neck off.

    I found a really great book that explains all of these avenues really well and shows you things you can do on your own to help. It is called The TMJ Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Headaches, Neck Pain and Jaw Disorders (Positive Options for Health) by Cynthia Peterson, PT. It doesn't cost much but provides clear information on TMJ and therapy and lifestyle options that anyone can understand and try. There are also great pictures that go along with it to help you understand that is being described. I have found it on-line. I highly recommend that you try it as you seek options to help with your pain.

    I'm now in Phase II TMJ treatment and rarely have any ear pain. The treatments really can work.

    Keep the faith.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

    MountainReader
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    Asthma, Allergies, Dry Eye, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Ankle ligament repair, arthritis, Joint Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

     
    Old 12-01-2011, 11:15 PM   #6
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Thank you so much Shirlett for replying. I basically feel I am going insane with the ear pain and heightened sensitivity to sound. You are lucky in the U.S. that there seems to be a lot more work being done on TMJ. Here options are far more limited. Has your TMJ problem resolved now?

     
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    Old 12-01-2011, 11:31 PM   #7
    annea
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Dear MountainReader,
    Thank you so much for replying. Yes, I've read about repositioning splints, especially for discs that fail to recapture. I asked the last dentist I went to about them and he just shrugged it off. I actually read Cynthia Peterson's book. It's very hard in Australia: TMJ help is much harder to come by. Please do share anything else with me on this subject,because this ear pain is terribly hard to bear. Regards, ANNEA

     
    Old 12-01-2011, 11:35 PM   #8
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Hi Mountain Reader, Thank you so much for replying. I just posted a quick reply but it seems to have disappeared. Yes, I did read about repositioning splints, but got a very negative response from last dentist I saw. Please give me any more information, etc, you have. Many thanks, Annea

     
    Old 12-28-2011, 10:01 PM   #9
    Shirlett
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Annea,

    I can say YES for now I am pain and medication free from the first time in over 19 years. I currently have my third set of TMJ Concepts in without the left Fossa which was removed in January 2011. I had lost bone so there was only one of four screws holding the Fossa implant in my face and the implant was spinning around and around so it made a great deal of scar tissue in there. Once the unscrewed Fossa was removed what little pain I had was gone. It has now been over two months since I last took pain medication and I have never felt so FREE! It has been a VERY long and painful road to get where I am now and I never really thought I would ever be pain free again in this life. I have had 15 surgeries in the last 19 years and 3 sets of TMJ Concepts, so it has been really, really hard but I have a very loving husband along with 4 wonderful children, my parents and 2 sisters to stand and walk this road with me. Since I have broke 2 sets of implants in the past I know how fast this can all change. The first set all I was performing open and close exercises and there was a loud pop, so loud my husband heard it and asked what I did and pain shot across my face and I hit the ground, within 15 mins I could not even open my mouth due to the swelling, so I enjoy every day knowing that at any time I could break the implant(s) and be right back to peg 1. So if there is something I want to do, I go do it. Last season we (my kids and college roomate) went to Six Flags 11 times and rode every ride EXCEPT the wooden roller coaster, I just do not know about that ride and I after all I have been through, I do not want to knock my implants around! HAHA...so, Never give up hope! It is what it is and do not try and fight it, find a way to beat it. NEVER give in to TMJ. Have you tried to apply to any of the teaching hospitals in the USA, to see if they would take you on? I am treated at Shands of Gainesville, Florida and I sign a wavier everytime I go so the interns can examine me and so far every surgery at Shands has been watched by students and up to 6 interns in the OR, so almost ALL of my bill is written off, for example, the surgery for the third set of TMJ Concepts was around $144,000.00, total and I had to pay $8.10, yes, that is eight dollars and ten cents. They pay for my hotel room and I have in the past been paid for the gas to come to Shands and return home, it is a 6 hours trip one way for me. There are many "Teaching Hospitals" in the USA, maybe you could apply to them for a grant for treatment and they could help you with your travel and treatment cost. Just a thought. I hope you get some answers!
    Take Care!
    Shirlett

     
    Old 12-30-2011, 03:43 AM   #10
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    Hi Shirlett, Thanks for your message. Did you see my post on"TMJ and hyperacusis"?
    Hyperacusis is intense oversensitivity to sound which is what I have. Did you have that when you were bad with your TMJ? I'm glad that you're out of pain. Unfortunately I live in Australia so I couldn't travel to the U.S. All those surgeries sound horrific, but if the final result is good, that's great.

     
    Old 01-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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    Re: tmj and ear ache

    I have a TMJ earache frequently. Ibuprofen helps with the pain. I find that if I drop my lower jaw ... consciously let it "hang there" the sharpness is alleviated. Good luck.

     
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