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    Old 04-23-2004, 12:26 AM   #1
    Idgiebay
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    Question Is this all related to TMJ?

    Hello... new here, obviously. I have a few questions regarding some symptoms I'm having...

    First of all, I've had TMJ all my life (I think, anyway.. I still haven't yet had an official diagnosis). For as long as I can remember, I've always had restrictions as to how far I could open my mouth, and if I opened it any farther, my jaw would make a loud popping sound. Pain never has, and still has not, accompanied the popping sound.

    Two and a half years ago, I went to the orthodontist for braces. I told him about the popping in my jaw and he told me it was most likely TMJ, and my braces may make the symptoms worse. That's all he told me, however. He never checked me out, told me to see a specialist, or anything.

    Throughout the time I had my braces on, I'd experience sharp pains in my head. Not very often... but very randomly. I never worried, though, because the pain would go away in a matter of minutes. Toward the end of my time with braces on, however, the pains got worse. Sharp, shooting pains, usually in my left temple, but sometimes on the top or in the back of my head. One time, I went to the emergency room because I was sure I was having a stroke or an aneurysm... they said I was fine, though, and attributed the pain to a mere headache that was blown out of proportion due to my panic disorder, gave me some Valium, and sent me home with a prescription for Xanax.

    Since that time, I've had my braces removed and I've been seeing a therapist about my panic disorder. Things were going fine... I'd occasionally have a sharp pain in my head now and then, but I told myself I was all right and I'd live through it.

    Lately, though... the popping in my jaw has gotten a lot worse, and sometimes the muscles in my mouth begin to feel exhausted while I'm eating. Yesterday, I felt lightheaded after exercising, and later that night, I had a horrible, shooting pain in my left temple that lasted a few minutes. Afterward, I felt lightheaded again and, of course because of my paranoia, the first thing I thought of was "Aneurysm!" My mom assured me I was all right, but today, once more after exercising, I felt bad. It started as a dull tingle on the left side of my face. As soon as that went away, I had a series of sharp pains in the top region of my head. The pain has been present on and off throughout the day. Usually after the pain, I feel pressure in my forehead and sinus region. This pressure has been almost constant since the first bout pain after exercising today.

    I'm not sure if this is related at all, but I figured it was worth mentioning: since I've gotten my braces off, I've had a couple instances of some type of sleep paralysis. I'll be awake, feeling confused, and won't be able to move. I usually fall back to sleep, but it'll happen a few more times before I wake up fully. I had my braces removed around the same time I started taking Xanax for my panic disorder, however, so I'm not sure if this is a separate problem.

    Anyway... my goodness, sorry for being so long-winded... are these symptoms at all common among others with TMJ? Should I be looked at for other things? Possibly have a CT scan or MRI? Any advice or reassurance would be wonderful... I'm a rather paranoid person, but my pain is real.

    -Idgiebay

     
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    Old 04-23-2004, 02:04 AM   #2
    lori j
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Oh boy, I've had those what I call "brain pains" and never attributed them to my tmj. I had bad ones last saturday nite & low & behold, my tmj is all flared up this week. I always thought they were from stress, but you know what, I bet you are right, I bet they are from the tmj. I do grit my teeth & that would put pressure on the temple area. Do you have any other symptoms from the tmj? Gee, another person with panic/stress & tmj. We were talking on another thread how many of us with panic/stress/depression also have tmj!!

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 02:35 AM   #3
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Idgiebay,

    I'm wondering why the orthodontist told you that braces probably wouldn't help TMJ? I'm new to braces and my orthodontis noticed my TMJ right off and told me that braces would help it. Now I'm wondering. Either way, I still need to fix some crooked teeth, but I sure hope it helps my TMJ. I also get the pains in the temple area. In fact I've been getting them a lot lately. I press real hard where it is hurting and rub in a circular motion and it eventually goes away. Not sure if this is from grinding or not. I wear a flat plastic piece now since I have braces, so my teeth still may be giving me problems that I don't know about. That flat piece is not as secure as my splint was. You say you have sleep paralysis? Very weird. You should go and get that checked out. Do you still grind or do you wear a splint now? I don't think TMJ would cause sleep paralysis, but you never know.

