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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hello, I'm a 19 year old female, for a couple of years now I have had issues with my jaw which are on and off.
When it's at its worst: my jaw aches and feels stiff, it's uncomfortable to open my mouth, my cheeks hurt, it's in comfortable to swallow, crackling sound when I chew and I have ear ache. Last year the ear ache was so bad I went to my general Dr and he said my ears were clear and dismissed the joint pain etc, saying it was sinuses.
After some research I assumed TMJ and decided it wasn't serious and did some exercises for it sporadically and not consistently.
It has been okay for a while but recently have had a lot of jaw pain and stiffness and i've noticed my jaw is actually popping out at the joint slightly. Not like it is fully dislocating and I have to put it back it, but that when I fully open my jaw, the right side feels like it suddenly extends further than the left side because the joint has moved out of place a little. When I put my hands on my cheeks where the joint is, I can actually feel it pop out of the cheek at this side, but when I close my jaw it goes back in fine.
Is this normal? I'm not sure if this has just started happening or if I only just noticed, but it's likely I only just noticed this because I don't typically need to fully extend my jaw except to "exercise" the jaw to help with pain/stiffness. I am wondering whether this joint displacement is a result of TMJ or actually the cause of it? I'm not sure whether to see someone about it or do some exercises myself for it (more consistently!), or whether opening my jaw fully and allowing it to pop out is actually making it worse? If anyone has experienced this I would really appreciate some guidance. I'm in the UK.

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