I am not sure if I have TMJ or not but it tends to run in my family. My great-grandfather had trigeminal neuralgia, my mother has had bouts with jaw pain over the years and two of her sisters have been diagnosed with TMJ. Allow me to explain my situation. About two years ago I started getting these headaches where my neck would tense up. I thought it was just a tension headache and took some OTC tension headache pills which seemed to do the trick. It would hurt off and on for a few days at a time and then stop as soon as it started. Then one day my jaw started hurting and didn't stop. I was in absolute misery and after four weeks I finally got up the courage to go to the doctor. It hurt from the top of my head all the way down to my shoulder. My jaw hurt so bad that I cried. The doctor said I had fluid in both ears and the right one was more swollen and puffy than the other one. She gave me antibiotics and told me to take OTC Motrin. Only instead of following the label, to take four which were equal to prescription Motrin. I have no insurance so she did what she could to help me out. She gave me a pain shot which did nothing. Well I did what she said and the pain stayed. I would get maybe one day a week where the pain was bearable and I could function somewhat normally. This continued for six months. Then one day I woke up and all the sudden the pain was gone. Now fast forward two years and I'm back again. This started the last week of February. It felt like I had a sinus infection with this horrible pressure in my head. My ears felt full and I felt this popping noise in my ears. Also, it hurt behind my eyes and and both sides of my nose. I got a terrible sore throat that was so bad I could barely swallow. Thinking it was allergies I self-medicated with OTC sinus headache/congestion meds. It kept my pain bearable for a while. Then all the sudden I started getting jaw pain only this time in the left side. This pain is so bad that I feel as though I can't take it. It will spike and be debilitating sometimes for an hour or so. Then it will subside to a lingering pain and my jaw actually feels sore. My face is sore to the touch. My face also becomes really red like when you have a fever and will tingle and go numb after the worst of the pain is over.
I have this one tooth in particular it's a bottom jaw tooth that feels extremely sore. So much so, that I'm limited to chewing only on the right side. I've applied moist heat and ice and in the beginning that would ease it but now not so much. If I am anywhere around cold air it will cause it to hurt much worse. I can be pain free and as soon as I get cold it starts hurting. I work in an office building and I'm constantly turning off the AC. The last flare up I had lasted six months. There are some times when the pain lessens to the point that I think it's over. Then it will start back. I've had to take sleeping medicine on more than one occasion just to be able to sleep. I've been taking Motrin and if I miss a dose it's like it gets worse. Nothing seems to help this pain. It hurts across my forehead and my jaw and my ear. Like a stabbing shooting pain at times. I get hot flashes and become sick to my stomach from pain and my anxiety has been really bad after a bout of the worst pain. I'm not sure if this is TMJ or not. I've also noticed my teeth are chipping and become sharp, mostly my jaw teeth. I think I must be grinding my teeth at night. I wake up everyday with a sore throat and dry mouth. I must breathe through my mouth at night and I'm not sure if that's part of TMJ or not. All I know is I am absolutely miserable and would give anything to find relief.
Sorry this is so long but I sort of needed to vent a tad. Thank you!