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TMJ causing numbness on side of face ?

I'm not sure if I have TMJ, I have a lot of the symptoms and I'm planning on seeing a specialist to see if I have it, but I was wondering if it's possible for TMJ to cause numbness in your face and mouth.

Just a little background, I've recently been noticing that the left side of my face is "puffier" than the other side and started doing some research, which led me to TMJ.

Since I was a kid I remember having a pop in my jaw when I opened my mouth really wide. It never caused any pain though so I thought nothing of it. Around junior high I got braces and wore them until about halfway through high school. The rest of high school, I wore a retainer at night. When I got to college though, I stopped wearing my retainer and although my teeth got a little crooked as a result, it wasn't too bad.

But around age 20 I got my wisdom teeth extracted and that's when I think it really happened. I got all 4 wisdom teeth taken out at the same time and immediately started having problems with the left side of my mouth. Within a few days of the extraction I got an infection where the left bottom wisdom tooth was taken out. It eventually healed but I noticed that the whole bottom left area of my mouth felt numb. I told the orthodontist about it and he said it happens sometimes and should go away after a few years.

Well I waited a few years and it never went away, but I guess I had kind of learned to live with it, or ignore it. I ignored it for almost ten years, until recently. For some reason, I really started to notice that the left side of my jaw was so different from the right. Looking at older pictures, I guess the basic uneven shape of my jaw was always there, but now it seems so much more pronounced.

The bottom left of my mouth is still numb. I press my tongue hard on that spot where my wisdom tooth was taken out and I can't really feel anything. The inside and outside of my cheek on that side always has that tingly numbness feeling and the skin on my face on that side is a lot looser and "stretchy" than the other side. And I can bite down hard on the left side of my tongue without any pain. The left side of my neck is also bigger and shaped differently from the right.

And in pictures, the left side of my face is so much bigger and lower set than the right, it almost looks like that side is melting off, or was injected with a super growth hormone. Granted, when I look in the mirror I can't really tell unless I really focus on it. And not many people notice it. Which is why I've ignored it for a year or two and self-remedied it by chewing on the right side of my mouth thinking that the jaw muscles on that side weren't getting enough of a workout, or by sleeping on my back thinking that sleeping on my side was deforming one side of my face somehow. I've even taken my wallet out of my right butt pocket and put it in my side pocket, thinking that leaning on one butt cheek was creating some of the problems.

But I've decided that my self-remedys are gonna be a losing battle because it's uncomfortable for me to just chew on the right side and only sleep on my back, so I'm trying to get to the root of the problem, which I think is TMJ. Anyway, sorry for writing so much but I'm kind of relieved that these symptoms that have bugged me for so long have a name and that they aren't just a natural part of the aging process like I was trying to convince myself they were.

I have a few questions though. With the symptoms I've described, is it possible to cure them with Invisalign or any other non-surgical method (other than braces)? And should I be going to a maxillofacial specialist for a diagnosis? I have two that I'm looking at right now, one is an MD and the other is a DDS. Which one would be better?

Thanks in advance and thanks for all the great info on this forum.
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replied May 28th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
a dds would be better--from experiance and md will just send you eswhere. braces are not really a good choice of treatment as thing susually get worse--there are many methods of treatment. one that has worked for me better than anyother. you can pm me and we can talk

your face is probably numb because of a pinced nerve. you should look into going to a chiropractor as well. i get numbness as well.

so pm me and we can talk
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replied May 29th, 2008
agreed. go to chiro
And lots of heat or ice. TMJ sucks
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replied May 30th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
no it only sucks if you let it:) yep heat and ice and ibuprophen--life savers.
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replied July 5th, 2010
tmj, numbness
I too get numbness on my left side of my face from my TMJ, it goes from my chin into my eye socket. It`s good to hear I am not alone in this. lol. The more stressed I am the worse it gets. I have had a thermo plastic retainer for 10 years now and it worked great unless I got stressed. Now that is no longer working for me. I clench so hard at night that I have cracked four molars in half. I am getting fitted for a sturdier, less flexible appliance in a few weeks. I`ll let you know how that works out.
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replied October 14th, 2011
ok well i get the same feelings in my face and eyes numb but also cold even my tongue feels numb they dont know what it is there guessw right now is tmj hmmm i also get pressure on my front teeth and cold feeling they put me on a muscle relaxer been on it for two days dont think its doing much
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replied October 17th, 2011
I started doing some heavy breathing exercises yesterday and my right TMJ (which is my pain point) got SUPER numb. And not just the TMJ, most of the masseter. Basically all parts of my jaw that hurt got numb.

I don't know if that's bad, but it's different, so I'm happy with it.
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