Hello everybody i'm michael, and i've been having my share of problems with tmj. It began last fall, when I woke up 4 times in the middle of the night with excrusiating pain in my ears. I thought I had earaches each time, but throughout the day the pain disappeared. I finally went to my dentist because I had a hunch the problems were due to my constantly grinding my teeth at night (my dentist had given me a mouthpiece that I wore on & off). He agreed that the ear problems were due to grinding my teeth, and my teeth were so grinded down that my jaw was slipping forward.
Anyways, my dentist suggested I had tmj, and that I should wear my mouthpiece more. He suggested a tmj specialist to me, which I immediately found cost $300 to visit. I searched the internet for tmj specialists in my area, and called them all up. None of them took my health insurance.. And even scarier, none of them seemed to take any insurance. I was dejected.
In the meanwhile, my ear had started to feel blocked, almost like completely filled with earwax. I began to panic and think there was no way to correct it.
Here's where I am today:
after some research, I found that my health plan covered many 'oral & maxillofacial surgeons' and that these people dealt with tmj. My ear has felt blocked/inflammed for weeks now. Its not a horrid pain, but definitely something that needs to go away asap.
Here are my questions for you!
1) are oral & maxillofacial surgeons the correct doctors to go to for tmj problems?
2) why were all the tmj 'specialists' I called not taking any insurance at all? I'm worried that thesei are a 'better' class of tmj specialists, and that i'm missing out because I can't afford them! Again, almost 5 tmj 'specialists' quoted initial visit prices of anywhere from $100 to $400 dollars, not including treatment, follow up visits, etc!
3) has anyone had a similar case as mine, where their ear feels blocked? If so, through threatment, has the ear come back to normal?
i am from the uk and not entirely sure of how things operate in the us. Here in the uk it is primarily oral and maxillo facial surgeons who deal with tmj problems.....My problems have not been resolved as of yet however, I also have the "blocked ear" feeling......And in the past it has gone away with medication (diazepam, dothepin etc)