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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Soundsensitive, I'm surprised reading your posts, because you have very similar symptoms to mine, only my TMJ symptoms explicitely began in an obvious way after I developed maloclusion after work done by a bad dentist last year.

But, for a few years (I know I have ground and clenched my teeth for a few years so maybe this is the cause) I have experienced dizziness from time to time, for unknown causes, my doctor didn't really take it seriously and thought it was low blood pressure (all blood pressure tests I have had done though were perfect) caused by anxiety, fatigue, it never lasted too long or occurred very often, and was helped by sleep and rest so I just accepted it really. Then, I travelled from the UK to Santiago and fell apart after the long flight, I was dizzy for ages, it took me a long time to get over that. I put it down to jet lag, and stress. I did not have ear problems then however. Last year, I had some bad dental work in January, and then developed a series of symptoms, achiness in shoulders and arm, particularly right arm (I am right handed), and a funny tiredness in my jaw occasionally. In around last July I got back pain in my lower spine as if it could not hold me up and I could not bend well, which lasted for a week and was quite frightening and then inexplicable. This back pain came just after exposure to very loud noise (music), a couple of nights before which had been so loud Irmember thinking it could surely be harmful, plus I slept badly hearing it and and ground my teeth in my sleep. Then, immediately after the back pain, I developed a sprained feeling in my right wrist and along the top of my thumb, and at the same time suddenly got a roaring in my ears which would not stop. This ear noise lasted without stopping for about six weeks. An ENT did an ultrasound of my ears and said the inner ears were inflamed, but the cause of the inflammation was not in the ears but coming from the jaw joint inflammation (I don't know how he knew that but I do believe he was right), and that I had TMJD. I went on to try a splint which unfortunately did not work, now I am working on helping my bite.

I believe my symptoms are caused by factors which reached a stage where they all fed into each other and produced a concatention of eventually unignorable negative symptoms; ie. stress (causing tension, muscle tightness, muscle spasms, back pain,teeth grinding, ear inflammation, tinnitus, facial and head pains), TMJ (causing malocclusion, accentuating teeth grinding, ear pain and tinnitus, head pain and all of the rest of the previous), using the pc a lot, having bad posture, being exposed to loud noise - all of these things have, due to short term exposure (like the noise) or long term exposure like the malocclusion and stress, created bit by bit, as they built up and more negative factors were added, what is wrong for me now. I think if I had not been both stressed and exposed to that loud noise that my acute and severe tinnitus period may not have begun or may not have begun at that point, or may not have been so bad, although I believe the TMJD could not have been avoided unless I had immediately corrected my occlusion after it became bad, which I did not, not realizing how significant this would be.

Now, since then, I clearly feel how my exposure to noise affects me, my maxillo facial surgeon (I have not had surgery and will not, but he helped to diagnose what is happening to me) 'just' noise can make the tiny bones in the ear move, which can cause them to bother the tm joint, this in turn can cause pain in the face, head, neck (the SCM muscles in the neck cause pain on the other side of the head) and teeth, and affect hearing, and and even cause dizziness to the point of passing out also (once recently when cleaning and using my right arm repetitively, I suddenly got very dizzy, and pain started on the left side of my head, around the eye and temple and then my left ear suddenly started to make a high pitched buzzing, it was scary but since I have read all of this can explicitely be caused by the SCM muscle being overstrained - the buzzing stopped after a few days), shoulders, spine and so on. Vibration, like the vibration from being in a bumpy car, has a similar effect. Changing altitude and car vibration causes pressure in the ears and also tight spasms make the inner ear move and creates fullness, pressue and fluid build up in the inner ears (when the ears are not infected or in themselves causing this, TMJD can cause symptoms in the ears exactly like those caused by infection in the ears). Cervical (neck) tension (which I get in a car or anywhere there is loud noise) can cause I realized tinnitus, fluid build up and pressure in the ears (almost like a little ballon moving inside the ear and sometimes leaking of fluid from the ear). Noise and vibration for me can lead to pain across my temple area, tight pain across the top of my mouth (upper jaw) and teeth pain ,when my teeth are fine. All of this pain stems from tension and muscle spasms caused by the vibration.

I now most of the time have normal hearing, but can be very sensitive to voices, particularly loud, base voices. On the whole however now, if I am quiet and rested, my ears are fine, and the source of their problems is not in the ears, but in my tight muscles and jaw joint inflammation.

I feel I am writing/thinking in circles (!) but hope something of this could be of help. For a long time I resisted the idea that my problems could be helped by more than an approach aimed at correcting my occlusion, but now I think that even if I have suddenly perfect dental occlusion I still would have muscle spasms affecting my ears etc., at least for a while, and it is hard to to attain a good relaxed bite without also trying to relax the muscles via some form of therapy as the jaw will not relax for anyone to know where it ideally should be (seemingly part of why making a correct splint is so difficult). Most believe using the kind of splint you described makes things worse, for it is much too big and too stressful to the jaw, even if you can mould it to an extent to fit.

Yawning does affect my ears, I think because the jaw joint moves and puts different pressures or lack of pressure on the ears only a couple of mm away (this is my very scientific explanation!) I do know experiencing what you describe with yawning if one has TMJ or any form of tinnitus is very common. I don't know why your dizziness would mostly happen in the evneing, maybe because your body has become more 'tightened up' during the day when you have been moving about and awake?

Seeing a chiropractor could possibly really help you also if you have had back pain for some time, back pain could even be causing every other symptom you have. Perhaps a chiropractor or similar could try physical therapy addressing what they see in you and your symptoms as you describe them, it would be wonderful it that could help. It could also maybe help you if you get a book by Dr R. Uupgaard called 'Taking control of TMJ', which contains a lot of generally helpful info, even if you do not have TMJ, about helping yourself with muscle/fascia tightness.

I am struggling with changing, disparate symptoms also, I have been trying to read about all of this for quite a few months now, and still feel I am only touching the surface in a very general way and know very little. It does trouble me that doctors often do not give comprehensive information, if they know anything, thank goodness the internet does exist nowadays at least! I am impressed by your accurate recording of your symptoms and the research you are doing, and I really hope you find answers and relief very soon!

hugs, Isobel

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