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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

My Story
Dec 9, 2006
Hello all, I am new to these boards and it is very comforting to know that I am not the only one out there with these dreadful symptoms.

My story began about 3 months ago. I am 29 years old, male and weigh 155 lbs. I was in a very strenous RN program that was accelerated and highly competitive. I would go to school 8 hours a day and study for about 10 hours a night including the weekends. I never had time to unwind. One night after sitting in the same place for 12 hours straight I stood up and almost collapsed. My heart began to race and I thought I was having a heart attack. No matter what I did, I could not get myself to settle down. Luckily my girlfriend was there and she drove me to the ER. The doctor took a couple looks at me, took my BP, and told me I had basically a panic attack and I have anxiety. I have always been a very cautious person but I never had a panic attack or this level of anxiety in my life. The panic attacks stayed with me for a few weeks and my GP wanted to put me on Paxil. But I am the type of person that wants to do everything holistically. So I decided to take up yoga, relaxation techniques, and even accupuncture. All these things helped with relaxation and I am no longer having panic attacks.

But the one thing that has been lingering are my headaches and ear pressure. My ears always seem full and when the pressure subsides I am often left with tinnitus. My eyes have felt a lot of pressure and has also been bloodshot for this duration. I have had the ear pressure come and go for the last 3 years but nothing has lasted for more than 2 months. I went to my GP constantly and he reassured me nothing was wrong. I finally went to my ENT who prescribed Nasonex and a low tech ear equalizer called Otovent. I tried these things religiously with no avail. My ENT did a CT sinus on me and it showed up clear. She seems to think that I have a lingering sinus infection that is affecting my inner ear. But prior to my ailments I never had a cold, flu, or any type of sneezing or allergic symptoms and I still don't. I am beggining to think that I could have a tumor and my life could be ending. It is really terrible since I never do anything harmful to my body. I work out 5-6 times a week, eat very good, and I do not smoke or drink at all. So I really cannot figure it out. Here are my symptoms and maybe some of you can help me determine if I am a TMJ candidate.

- Symptoms start about an hour or so after waking
- I start out with ear pressure and a feeling of fullness in my head.
- I get dizzy from time to time
- Headaches ensue at least once a day but they aren't typically painful.
- I get back, neck and shoulder pain.
- My eyes hurt and are bloodshot..mostly my right eye (also my right ear gets more pressure than my left as well)
- When I talk or open my mouth I hear a popping sound in my ear. And the more I try to blow out my ears the more pressure just builds up.

Because of all this I am starting to get depressed and it is starting to unravel all the good things about my life. I have always been a happy person but this is slowly breaking me down. I haven't had any type of traumatic injury to my head or jaws that could have caused this. But the one thing that I think could have contributed is my teeth problems. I got my braces off when I was about 21 (8 years ago). Since then I wore my mouth guard (I have a mouthguard not retainers) sporatically. Then about 3 years ago I stopped wearing my mouth guard for approximately 12 months. Then I started wearing it again but my whole teeth configuration already shifted. Because of this my mouthguard is painful to use and it tries to bring back my old bite. My teeth also grind on top of one another as evidence by the little fractures on some of them.

So reasonably I can say that most of the cause of my headaches and pressure could be attributed to stress/tension in my neck/shoulders. But I think that my bite can be playing a part in this as well.

Sorry for such a long post but I feel that I needed to accurately describe my order of events so that some of you experienced guys and gals can help me out. Any info or support would be gladly appreciated. Thanks in advance :)
Re: My Story
Dec 10, 2006
Hi myk327, sorry to hear about your health problems. Tmj can often mimic other health conditions, and sometimes it's hard to know if the symptoms are coming from tmj or another area. Some symptoms that are more specific to tmj are jaw popping or deviation or deflection upon opening. You might want to look in a mirror to see if your mouth opens straight up and down or if it deviates to the side. However, even if you don't have those symptoms I think it is still possible to have jaw only pops once in a blue moon. The symptoms you listed could certainly be attributed to a tmj problem...I also had ear pressure, face pressure, neck problems and the like. The grinding of teeth is definitely associated with tmj problems, as is anxiety, although it can be difficult to tell whether the anxiety helped to cause tmj or if having tmj, which is difficult to diagnose and correct, causes anxiety. Perhaps the stress of school caused you to grind your teeth more, thus causing tmj problems to become apparent? I would find a tmj dentist in your area and schedule an exam. In my experience, general dentists are pretty clueless about diagnosing and treating jaw problems. There is a list of good tmj doctors at the top of the threadlist, maybe you can find one in your area. Good luck!
Re: My Story
Dec 11, 2006

i can definitely relate to the head fullness and pain mine isn't a headache but a tingling sharp pain for a few seconds in the temple area ,i all so have bad neck and shoulder pain ear fullness popping of the jaw ,the pain has eased in the jaw since i have had my bite guard from the dentist .

I have had my bite guard for three weeks i am anxious person and have tied to keep positive i have took up yoga ,cut out coffee ,tried to avoid stress (hard to do with teenagers around ) so i was surprised when i took my bite guard back and my dentist showed me were i have been biting !!!!

I also know whee you are coming from with the brain tumor ,i have been told by my dentist and doctor that i have TMJ but i get upset somtimes and a little thought pops into my head that perhaps its something more sinister how can all this pain and all the vast list of symptoms be from my jaw !!,so thank you for sharing that thought am glad I'm not the only one

this board is great there are so many knowledgeable people so if you need any info just shout as someone will be able to help
wishing you all the best

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