    Chantel

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 03:00 AM   #4
    Idgiebay
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    lori j: I don't know if I have any other TMJ symptoms, because I haven't been officially diagnosed. I do get a lot of facial muscle fatigue, though, and occassional dizziness. It is weird though that so many people who have TMJ also have problems with panic and stress! Maybe the two are related somehow...

    Chantel2003: Well, it isn't that he told me that the braces wouldn't help... it's more like he said it's common that braces could worsen the symptoms. I guess it depends on how bad the TMJ is or maybe there are different kinds.

    I'm sure the sleep paralysis is something unrelated. I'll look up side affects of Xanax.. that might be causing it.

    As far as grinding my teeth... well, I've never ground them. I do think I sometimes clench them while I'm sleeping, though. I also bite down really hard when I'm nervous... I'm sure that doesn't help these sharp pains any.

    Thanks for replying guys, I really appreciate it.

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 03:32 AM   #5
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Idgiebay
    lori j: I don't know if I have any other TMJ symptoms, because I haven't been officially diagnosed. I do get a lot of facial muscle fatigue, though, and occassional dizziness. It is weird though that so many people who have TMJ also have problems with panic and stress! Maybe the two are related somehow...

    Chantel2003: Well, it isn't that he told me that the braces wouldn't help... it's more like he said it's common that braces could worsen the symptoms. I guess it depends on how bad the TMJ is or maybe there are different kinds.

    I'm sure the sleep paralysis is something unrelated. I'll look up side affects of Xanax.. that might be causing it.

    As far as grinding my teeth... well, I've never ground them. I do think I sometimes clench them while I'm sleeping, though. I also bite down really hard when I'm nervous... I'm sure that doesn't help these sharp pains any.

    Thanks for replying guys, I really appreciate it.
    That's exactly what I do, I don't grind my teeth in my sleep, but when I'm anxious or nervous or in pain, I grit my teeth during the day, plus I grind my jaw from side to side, another nervous habit.

    The sleep paralysis is something I've not heard of even as a side effect of xanax, but everyone is different, so it may be from that.

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 03:34 AM   #6
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chantel2003
    Idgiebay,

    I'm wondering why the orthodontist told you that braces probably wouldn't help TMJ? I'm new to braces and my orthodontis noticed my TMJ right off and told me that braces would help it. Now I'm wondering. Either way, I still need to fix some crooked teeth, but I sure hope it helps my TMJ. I also get the pains in the temple area. In fact I've been getting them a lot lately. I press real hard where it is hurting and rub in a circular motion and it eventually goes away. Not sure if this is from grinding or not. I wear a flat plastic piece now since I have braces, so my teeth still may be giving me problems that I don't know about. That flat piece is not as secure as my splint was. You say you have sleep paralysis? Very weird. You should go and get that checked out. Do you still grind or do you wear a splint now? I don't think TMJ would cause sleep paralysis, but you never know.

    Chantel
    Chantel, glad to hear that you also get that pain in the temple. I always think it's a stroke coming on! It's real sharp, comes out of nowhere & I do the same thing, rub the temple in a circular motion... too weird!!! Do you get more than one when they start? I do, I'll get one, it will go away & within seconds I get another one & I may get several til it finally goes away.

     
    Old 04-23-2004, 07:53 AM   #7
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    idgiebay,
    I don't know about the sleep paralysis, but the rest of it sounds all tmj related!

    I too have panic/anxiety to go along with tmj. I am a daytime clencher and a nighttime grinder. I do know when my anxiety is high I find myself with my jaw so tight together.

