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Struggling to believe my TMJ pain is not structural

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by sepultura, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. sepultura

    sepultura New Member

    Hi there,

    This is my first post and heres a summary of my story. March 2020 I was going through an incredible amount of stress. I was clenching my teeth day and night so I bought a cheap nightguard on amazon to protect my teeth in my sleep. I had no pain at this stage and simply thought i was being sensible.

    I wore this guard for 3 months and over this time is slowly changed my bite. I now have an open bite where i cant only make contact with my back molars. During this time I started getting a lot of symptoms - tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus, rumbling sounds, facial pain, dizziness, headache and at the start of 2021 I started getting jaw pain.

    Ive been to multiple dentists, all of which seem to have their own idea of why my jaw position has changed. This obviously creates more stress and my Dr just told me to manage my stress and put me on an antidepressant. Ive read mind body perscription and healing back pain aswell as listening to Nicole Sachs podcast. I do get comfort at times but keep going back to "but my bite has changed, there has been a structural change that coincided with the symptoms."

    Im going to another new dentist in a month who i think has most experience with this kind of stuff. I want to get my bite fixed anyway.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

  3. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Welcome Sepultura,

    To believe that all of these, “symptoms - tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus, rumbling sounds, facial pain, dizziness, headache and at the start of 2021 I started getting jaw pain.” Are because your bite is off does not make sense.

    To say it’s all TMS makes a lot more sense. Doesn’t it?
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  4. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    I only visit the TMS wiki once in a while and hardly ever post anymore. I have TMJ as well and out of all the TMS symptoms I have ever had and trust me there has been many, this is by far the worst.

    Mine came on after a boat load of stress and chewing gum. My jaw had locked and when I tried to open I heard pop and then three months later my left jaw grinds and pops without me even having to open my jaw. My pain is gone and when it does come back it is usually do to stress.

    This was THREE years ago, and the grinding and popping still remain. I did have a CT scan which showed my left jaw pulled forward. A prominent TMS doctor said Oh, it just stress and so did a physio TMS therapist. When it first happened she I had told me "oh, its normal for the clunky and a clicking" because your jaw muscle is tight. This is without ever assessing me in person. I take full responsibility for believing it was just stress.

    Three years in my mouth does not open as wide as it used too, and dealing with 24/7 grinding and popping without not even opening wide is horrible. I feel all alone in this because no one has this type TMJ with grinding and popping 24/7. Eating can at times be a challenge and even going to my doctor for checking my throat, it is hard to open. I have not been able to get my teeth clean in three years.

    I feel for what you are going through, but, I will say to you dentist do not know about TMJ. If you go to a jaw specialist i.e oral surgeon who specializes in TMJ they could potentially see an abnormality and blame it on your TMJ and do surgery that can worsen your situation.

    If you are not having any grinding and popping which btw, after, three years and contacting the TMS physio therapist who admits that popping and grinding means wear and tear of the jaw, I would not do anything but work on your stress.

    IF it will make you feel better, I did have the pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear where my jaw is misplaced and to this day I did not blame it on TMJ. I think out of all the tinnitus the pulsatile can drive you insane. But mine had left once I treated it with calming down.

    I once read about a gal who teeth were misaligned because of the TMJ and with calming her nerves and deep breathing her teeth went back to align correctly and her dentist was amazed. I do believe yours could be related to a tight jaw muscle.

    I think you will be okay....I didn't want to post a gloom and doom message but try to give you some comfort, if you have no grind or popping then yours is more likely due to muscle tension.

  5. sepultura

    sepultura New Member

    Thank you @plum for the links. I had read one of them before and felt some reassurance. It’s always the bad things I read is what a cling onto. Human nature I guess. Thank you for your words. They are helpful.

    @FredAmir thanks Fred. What your saying is logical but believe me, I have found a way to rationalise each one to explain how my bite has caused it. But you are likely correct. Thank you.

    Hi @Kalo Thanks for the response. Good that you don’t experience pain much these days. My ears pop from time to time that I link to my jaw. Luckily my pulsatile tinnitus stopped this year. One of the most distressing symptoms. Thanks for your help and words. Good luck to you.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    There are three main mistakes that delay recovery from TMS:

    1. Fear of pain
    2. Giving in to the pain
    3. Focusing on it

    Once you avoid these you can expect faster recovery. I explain more in this video.
    plum likes this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Fantastic video Fred. Thanks for posting it.
    FredAmir likes this.
  8. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I do understand latching onto the scary things but this is partly how TMS operates. Fear is a HUGE aspect of TMS and is where a good many of us get snagged.

    You mention clenching in your original post and this is something I do when stressed. Back in the day I dutifully followed the mouthguard route but also found it utterly pointless. Clenching and grinding is due to tension and stress, and if memory serves @FredAmir discusses this in his book. It’s the stress you need to address. What’s happened and/or happening in your life?
  9. sepultura

    sepultura New Member

    Ah yous are both great. @plum and @FredAmir thank you!

    I thought these kind of support forums were meant to be all doom and gloom!?

    I’ve a lot of work to do.
    plum likes this.
  10. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    One more thing that can be very effective is progressive muscle relaxation. I love it. It’s an active way to release muscle and joint tension, especially in your jaws.

    Here’s how to do it from Johns Hopkins.

  11. Contact Dr Jeffrey Okeson at the University of Kentucky and set up an appointment to see him before he retires. The authority on TMJ and an awesome Doctor. He runs the orafacial pain clinic at Lexington, KY. Google him and go see him.

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