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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board

TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Board Index

Hi everyone,

I know it's lengthy, but I really hope you all read...

Almost a month ago from now, I noticed myself clenching at night. I would consciously place my tongue in between my mouth, and would wake up from biting down on it. And the since then, it all went a little like this...

- 3 localized dull pain/headache near base of skull along with neck soreness just below, which I chalked up to a new firm pillow I bought.
- On the day of 3rd headache, I got intense pressure on my left ear, and left side of jaw, with slight eye pressure, left side.
- The next day, both sides hurt, facial pressure, and again, ear pressure.
- Following day, only my right side hurt, along with jaw, face pressure of right, and INTENSE pain on lower teeth.
- Went to the Doctor, gave me antibiotics for sinus infection. No ear infection, UTI negative, throat culture came back for Staph. a. no symptoms.
- Things got better for a week or so, but ear pressure, and jaw pain was still there.
- Redid throat culture. No Staph A. Mentioned jaw discomfort and ear pressure, rechecked ears, no infection. Told me it was "arthritis"
- Sometime the same week, the pressure settled on just the left side for 2/3 days, teeth and all. Around this time, my back started to hurt, shoulder pain, on and off chest pain for a day, which I thought was from my shoulder pain, mostly left, alllll the way down to my butt cheeck, felt like sciatica.
- 5 days ago, I started having a twitching feeling on the left side of my head, above my left ear. Just a few seconds, a few days during the day.
- The next day, started having a tingling sensation on the left side of my scalp. No pain. On and off.
- At one point, i felt a sudden, sharp pain in my left ear. Hasn't happened since.

Since then it has been downward spiral EXTREME. I thought it couldn't get any worse. I was at school, and my right jaw/face/side of head (temp. area) started to hurt/pressure badly. I flipped, went to the Urgent Care. Dr. listened to all my symptoms, felt my jaw, and told me I had TMJ. Sent me home with Ibuprofen, and instructions to see a dentist.

I went to an Orthodontist (he offered a free consultation), took x-rays and found that my bottom wisdom teeth were impacted under the gum line, horizontally, and I have 2 small teeth growing under the skin above my two front top teeth. He referred me to an oral surgeon.

Since then, the tingling sensation on my scalp has been constant for 4/5 days now. It's absolutely painless, and light, but annoying and keeps me up at night. That, and my anxiety, of course. It only tingles on the top left side, and on the back of my head a little off to the left, and occasionally a little more up and right. I haven't really gotten headaches. I didn't noticed any intense clicking/popping at first, and even know, it sounds more like a crunch sound, and I hear it in my ear when I yawn. When I open my mouth, occasionally, the right side feels like the muscle is shifting over. And the more I open and close my jaw constantly, the more pressure I feel in my ears.

The severity of discomfort comes and goes, and when it came again, I paniced, and went to the ER 2 days ago. Blood check, urine check, BP, all was good. The first NP that saw me, told me she thought a CT scan wasn't necessary, but I should go see a neurologist, because of my tingling. She finished her shift before I left, so a PA-C came in, and he told me that he agrees that its TMJ (he claimed to have had it). And that I was also having an anxiety reaction. He sent me home recommending I see an ENT. And a therapist... and with a muscle relaxer (which I haven't taken). That night, I started having tingling under both my armpits, and I eventually felt it randomly on my arms, and hands. This day, I was super anxious. This also only lasted a whole day, and have been feeling it under my armpit occasionally now.

I have been so completely devastated. Crying on and off sometimes, thinking I have a brain tumor, or brain aneurysm. Can't sleep well. I have an Drs. appt. at my local community health (I have no insurance) on Monday, AND I also have an appt. with an TMJ specialist that same day.

