So I have discovered I have TMJ problem. I get the odd clicking and crunching of jaw, ear pain and temple pain. My mouth never locks and I can open it fully and eat what I want (although I keep away from really hard stuff just in case). But I wondered what the cause was. Basically about 8 weeks ago I got a really bad case of the Mumps. In case anyone doesn't know what the Mumps is, it is a virus that affects your parotid glands in your face and causes swelling. So my face swelled up a lot and as a result I couldn't open my mouth that wide so just ate soups (this happens to almost everyone with the mumps). I also used to suck my thumb (I know as an adult thatâs kind of childish) but stopped completely when I got the mumps. Anyway after about 3 weeks I recovered and could eat it perfectly fine, there was no clicking of jaw or no TMJ symptomâs at all. I then got a horrible cold which was about 2 weeks later and then after this cold is when I noticed I had slight ear, temple and Jaw pain, I then googled it and discovered it must be TMJ, I went to several doctors who don't seem to think it is a big deal and kept saying it will go away. I went to the Dentist because I noticed my Teeth started to hurt and my bite felt strange. She said she can't see much wrong with my jaw and thinks that because I used to always suck my thumb until I got the mumps that now I no longer suck my thumb I'm clenching instead. Now when I used to suck my thumb it helped me to drift off to sleep and I used to do it when I was upset or stressed, now maybe because I don't have my thumb I am no resorting to clenching to ease my stress as I have been extremely stressed the last 2 months. Anyways the dentist gave me a temporary mouth guard to see how that worked. When I started to use it my bite felt normal again and I think there may have been some improvement but I didn't get enough time to see because the temporary mouth guard broke so I decided to get a refund on it and get a permanent one which I am waiting on now to come in next week. When I say it broke I don't mean I broke it with my teeth but the putty just crumbled off. The thing I am not sure if I am clenching, I used to dream I was and sometimes I wake up with my teeth together so perhaps I am. But my question is, is the clenching the cause of my TMJ problem or was it the mumps that messed up my TMJ joint. Or is that because my TMJ was recovering from the mumps it was kind of weak and my clenching just made it worse. I just want to try and understand the cause if anyone could help me please??
My symptoms aren't that bad, I can go about my daily business and pain is just the odd sharp one known again. But I'd just rather the pain not be there as I am someone that worries a lot about health issues.