    I have also been to the er for an anyurism or stroke, had the hole ct scan, the dye injection scan and of course nothing. Now I know it was tmj. If I work out without my splint I would be in bed for 2 days. I think when you work out your teeth and jaw aren't stable like when the splint is in. I also tend to grit my teeth when I work out, see if you catch yourself doing that.

    I asked my dentist about braces and he said that at this point they would make things worse and that alot of times braces can cause tmj, so who knows, they all say something different.

    Try and get a diagnosis going so you can get into some kind of treatment for it, because if comes on you full tilt, it ain't goin away!

    Wish you luck,
    Karen

     
    Old 04-25-2004, 04:36 AM   #8
    Cymy Sue
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Idgiebay,

    I was told many years ago that the shooting pains up the side of your head and top of the head pain are the temporals spasming, as well as other muscles that the temporals affect.

    I was already diagnosed with TMJD, so I was relieved to know I wasn't having a stroke.

    Sharp shooting pains in your head should always be checked out. It could be caused from something else.

    Many times, ruling out other disorders, diseases, and problems is how we get diagnosed with TMJ dysfunction only.

    Facial muscle fatigue many times, is a symtom of TMJ problems.

    Most people with TMJ problems do experience some anxiety. I think everyone have some stress in there lives. Those of us with muscular problems (TMJD) don't fare very well with it. Most people respond to stress within the upper part of their bodies. Face, head, neck, shoulders, etc.

    Anxiety and panic are also very hard to deal with, along with TMJ problems and can definitely make them worse.

    I have been fortunate and not had to deal with either, except during a brief period with another health problem. It was long enough for me to know how terrible and debilitating it can be. I have done some research on these problems, as I have a dear friend who has suffered both most of her life and aslo seeing many with TMJ suffering these problems.

    In Dr. Wesley Shankland II's, Book about TMJ, he addresses panic/anxiety disorders and their affect on TMJ patients. Needless to say, we need to get these problems under control. They very much hinder any progress we might make with therapies for TMJD. (I know, easier said than done)

    He also says that it's very common to experience panic attacks while sleeping. Waking up feeling paralyzed, unable to breath, sweating, feeling you're going to die, etc.

    Ouote:
    "The intensity and frequency of the attacks appear to be directly related to stress and to the severity of the TMJ symptoms."

    He says first, to consult a physician for reassurance that you are physically healthy, having TMJ problems only.
    He speaks of medications for anxiety and panic being helpful for most people and psychotherapy if the problem is severe.

    Quote:
    "Be very assured that very often when your TMJ symptoms are reduced, your panic and anxiety may be reduced in frequency and intensity."

    It appears that some of us may be suseptable to anxiety for many different reasons. An illness or disorder such as TMJD can & does make it worse.

    Getting all of these problems under control or at least to a tolerable level is not an easy task. Keep trying. Don't give up.
    There is hope and help.

    Cymy Sue

    Last edited by Cymy Sue; 04-25-2004 at 04:38 AM.

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 08:03 PM   #9
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Lori

    Yep, sometimes I get a few at a time. Like a cluster of them. I just sit there and rub till they go away, lol. I'm not sure if it's from grinding or what. I'm sure it may have something to do with it. If we are all getting it, I'm sure that's what it is. These braces are really kicking my butt. I had them when I was young, but I can't remember all this pain I am going through now. I guess it's because I am older. I just started eating harder food and it's been over a month since I've had them. I've also been getting a lot of ulcers in my mouth from them. Sheesh! Then, my braces rub the ulcer! LOL I need some more wax. My husband teases me and says he's going to go get his gun and shoot me like an old horse cause I always have something wrong, lol. Anyway, how have things been for you lately? I'm dieting and I've already lost 5 pounds!

