Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Treatment of TMJ/ Tinnitus (Page 1)

A couple months ago I was sleeping on my left side and made a terrible decision of yawning while lying on my left side. What happened was I heard my jaw crack and grind to my left side right under my ear(it had a sandy feel). It hurt and I thought I broke my jaw (but I didn't), it kept hurting the entire night and I couldn't sleep. Months later, the pain hasn't gone away so I went to my dentist and doctor, my doctor told me my TMJ joint was swollen because I only chewed on one side (which is probably true). My dentist said it was because I grinded my teeth and told me to wear a night guard. Whatever the case, I don't think a nightguard will entirely fix the problem because the pain didn't gradually come, it happened in an instant just like that. I've also been having extremely loud tinnitus, this has bothered me the most out of all the symptoms of TMJ. I'm wondering if my tinnitus would go away if somehow my TMJ was fixed or is it permanent? Also, is it possible that instead of a swollen TMJ joint, I may have cracked or damaged a disk in my TMJ joint since the pain happened in an instant (not gradually)?
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First Helper natureheals89
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replied August 24th, 2012
Experienced User
It would be almost impossible for you to break anything in the TMJ by yawning. Most noises in the TMJ are from the dislocation of the disk , and it usually moves forward in front of the condyle ( which is the ball joint of your lower jaw). Since the disk moved forward, the condyle moves backward and pinches the tissue in behind the now-forward disk, and the joint swells.

For you to have a perfectly healthy TMJ and displace the disk by yawning is also not probable. There was most likely an underlying condition. It is not because you only chew on one side .... almost everyone has a side they chew on. The most common cause of the underlying condition is grinding, especially at night, but some people also clench during the day. There is also the possibility that there was an injury to the TMJ's when you were young, and the TMJ's were then vulnerable to disk dislocation.

Please see someone in your area that understands acute disk displacement and pain. If your pain goes on much longer, it risks becoming chronic. Be wary of any dentist that wants to change your bite.... there is no scientific evidence that those changes will remedy your problem.
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replied August 25th, 2012
Experienced User
I agree with Hounder..go see someone as soon as possible to get treatment. The buzzing will more than likely go away or lessen with treatment. try a upper cervical specialist along with a neuromuscualr dentist. TMJD is a nightmare of a disorder. I sometimes have wished it were cancer instead. At least with cancer..there is a consensus on what to do and an end if things dont work out. But..with treatment things have gotten better..a lot better. Before treatment, there were some real DARK days.
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replied August 25th, 2012
Ah, thank you guys! That cleared up a lot for me. My doctor made an appointment for me to go to a ENT doctor in about a month so hopefully they refer me to a doctor that specializes in TMJ. My dentist, told me to stop grinding (I'm not even sure if I am) and to stop clenching my mouth, or eating any chewy food, which is pretty good advice. However, he told me to come back in a month and order a mouthguard to put on at night if it still hurts. I'm worried about how much worse my TMJ will get day by day. Unfortunately, I won't be able to go get treatment for 9 days as I'm just about to go on vacation.


Lately, I've been hearing cracking from my good TMJ joint (my right side), however it does not hurt at all. The weird thing is that my left side of my jaw hurts a lot but my right ear has really loud tinnitus, while my left ear hurts more but theres none or waaay less tinnitus. Do you think the tinnitus is related to the TMJ even though my ear is on side of my (good) TMJ joint?


