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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

I have all these sypmtoms and I am finding it hard to find a doctor who believes or will know who to write a convincing letter describing why the combination of ALL of these VERY negative symptoms are very disabling. Especially those periods of dizziness and brain fog where your ear goes whako. A lot has to do with the trigeminal nerve...

There is medical lit. that illustrates the negative effect of jaw dysfunction on cervical musculature. One study at University of California, San Francisco, showed that anesthetizing the temporomandibular joint caused head and neck pain in various locations to resolve, even on the other side of the body.

The neurology of the trigeminal nerve will likewise explain the close causal connection between jaw alignment and neck pain. The trigeminal nerve is extensively integrated with cervical nerves, both motor and sensory components. Pain fibers from C1-C3 mix with trigeminal nerve pain fibers in the brain stem, causing pain in one to effect the other. Typically, in TMJ Dysfunction the upper cervical is unstable leading to chronic neck pain. Biomechanically, as the mandible retrudes (typical primary pathology in TMJ Syndrome), the head comes forward causing an increase load on the neck musculature.

The trigeminal nerve has also been shown to have the ability to modulate all spinal sensory input into the brain. Hence, it can make one feel pain when there is only slight dysfunction. Through its ability to affect Substance P (neurotransmitter for pain) levels in the body, the trigeminal nerve can hypersensitive pain fibers within the neck and elsewhere.

As for the EARS thats even MORE complicated (believe it or not)
The trigeminal nerve affects the ear primarily in three ways:
1. Trigeminal nerve enervates the tensor veli palitini muscle which opens and closes the Eustachian tube. Hypertonicity within the trigeminal nerve can lead to dysfunction of the muscle, causing ear infections, plugged ears, or difficulty clearing ears with change in altitude.
2. Trigeminal nerve enervates the tensor tympani muscle within the ear. Dysfunction of this muscle will lead to hyperacousis (avoidance of loud noises) and loss of hearing.
3. Trigeminal nerve influences mucous secretions within the internal and external auditory meatus. This can lead to a higher propensity for mucous build up. Two studies of which I am aware demonstrate that jaw alignment therapy was approximately 85% effective at stopping otitis media (middle ear infection). Excess ear wax is a frequent with jaw dysfunction.

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