Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

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I went to my dentist today and he said I might have TMJ. I have alot of problems and this has been bothering me for a year to the point where I have depression and anxiety. Some of you may know my story but to make this short .... Last year, my left ear makes a popping noise when I go to sleep or laying down, same thing. This has not stopped since. Then I started getting other symptoms .. ear pressure, both ears makes a clicking, popping sound when I move my jaw or swallow. I also need to wear ear plugs when having a shower or bath. NOW ... last month, I have tinnitus. It started in my right ear. Humming, low noise for a couple of weeks. Then it started in my left ear as well. Both ears. I hear humming, loud noise 24 hours and it is very upsetting. I already seen an ENT last year and he was so rude. I will see another one soon for a second opinion. Back to TMJ ... He wants to remove my 4 impacted widsom teeth and make a guard since apparently I grind my teeth. Could this help remove any of my symptoms? I'd like to hear any opinions, advice or experiences with TMJ or something related. Please help. Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hello eyesonfire,

    After experiencing severe anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember (that's a separate long story), despite anti anxiety medication I received a diagnosis of TMJ/TJD from my dentist last year.

    I experience low level tinnitus, but have put that down to attending live gigs without ear plugs (I have learned from other gig goers and have tracked some ear plugs down for future use).

    My dentist created a custom moulded a mouth guard, at no cost on the NHS (they try lower set first, but if you can't get on with it they can try making one from your top set instead). It took a few nights to get used to it, and I managed to chew one end of it in my sleep, but just had to go back to the dentist to get the teeth marks filed off, but it has pretty much wiped out the ache that travels from jaw to ear, often the pain became acute.

    I have never seen my wisdom teeth, so have no idea how this will affect matters, other than either having more of the guard filed away to make room, have a new mould taken, or abstaining from use until the wisdom teeth are removed.

    I do know that if I didn't suffer with anxiety (including added side effects of prescription medicines), I probably wouldn't have the TMJ/TJD, as it is the anxiety that causes me to grind my teeth in my sleep.

    I believe that it is possible that your ongoing problem with tinnitus may have caused your anxiety and depression, which has in turn caused you to clench your jaw and grind your teeth, leading to the issue that your dentist has diagnosed.

    The mouth guard is a wonderful thing, something I couldn't easily do without.

    I hope you feel satisfied with the second ENT Specialist opinion, and wish you well.

    Take care, hanb

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    • Posted

      Hi. Did the mouth guard help you in any way? Are your symptoms gone? I live in Canada so we have free healthcare but for some reason, most insurance companies won't cover this so my dentist is going to write a special letter and hopefully they will cover the guard. I did some research and apparently impacted widsoms can cause you problems. Althought I am not in pain so my widsoms are not really bothering me but I am trying to figure out anything why I am having all these symptoms. I will think about taking out my 4 widsoms out. My dentist is not sure about my TMJ but he thinks it is. I hope the second ENT I see will help me because last year, I saw a different ENT and wow, was he ever rude. Only saw me for five mins and shooed me away. Said good luck. I was baffled. I have no idea why I have tinnitus. It started in 2 months ago. It may be caused by my anxiety or stress or just another symptom to go along with all my ear problems. Le sigh. Hope you feel better soon and I hope I get better soon! Thank you so much.
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    • Posted

      Hello, I found the following information about TMJ on the NHS website, but have not heard of the surgery being offered in the UK...



      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the article that was pasted in full here as it may breach other website's copyright. Please do not paste whole articles in posts. You can add a link to it and this will be approved as long as it complies with rules for posting links. If it doesn't then links can be exchanged via the Private Message service. I have also added a link to the leaflet on our site re TMJ. These can be added anywhere and will not go for moderation


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  • Posted

    And this information about tinnitus on the same site...



    I hope some of this helps you.

    Try not to allow the next ENT to fob you off, stand your ground. Just because some of us get free health care, doesn't mean we don't deserve good health care :-) But I have found that I have to stay on top of my medical case, for example my new GP hasn't told the Pain Clinic anything about me (I've just moved area, so am having to pick up where I left off with the last Pain Clinic), and when they phoned him to ask a bit about my history (which is all available in my medical notes, which he has free access to), he told them that they will have to ask me!

    Please let me know how you get on.

    Kind regards, and *hugs*


    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the article that was pasted in full here as per comments in post above.

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