Edit: You guys made my day, I was afraid that my tinnitus would never get better. angel
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replied August 25th, 2012
Experienced User
Yes, the tinnitus is almost certainly related to your tmj. the night guard your dentist is making sounds more like a piece to end the grinding. That may help but as I said...try and get into a neurmuscular dentist. they are more precise in the guards they make. I had conventional dentists make me guards before I finally went to a nuero dentist and they never worked:( Your case may be different. But yes, the buzzing will go away once they jaw muscles relax.
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replied September 18th, 2012
hi , i have buzzing (tinnitus) which has just started, can i do anything to help my jaw muscel relax before i get a chance to see a dentist
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replied August 25th, 2012
How does my right ear get affected even though it's my left TMJ joint that is the problem?
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replied August 26th, 2012
Experienced User
well its kinda complex and I am not a doctor but I had a similar exp. and this is how it was explained to me. when the joint on the left side is affected then the other side has to overwork and over compensate. The buzzing is caused by the the tiny muscles in the ear (which are also connected to the tmj joints) being tensed up and strained. If the left joint is damaged then the right side is overworking. That is how it was explained to me. I rarely have issues with my ears now whereas before their were whistling sounds, pulsing sounds, buzzing, and stabbing pains in the ear. The ear most affected was on my left side when it is my right joint that was the most damaged. After x-rays, it was confirmed that both sides had damage but the right was def. worse. So, yea..its complex. The tmj can make almost every bone in the spinal column mess up and wreck havoc on many muscles, esp the muscles in the ear as they are so close together. If you have insurance, get the best treatment you can get. Get the best doctor. DO NOT JUST GO TO THE FIRST TMJ DOC YOU FIND!!! search a good one out. If you have to travel..then so be it. I travel 16 hours to my doctor. He is my lifesaver too. I had tried several scam doctors before him.
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replied August 26th, 2012
That's such a relief, considering I thought everything would be permanent due to the stuff I read online. How exactly do you determine the best TMJ doctor? Also, just wondering if we're in the same area (for a good TMJ doctor), I'm in Vancouver.
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replied August 26th, 2012
Experienced User
well it can be permanent and it is for a lot of people because they do not get the right care. TMJD is a tricky disorder and has just recently been recognized in mainstream medicine..so yea, that makes it a little hard. I choose my doctor after a VERY EXHAUSTIVE search. I wanted a doctor who utilized the top of the line technology and latest evidence to treat TMJD. I also looked for someone who was really experienced and had a history of success with his patients. TMJD treatment is a process..not a quick procedure or a one time fitted mouth guard. My doctor's name is John Halmaghi. He has a clinic in Michigan called the Michigan Headache and TMJD center. look him up and review his site. It is VERY informative on all aspects of TMJD. For people without insurance or other resources TMJD can be permanent. Unfortunately, treatment is costly and at least here in America, only the rich and resourceful have access to good care. It is really sad and it makes my heart hurt. No one should have to suffer with this disorder. It is a monster.
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replied August 27th, 2012
What exactly kind of treatment do they give you?
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replied August 28th, 2012
Experienced User
Hello,

I am sorry I am just now answering you. My treatment consists of a repositioning appliance that I have to wear for about 12 months. I am wearing this now. After that, I will move on to phrase two which consists of functional orthodontics. In conjunction with that, I do physical therapy (at home) everyday and also see a upper cervical specialist. My case was SEVERE. I had pain from my head to my low back. You mentioned a few symptoms. I had about 15..(headaches, ear pain, ear sounds, jaw pain, neck pain, muscle jerks, etc...) so you may only have to do phase one..and skip phase two..you may only have to be in phase one for 3-6 months whereas I have to be in it a year. You may not have to do the physical therapy or other conjunctive treatments. I cannot say because I am not a doctor but be weary of any doctor who just wants to make you a one-time night guard or offer you a quick fix. TMJ is complex and its a process to fix..not a procedure. SO, just take your time, find someone experienced. If you have to take out a loan, sell a car, do it!!! its your health and once that is gone..life is nothing. I know that first hand when this first started with me and I spent months in my bed..it was a prison. I finally got up and said..I will do whatever it takes to get treatment and I did. did you check out the site I gave you the info for...it is very informative. John Halgmahi. he is located in Detroit, Michigan. Very awesome doctor. I adore him. He gave me my life back and I think what makes him so good at what he does is he himself suffered FOR Years..since he was a teenager and he went to college and everything trying to find a way to cure himself as no one was able to offer him relief and well..he treated himself and today he thrives. He is not the only good TMJD doc though..there are many. I would say be weary of a TMJ specialists. There is no SUCH THING! TMJD has not been turned into a speciatity yet and there is no such training for it other than some after school course training! I learned that the HARD way. SEEK out a nueromuscular dentist who holds memberships in the TMJD organizations. Be weary of any dentist who blames your teeth!! Its the muscles..the teeth are just what the muscles use to work with. SO find dentist who sees the teeth, and muscles are working together and seeks to change the muscles first. Hope this helps, take care.
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replied August 29th, 2012
That was really helpful! I'm going to try to find a nueromuscular dentist, I'm not really sure where though, I'll ask my doctor. It might take a while to find a good doctor because everytime you schedule appointments they're like a month away. I'll keep you posted.
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replied August 29th, 2012
Anyone know any good doctors or dentists in Vancouver?
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replied August 30th, 2012
Experienced User
Canada? No, I really do not. You guys have somewhat of a universal health care system so you will be a lot better off than us Americans..only the rich and resourceful can get real treatment:( But look around, I am sure you will find someone good. If you run across someone, email me their info and Ill give you my opinion.
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replied September 4th, 2012
Experienced User
TMD treatment falls under dental care in Canada, so there is no "universal health care" for TMD treatments.
Natureheals89 .....Odd findings that the teeth don't cause TMD but you have your jaw ( and therefore your teeth) repositioned forward, and will next have to reposition your teeth with orthodontics. What will hold your jaw in a forward position ?? It will be the teeth, but only when they are clenched together. Neuromuscular dentistry is a new variation of an age old theory in TMD treatments that has been refuted by all the "good" science out there. Do people get better ?? Yeah, some do....but the mechanisms you used to explain how they got better are probably wrong. Chronic pain and TMJ noises, disk dislocations, etc.. are NOT caused by the teeth, or the muscles. A muscle will do absolutely NOTHING until the brain tells it to do something. TMJ disorders are caused by trauma...either macrotrauma at one point, and/or chronic microtrauma through sleep bruxism and/or daytime clenching. Sleep bruxism is NOT a pathology, nor is it "caused" by the muscles. It is a normal muscle movement for many during sleep. It cannot be shut down by moving the jaw into a different position. It can be modified by stress or some other disorder. Many "TMJ's" actually get better by themselves...i.e., they adapt. Some need control of the sleep bruxism to aid in adaptation. But moving the teeth or jaws is not indicated by any science whatsoever......and those modern machines most NM dentists employ have not proven to be useful in measuring anything of importance. I'm glad your treatment is working out for you, but if you had been lucky enough to come upon an orofacial pain dentist, the same results could have probably been achieved with no change in your jaw position or your "bite".
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replied September 6th, 2012
Okay, here's whats up. I just got back from my vacation and I was told by a relative to massage my joint by rubbing it in circles. It relaxed my jaw muscles very well but it hurt when I touched it for some reason. It relieved a bit of my tinnitus but my my jaw,ear and head still hurt. After the pain went away I think my tinnitus got louder and my other side of my jaw is now starting to hurt. I am going to schedule an appointment with my dentist for a mouthguard for 300 bucks. I am thinking of going to a chiropractor to massage my jaw.