    Chantel

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 08:09 PM   #10
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Cymy sue,

    Very interesting. Thanks for the info

     
    Old 04-26-2004, 08:13 PM   #11
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Chantel,
    Hey 2 more things we have in common, I have mouth ulcers from this rubber splint and I also have been on a diet! YUCK about the braces. I think my husband would like to join yours. He was so disgusted this weekend, I bought some denture paste to put around my splint so the splint wouldn't rub the ulcers..heheheh, then I rub down my face and neck with Flexall, and he says I smell like the old lady who always sits behind us in church. Oh well, I reminded him at least right now my panic is under control!
    Karen

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 01:39 AM   #12
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Angel,

    LOLOL!! You made me laugh with that post! I swear, husbands can be too funny. LOL about the old lady that sits behind you that was hilarious. I needed a good laugh.

    I have a question........would I be able to put the denture paste on my braces? I hate that darn wax. It makes my mouth look like I got punched or something, lol. Then my whole family teases me. When I first got my braces.........my daughter says......."hey mom, did you notice the TV was a lot clearer when you stand by it?" So, I look at the TV and say, "NO, why?" Then I realise she is saying that because of my braces!!! LOL How funny kids can be too.

    By the way, how are you doing on your diet? What kind of diet are you on?

    Chantel

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 07:27 AM   #13
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Chantel,
    Hey, at least we can laugh at ourselves! About the denture paste, I have never had braces so I don't know, but it worked great on my splint. I slathered the all the edges of it and it stayed on there til I wiped it out ( another disgusting picture) I bought Benzdent paste. It did make me look like I had a boxing mouth piece in though hehehe nobody understands how at this point you'll do ANYTHING for comfort!

    As far as the diet goes, I got off Celexa last year. Although it helped with daytime anxiety, I had put on 25 pounds while on it. I was desperate to get it off so I started with the oatmeal diet, eating oatmeal for dinner for 30 days and then for the last 11 months I have just really watched what I eat and I only drink water. I have lost almost 60 pounds though and it is too much. Once I got off the Celexa it was like weight just fell off. Now, of course, I have lost 10 pounds from this extreme tmj flare up. Just when I was able to eat something a little more than applesauce, these dang ulcers started so I was back to liquid, it's never-ending with me, I'll tell ya!
    what diet are you doing? I wish you luck with it!!!
    Karen

     
    Old 04-27-2004, 08:56 PM   #14
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Karen

    Wow! 60 pounds is wonderful!! I need to lose a lot too and I've never gone that far. The most I've ever lost was about 40. I'm doing the diet pills cause I've been on every diet you can imagine and it seems like I just don't have enough will power. I crave really, really bad around my menstral cycles too. I just cannot control my cravings around that time. So, it's the diet pills for me for now. I think, when I really set my mind to it, and with these pills, I can do it. Last year, I was real serious about losing, and I lost 30 pounds. This was right before my first panic attack. Of course, I had to get off the diet pills because they didn't know what was going on at the time and it messed me all up But, I'm back on the diet wagon again and determined to really do it this time. Good luck to you too. I love oatmeal Do you use a sweetner in it?

    Chantel

     
    Old 04-28-2004, 07:57 AM   #15
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    Re: Is this all related to TMJ?

    Chantel.
    Thanks for the congrats, I have tried really hard, but I also know that getting off the Celexa did it. I had only wanted to loose the 25 I had put on from taking it, 60 is a bit much, I think I actually look kind of sickly now, but I don't want to gain any back, you know? I always was a thin person, but with the anit-depressant I have tried over the last few years I just kept putting on weight. Anyway, I would rather be sickly looking I guess..... I hope you are ok taking diet pills with anxiety/panic! You be careful!!

    About the oatmeal thing, it was a great way to get started because if you eat 2 cups of uncooked oatmeal, when it is cooked it is a HUGE amount. There is no way you can be hungry. I did use sugar sometimes, but I usually used applesauce to sweeten it.
    But after eating it for 60 days I was starting to get the dry heaves trying to swallow it....hahahaha! Good luck with your diet I will root for ya....
    Karen

     
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