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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ or ETD or Both?

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Old 05-22-2003, 07:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: PA, USA
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Miza03 HB User
Post TMJ or ETD or Both?

HI all
I too came here from the Ear Board. I have been suffering with a foggy headed disconnected feeling since March. I have been to GPs ENTs and my neurologist is booked until August 22. My symptoms started with a sinus infection. I was given antibiotics and sent on my way. After the initial infection cleared up, my main symptoms were this foggy headed disconnected feeling. Almost like my head was in a bubble. This bubble feeling has gotten much better, it is not constant anymore. Things were very much jumbled in my field of vision. Now I only experience this when I move around. It is almost as if my eyes cannot stay focused on one spot. Also, reading is a chore. I have pressure behind my eyes which causes me to squint. This leads to terrible tension headaches. Stores bother me and so does driving. I was told I probably have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction because my symptoms get worse when the weather changes and I get a clicking sound in my ears almost everyday. Sometimes the clicking causes a slight discomfort, but for the most part it is just a click. Swallowing helps as does sucking on candy or lollipops. Usually I feel better afer I have eaten, but only for a short time. I have no jaw pain. For as long as I remember, if I open my mouth too far my jaw clicks, but this is not painful either.
I feel like I am getting better, but very slowly. My insurance does not cover TMJ so I really don't want to go down that road if It is a remote possibility.
Does any of this sound like TMJ?
I am desperately hoping to feel human again!

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Old 05-22-2003, 07:49 AM   #2
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Hi there and welcome! Your symptoms are identical to what I've gone through minus the jaw problem. I was diagnosed with a muscle disorder in my face/jaw and disk displacement. I had surgery to correct the jaw joint and have been going through PT to help with the muscle issues. Immediately following this surgery and prior to a past surgery for the same problem, I had the dizziness and full feeling you are describing.

I also have the eye pain that becomes debilitating when left untreated. I was also told that I have Positional Vertigo which is a result from my jaw surgery..they punctured my ear drum on one side. They also feel that all of the swelling causes the disorientation and fullness as well. Along with these problems though, I have pain in my jaw, chewing is an effort and smiling causes pain as well.

SO, with all that being said, if you don't have jaw pain and can chew, smile, yawn etc..with no problems, then more than likely you have something focused on your ears as was previously diagnosed. The eye pain and sensitivity to light we've found can be controlled by a very low dose of valium upon onset of pain and advil or ibuprofen. It's a nerve/muscle spasm that torques your eyes and is difficult for docs to figure out why it occurs.

TMJ patients you'll see on this site, have a myriad of problems that are all inter-related and resulting from internal swelling or one system setting off another. The root problems though are some type of disruption with the bite, jaw, neck or muscles in that area. If you don't have these problems, focus on your current treatment plan and don't go down the TMJ road!
I hope this helps!
Take care and best wishes!

Old 05-22-2003, 09:37 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2003
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TC543 HB User


Hi! While I know TMJD can cause these symptoms I cannot tell you if you have a problem with your TMJ or not. Having said that, I too have popping when I open too far and also (usually) a click when I close. I am seeing a dentist (TMJD) for this who has found out through x-rays that I have lax ligaments and these ligaments are allowing the condyle to come out of joint (like dislocating or hyperextending) when I open all the way. It is possible that you are having the same thing happen. Whether or not you decide to seek treatment for TMJD, I urge you to try NOT to open your mouth this wide. Try to only open to the point BEFORE where your joint pops. It is possible that you do not have this problem, but if you don't have it checked out I would be cautious. It is possible to have your jaw get stuck open if you have too lax a ligament.

Good luck!

[This message has been edited by totallyconfused (edited 10-29-2003).]

Old 05-22-2003, 12:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 625

I would rule out other ear problems first because tmj is the great imposter it can be related but it maybe not.

Old 05-23-2003, 10:27 AM   #5
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Location: PA, USA
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Miza03 HB User

Thanks for all your advice
In my never ending quest to get well, I think I can convince myself that I have anything....
I could always crack my jaw and have a very small mouth. I probably have some TMJ related problems but I think most of mine are inner ear related.
The pressure in my head is driving me nuts. It is worse when the weather is changing, etc.
I hope you all feel well soon....
To everyone in the US Happy Memorial Day..........
It will be nice to have an extra day off work....

Old 05-23-2003, 03:13 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 80
MichaelV HB User


The poster who suggested clearing up the ear issues first is right. What did you ENT say (did he diagnose the ETD?) Anyway, you do sound as though you have an ear problem, particularly as it started after a sinus infection.
good luck

Old 05-23-2003, 06:57 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Plainsboro, New Jersey, USA
Posts: 55
quinnma HB User


From what I have been reading about TMJ, all of your symptoms can happen with TMJ. I have had all of your symptoms. I, too, began with a sinus infection in March. My CatScan and my exam with the ENT indicated the infection was gone, so my continued sinus/throat/ear pain was a mystery to him. However, I also have jaw pain, neck pain, and everything gets worse with talking and chewing.

There are lots of varieties of facial neuralgias, which I will explore with my neurologist, too. Sometimes a sinus infection can set off a neuralgia - something like over-excited nerve endings.

Sometimes I wonder if I simply have a bunch of different things going on at once - low-grade infection, inner ear problem, TMJ, anxiety.... I think the anxiety from the labyrinthitis may have set off the TMJ.

Good luck - this is a journey we are all on together.

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