Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Bulge in front of ear, and TMJ

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I am desperate. When I was in high school a dentist made me a night guard, and I wore it pretty religiously. I stopped wearing it after a year or so, and now of course, several years later, it does not fit at all. It appears that my teeth have shifted considerably.

I have recently been waking myself up because I am grinding my teeth so hard. Then the other day I yawned, and I heard a pop...not the usual creaking sound I hear. A half day later, my jaw hurts more on the side that I heard the pop from, but also on the other side. And the side that hurts, the right side, has a big bulge in front of my ear. And when I open my mouth, the bulge gets even bigger. It is not the muscle, it is right on the joint.

I went to a walk in medical clinic today, and the doctor there told me that the ligament slipped in between the joint, and gave me Naproxen, and told me I had to be on a liquid only diet for at least a month. What I would like to know is, what is the big bulge on the side of my head? And what else can be done for this?
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replied January 9th, 2011
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Hi snugglepuss and welcome to ehealth: I believe the lump will go down as you get this problem under control...However, that means to stop grinding your teeth...Your jaws are suppose to meet...When you are overlapping them as when you are grinding your teeth, IMO you are making your problem worse...When I had this problem I found that when I opened my mouth that it hurt...Kind of a popping sound...One thing to try and do is keep your teeth in line when you are relaxing..Don's let the jaws get lazy...I have a night guard...Use it when it acts up...I think a lot of this comes from stress...Worry will set it off...I wonder how many of us people are so stressed out that we do this as a reflex....I was able to stop by making myself aware of it...Kind of a mind game...

I am adding my thoughts on this as nobody has added to it...Hope it helps...Take care...

Caroline
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