Yesterday, I couldn't open my jaw more than 2 fingers until I started to feel discomfort. Today, my ears feel super stuffy, occasional tingling near my armpits, my teeth and jaw feel sore, I still have this annoying tingling sensation on my scalp (I think this is what drives me insane the most), and something new I noticed is, I feel pressure on the front of my hard palate, mostly when I lean my head down, where I'll also feel the pressure on my jaw.
My shoulders, and neck are tender, but now only when touched down on. I'm a side sleeper, so it hurts to sleep on my face, so I've been trying to sleep on my back more.

Does all this sound like TMJ? Can TMJ cause all these bizarre symptoms? Could it have to do something with a nerve being pinched somewhere? Do you think the muscle relaxer (Norflex) would help at all? I've mostly avoided it because I'm currently still nursing my daughter, but I'm willing to take it (and pump and dump the milk) if I knew it would really help.

Thank you soo much.
First off, relax and try not to stress. Worry will only cause you to clench more at night and hold yourself tight. (I know, easier said than done)

With that being said, it does sound to me like you have some sort of jaw dysfunction going on. I'm sure the Specialist that you're seeing on Monday will be able to offer you more information, upon examination. Write down all of your symptoms to tell him/her, as we often forget when we're in their offices.

Have you tried taking Ibuprofen and if so, did it help? As for the Norflex, that's entirely up to you whether to try or not. TMJD doesn't have a cookie cutter solution, so what may work for one, might not work for another. I've met people that muscle relaxers work wonders for and others who see no relief from them.

What you can do prior to your appt. is try using heat on your jaw/neck and wherever you're feeling pain. (I think they sell those "Bed Buddy's"/microwaveable rice bags everywhere) Try the Ibuprofen if you haven't already. Also, have you already thrown out your old pillow? If not, go back to using that for a while and see if your pain levels improve. Quite often, a new pillow can cause havoc on your jaw and neck.

Above all, don't assume the worst and try your hardest to relax. As I said, the more tense you are, the more you'll clench and hurt.

Hang in there and let us know how your appt. goes on Monday.

Here are the symptoms of TMJD from the post pinned at the top of the page, on case you didn't see it.

The Kinnie-Funt Visual Index of Head, Neck and Facial Pain and TMJ Dysfuction:

Eye Pain and Eye Problems:
- eye pain above, below, behind
- bloodshot eyes
- blurring of vision
- bulging appearance
- pressure behind the eyes
- light sensitivity
- watering of the eyes
- drooping of the eye lid

Head Pain, Headache Problems, Facial Pain:
- forehead pain
- temporal pain
- "migraine" type headache
- "cluster-type" headache
- sinus headache under the eyes
- posterior headaches, back of head, with or without shooting pains
- hair and/or scalp painful to touch

Mouth, Face, Cheek, and Chin Problems:
- discomfort or pain to any of these areas
- limited opening
- inability to open the jaw smoothly or evenly
- jaw deviates to one side when opening
- inability to "find bite" with teeth

Teeth and Gum Problems:
- clenching or grinding at night
- looseness and or soreness of back teeth
- tooth pain

Jaw and Jaw Joint Problems:
- clicking, popping jaw joints
- grating sounds
- jaw locking opened or closed
- pain in cheek muscles
- uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements

Ear Pain, Ear Problems, and Postural Imbalances:
- hissing, buzzing, ringing, or roaring sounds
- diminished hearing
- ear pain - without infection
- clogged, stuffy, "itchy" ears, feeling of fullness
- balance problems, "vertigo", dizziness, or disequilibrium

Throat Problems:
- swallowing difficulties
- tightness of throat
- sore throat without infection
- voice fluctuations
- laryngitis
- frequent coughing or constant clearing of throat
- feeling of foreign object in throat
- tongue pain
- salivation (intense)
- pain of the hard palate in the mouth

Neck and Shoulder Problems:
- lack of mobility - reduced range of movement
- stiffness
- neck pain
- tired, sore neck muscles
- shoulder aches
- back pain upper and lower
- arm and finger tingling, numbness and or pain

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