Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

Please help, is this TMJ or something else - scared

Hi everyone

I really hope someone can help me, I have spent three years looking through forums, webpages - anything to try to find an answer to my problems but I am so confused and depressed now as it could be so many things and I dont even know where to start. I feel so bad now I am struggling to look after my poor kids who are only 3 and 6 months. I feel like I can't carry on and they would be better off without me.

I dont know if my symptoms are caused by tmj, or if the tmj is just one of a number of symptoms caused by something else. My main symptoms currently are:

-stiffness and limited opening of jaw

-lots of clicking popping and swelling round the joints

-a feeling of the joints being 'slack' and unsupported

-one side of the jaw is always worse than the other on waking in the morning and remains that way all day - as if one side is in the socket properly but the other side is not. The sides vary every few days which really confuses me as I have never come across anyone else with this issue on forums.

-on the 'bad side', my neck clicks and pops, I feel like I have a bad tasting mucus that drips down my throat from my ear (?) - sorry to be so graphic

-dizziness constantly (a fogginess) with occasional full vertigo where I feel like I will fall.

-tinnitus and blocked ears

-tender and stiff neck and shoulders

-serious fatigue and weakness (find it hard to lift baby at times)

-numbness and tingling - very often in little and ring fingers and arms, also in head

-aching at top of neck, just below head.

- pressure in head, neck and ears


I have had the following: Brain MRI - nothing detected

Neck MRI - nothing detected

Eyes checked

Balance clinic review

Wisdom teeth removed (as a possible solution)

ENT visit

Chiro treatment

Range of blood tests

Tried amitryptiline, beta blockers, serc

I think that is everything but it is so hard to think at the moment. I am so scared for the future and feel like my life is slipping away. I worry about the safety of my kids when I am so dizzy and out of it.

I am sorry I sound so melodramatic but I just don't know what to do.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help

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replied August 1st, 2013
Hey, yeah I'm having something pretty similar as you in some ways. I definitely have TMJ problems, but at this point I'm not sure if it's something else causing the TMJ.

I have a lot of the same symptoms you do, such as stiffness, clicking & popping in the joints. I also have sensitivity to light, a weird dizziness feeling at times, stuffy/blocked nose/sinuses at times, moderate/severe brain fogginess. I get the mucus thing too. Sometimes mucus gets stuck in my throat and I have to spit it out. I've been thinking it's coming from my ear as well. I used to think I had sinus issues, but I got an x-ray for that, and it came back completely normal. Also, took antibiotics which didn't help at all so I figured it wasn't my sinuses after all. Also, once in awhile I'd get tinnitus.

The thing that's weird is I went to see an oral surgeon over a month ago, and he said both sides of my TMJ looked fine. So that's why I'm really confused about what's wrong with me. All I can think of is that it's something muscular in my jaw joints that needs to be fixed somehow. I was made a night guard by my dentist about a year ago, and it didn't really seem to help much. But the oral surgeon recommended I get another one made because the one I have has a lot of bite marks on it so my bite wouldn't be even with it in my mouth.

I've had all these symptoms for about 3 years as well & quite frankly I'm sick of it myself. I just want my health back to 100% already. It's so mentally draining being like this everyday thinking that I'll never be better.
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replied August 29th, 2013
I have TMJ (for years) and have many of the symptoms you described. You need an MRI of the jaw joints to get the facts. My MRI was a good experience and the results shocked me at first, but I'm used to it now. A good Oral surgeon specializing in TMJ is a must for proper care. I have seen many oral surgeons and each "specialist" had a different opinion. If a dentist or Oral surgeon recommends a treatment without first getting an MRI of your jaw joint, ditch him and find another doctor.
BTW-Of all the dentists and surgeons I saw for my condition, two of them recommended (each different) treatment that would have been destructive to my joints, not to mention a HUGE bill.
Get an MRI of the jaw joints. I can't stress how important it is.
Good luck. Hope you feel better soon. Oh, almost forgot. Curcumen. research it. it is a great anti-inflamatory for TMJ arthritis and stiffness. curcumin has made a huge difference for me. When my jaw really bother me, I take a high dose for a few days then just the recommended dose for daily maintenance of my jaw.
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replied August 29th, 2013
I already had X-Rays done on my TMJ at the oral surgeon office. They said my TMJs look completely fine. I'd hate to spend a lot of money on an MRI as well, only for them to say the same thing. I really don't get pain, just constant clicking & popping along with stiffness & the other things I've mentioned in my previous post.

When you got your MRI results, what did it show you on yours? Did you need surgery, or some type of special treatment?
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replied September 4th, 2013
Temporomandibular joint disorders is cause due to problem in jaw, facial muscle disorder, or jaw joint problem. They may be caused due to grinding or cleaning the teeth, dislocating of soft cushion etc.
Following are the symptoms by which you can analyze that you are facing the problem of TMJ.
1) Tenderness or pain in the face.
2) Clicking, popping and grating sounds at the joint of jaw.
3) Uncomfortable or difficulty in chewing bite.
4) Swelling on the side of the face.
If any of the symptoms are visible you can have a opinion of the dentist.

You have given the list of symptoms that exactly matches. So I think these symptoms show the sign of TMJ. I would recommend you to go the the dentist as soon as possible.
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