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    Old 08-30-2003, 12:46 AM   #1
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    Question Newly diagnosed with TMJD

    Hi all,

    Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with TMJD by an ear specialist, and having just found this board I would love to ask some questions.

    The symptom which drove me to the doctor was noises in my ears, drumming, throbbing, some popping, I had it for about 10 days and was worried I was developing high blood pressure or going deaf (I'm in my thirties) and went to a general dr who looking at my ears could't see any problem so referred me to an ear,nose & throat specialist who I saw the same day. He did and endoscopy of my ears, showed me the inner ear was very swollen, and said I have TMJD, that my jaw was inflamed (I understood him to say my whole jaw). I have sensitivity in my jaw area, and under the ears, but most of all my ears were the problem which preoccupied me (especially since I've been having some teeth problems too recently so I put any jaw pain down to this). I was very surprised to learn the ear noises and feeling of fullness could be connected to my jaw although it was obvious it could be if I thought about it.

    Anyway, the doctor didn't explain that much, just that I have TMJD probably due to stress and bruxism, he prescribed a non steroid anti inflammatory, Naxodol, and hot compresses three times a day, plus starting to use a night guard. I trotted off to buy the Naxodol but then hesitated to use it as it seems to have so many possible side effects. I tried hot compresses but got unpleasantly wet as the towel dripped down my neck and went cold! I'm having the night guard made now and will get it fitted properly on Monday. In the interim I've been hoping I may stop grinding my teeth but so far I still have ear noises and jaw and neck tenderness/pains.

    Coming here I've realized TMJD isn't something to be taken lightly and does not normally seem to just go away as quickly as it came and I'm rather worried, reading of others' experiences with it here. I definitely have some questions, if anyone could bear with me.

    I know I have ground my teeth long term, dentists have been mentioning it forever. I've also had stressful periods in my life before. I think what triggered the TMJD starting for me now was a few months of dental disasters, i.e. a lower molar cracking which has caused me to bite on the right side of my mouth pretty much exclusively whilst I try to decide whether to have a root canal etc., then the height of a few of my right molars has changed (bad dentist refilling cavities), I'm trying to correct that now but my bite has been both irregular and I've only been biting on one side for several months, this combined with stress and the bruxism seems to have obviously caused jaw problems.

    Now I am wondering how hard it will be to cure them.

    I found a site re TMJD;

    This mentions that it can be caused by;

    'Muscle disorders
    Joint derangement disorders
    Degenerative joint disorders'

    what do you all think of this? Do you think I have a muscle disorder?

    Does anyone have an opinion on what the dr suggested I do? I still haven't taken the Naxodol, would something possibly a little milder like aspirin or Ibufron be as good? I generally try to avoid medication, but on the other hand maybe I should be taking it in order to do some damage control with the inflammation in my jaw/ear? I'm going to try to find a heating pad tomorrow, which will eliminate the water down my neck problem, and hopefully really will help. The night guard seems to be a plastic guard for the top teeth, with some acrylic on it which is moulded by the bottom teeth as they make it, the dentist told me the idea is to make the bite higher, thus tricking the jaw into not clenching so much so that when you stop using the guard (he told me to use it for 6 months) the jaw has modified previous biting behavior. Not sure I understand this. What anyway is the difference between a night guard and a splint?

    I'm trying hard to bite on both sides of my mouth now too. I very much want the noised in my ears to stop!

    I have also inexplicably been experiencing back pain, tiredness and achiness, plus a weirdly sprained wrist, I'm wondering now if all of this can be attributed to the TMJD. I'm taking stuff like extra EFA'S, Vit B and E, could this help?

    I'm terribly worried reading your comments on facial distortion, bone loss etc. I don't really understand this, how long do such things take to develop? Why the bone loss?

    I'd be so grateful for some information and feed back, re what courses I shouldtake now and the treatment suggested to me so far, and also re bone loss and so on. This does seem to be a rather horrible condition .


    [Edited to remove second website with links to advertising. The .gov site is OK. If not sure, please review websites (for pre-approval) with moderator1 as described in the guidelines before posting. Thanks.]

    [This message has been edited by Well-come (edited 08-30-2003).]

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    Old 08-30-2003, 01:24 AM   #2
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    Perhaps I should add, I'm intersted reading through some back posts to see that some even ask if ear problemsare connected to TMJD, since my ear problems are my primary symptom and it is via the ear endoscopy that the dr diagnosed me as having TMJD. I'm not getting headaches and not really more than minor facial sensitivity, I can open my mouth wide enough to put four fingers in the opening without pain so I guess that is fairly normal. Now I'm wondering why I shoiuld have the inner ear inflammation so badly when my jaw seems relatively not painful. Perhaps I have especially sensitive ears? The ear doctor said, as I understand it, that the ears are swollen (he may have said the middle ear and I could feel that it is as he touched the inside of one ear with the endoscopy instrument and it really hurt, whereas the outer part of the ear is painless) but they are not swollen because there is a problem with the ears but because the inflamed jaw joint is pressing on them. So, I extrapolate, if the jaw inflammation goes down then the ear will be ok and my hearing recover. Why doesn't this happen with those of you who have hearing issues, noises in the ears etc., is it very hard to reduce jaw inflammation?