I forgot if I mentioned this but I think this was caused when we bought 2 bags of really thick and hard chips and everyday afterschool I'd eat some chips and chew only on my right side. Which continued for like a month and I noticed the teeth I was using to chew on eroded and was smaller. This was RIGHT before I first heard a loud crack from my jaw whiched caused my TMJ and left TMJ joint to start hurting. Does this have anything to do with it? I'm asking because if you know the cause of my TMJ, you might find the solution.


Thanks for the replies hounder and natureheals.

I don't think my TMJ is caused by stress. I just went on vacation and and all my TMJ did was get worse.
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replied September 7th, 2012
Experienced User
Hounder,

Are you a doctor? I am not asking that to be rude, I am just curious. I would love to learn more about what you are saying. But, I do want to stand up for the treatments I am getting. My jaw has be moved forward because I have a lower jaw that did not develop. Also, I am getting functional orthodontics, not regular braces and that will be followed by corrective jaw surgery. I agree this is def a complex disorder and one size fixes do not fix all. My dentist told me it was not the teeth but the way the teeth, muscles and joints move. He also said that many people have structural issues and never develop symptoms while others do because of stress and other such things. he is a very good doctor.
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replied September 7th, 2012
Experienced User
Hounder,

Are you a doctor? I am not asking that to be rude, I am just curious. I would love to learn more about what you are saying. But, I do want to stand up for the treatments I am getting. My jaw has be moved forward because I have a lower jaw that did not develop. Also, I am getting functional orthodontics, not regular braces and that will be followed by corrective jaw surgery. I agree this is def a complex disorder and one size fixes do not fix all. My dentist told me it was not the teeth but the way the teeth, muscles and joints move. He also said that many people have structural issues and never develop symptoms while others do because of stress and other such things. he is a very good doctor.
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replied September 15th, 2012
Yoyoyo. My doctor recently gave me some pills called Apo-Naproxen 250mg and I eat it 3 times a day. It's weird it helps sometimes but not much of a difference other times. It's supposed to be a pain kill and anti-inflammatory, taking this made me realize the source of my tmj, I think. I noticed that somehow my right side of my teeth is waaay shorter and eroded than my left side. Could this be the problem? If it is what ways can I fix it? I reallly need help now, it was bad before but it is getting worse really really reallly fast. My headaches hurt like hell and last forever, it never stops. My tinnitus is so damn loud now that I can't even enjoy any music at all. Please help, this is getting really bad.
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replied September 16th, 2012
Experienced User
The Naproxen is not going to do much. It will initially reduce the inflammation but the benefits of the medications do not outweigh the risks as it does not offer much pain relief and will eventually just cause more issues. The teeth issue you mentioned may be the problem for sure. You need to get into a nueromuscular dentists. Have you sought one out yet? I am really sorry for your pain. I know the hell it can be.
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