    And again, what causes bone loss? I am wondering if I have it already.


    Old 08-30-2003, 03:21 AM   #3
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    Sorry, I'm carrying on a monologue here, but I'm up trying to read about this and to work out my own symptoms.

    I read the thread re vibration, caused by noise, driving in a car fast etc., and this really interests me. I am wondering if excessively loud noise (like music, or street/traffic noise), particularly perhaps experienced when a person is sleeping and likely to clench/grind jaw and teeth, could actually even cause TMJD? I'm remembering a time when I was about 20 and staying in Paris in an apartment on a noisy boulevard, the family in it always kept the windows, shutters and curtains closed, and one night when they went away I seized the opportunity to open all this (thinking it romantic) and then I went to sleep in the bedroom at the opposite side of the flat. When I woke my ears were like they are now, drumming, rumbling, vibrating ... but, it wore off duringthe day and didn't return. But if I had then had the uneven teeth issues I have now maybe it would not have gone away so easily.

    Also, now I'm wonderingif I've had TMJ for some time and my hearing being affected was just the latest symptom. Four years ago after a too high crown was fitted I was waking with bad jaw pain, the dentist said its ok it will wear off (I seem to have a knack for finding bad dentists!) and indeed it did, but since I've had achiness and pains in my neck, arm and shoulder, I attributed them to using the pc, but maybe they were also connected to this high crown. Then it took the bad dentistry of this year, perhaps to make the problem worse (because the achiness continued and I got bad back ache this year). I can trace the hearing issues to one night about a month ago when I went to bed very stressed, my back had begun to hurt that day, and then my neighbour played incredibly loud music when I was sleeping so that I drifted in and out of sleep hardly sleeping that night, and when I woke, the ear rumblings and throbbings were there, and since they haven't left. So, can loud noise precipitate TMJD?

    Also, I have been using earplugs for years, about seven years, the soft foam kind, because I never seem to have lived somewhere quiet long enough to sleep well without them, plus I have always had really good hearing but always been also really sensitive to noise and prone to tinnitus if stressed or hearing loud noise (this seems to run in my family). Now I am wondering if hte earplugs have helped in connection to the TMJ, or harmed my ears? Something which reduces noise, and disruption during sleep, and so teeth grinding etc. would perhaps be good for the jaw? But maybe earplugs damage the ear, and make it more susceptible to inflammation if TJMD is present in a person. I don't know now whether to keep using ht earplugs or not? It is very noisy where I live now, with the neighbours's music, and then there's an incredible amount of street noise. Any opinions?

    Sorry to write so much, I don't really have anyone to talk to about this and would really like to find some answers. Perhaps my ramblings could help someone else to find them too, I hope so!


    Old 08-30-2003, 08:39 AM   #4
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    Sorry I cant help you with your ear noises because I dont seem to have this problem but I am a ear,jaw,head,neck,shoulder pain sufferer. I too developed my TMJD because of bad dentistry(this is one of the issues that should be considered medical malpractice). I was diagnosed by both an ortho and an ENT. The ENT advised me to go to a sporting goods store and pick up a football mouth guard to wear at night. He also prescribed 800 MG Ibuprophen but I am not taking these because I have been almost a year now taking these and have been told I could develop ulcers. I am in search of something that will help the inflammation without giving me other health problems. My ENT gave me steroid injections but that has offered no relief. Something that you said though got me thinking, here recently I started to experience weakness in my left wrist which felt like a sprain. Coincidence? I wonder if this has been an issue for anyone else? Maybe someone else on the board can help you with your questions concerning bone lose, I would be interested in finding those answers too. Take care.

    Old 09-01-2003, 06:15 AM   #5
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    Hi Ohioan,

    Thanks for the reply, I'm so sorry to hear you had TMJ triggered by teeth problems too, I definitely agree it is malpractice if a dentist contributes to causing this. Re the wrist sprain, I suppose it makes sense if such an important part of the body of the jaw is out of syn that other bones and muscles will be affected, with me there was just no reason I could see that my wrist (well,really it was the bone going to the thumb so that I could barely pick things up for a couple of days or turn a door handle)should be strained, I hadn't done anything particularly different with it.

    I started to take the anti-inflammatory Naxodol yesterday, I so much didn't want to go this route but was starting to get pains in the back of my head and my neck was swollen, it seems important to reduce the inflammation. I didn't see any change yesterday but this evening I noted my ears feel better, less noise, and more tolerance of noise, so this is a relief. I also got a heating pad though I've yet to use it.

    Have you been able to correct the dentistry problems? And did you get the mouth guard and if so did it help? I really hope you can find a way to feel better and sypathize with what you've gone through so much.

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