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Swallowing difficulty, jaw tenderness, neck cracking, upper back pain. Is it TMJ dysfunction?

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Dentist, Prosthodontics
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 176 Questions
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I have severe TMJ- recently suggested on this site by a ENT

swallowing difficulty, tenderness on jaws...etc

neck cracking..upper back pain...

constatn burping- which i think is different issue

6 years suffering

i had a splint in the past but no help.

I REALLY need to fix this..im so glad i came to this site..

ic ant eat chew properly..food feels like it stuk

ive did tests with gastro specialist no obstruction in throat

just IBS.

I read on a TMJ forum these symptoms and i can relate to so many..iw ant to cry!

6 years and now i know..


he Kinnie-Funt Visual Index of Head, Neck and Facial Pain and TMJ Dysfuction:

Eye Pain and Eye Problems:
- eye pain above, below, behind
- bloodshot eyes
- blurring of vision
- bulging appearance
- pressure behind the eyes
- light sensitivity
- watering of the eyes
- drooping of the eye lid

Head Pain, Headache Problems, Facial Pain:
- forehead pain
- temporal pain
- "migraine" type headache
- "cluster-type" headache
- sinus headache under the eyes
- posterior headaches, back of head, with or without shooting pains
- hair and/or scalp painful to touch

Mouth, Face, Cheek, and Chin Problems:
- discomfort or pain to any of these areas
- limited opening
- inability to open the jaw smoothly or evenly
- jaw deviates to one side when opening
- inability to "find bite" with teeth

Teeth and Gum Problems:
- clenching or grinding at night
- looseness and or soreness of back teeth
- tooth pain

Jaw and Jaw Joint Problems:
- clicking, popping jaw joints
- grating sounds
- jaw locking opened or closed
- pain in cheek muscles
- uncontrollable jaw or tongue movements

Ear Pain, Ear Problems, and Postural Imbalances:
- hissing, buzzing, ringing, or roaring sounds
- diminished hearing
- ear pain - without infection
- clogged, stuffy, "itchy" ears, feeling of fullness
- balance problems, "vertigo", dizziness, or disequilibrium

Throat Problems:
- swallowing difficulties
- tightness of throat
- sore throat without infection
- voice fluctuations
- laryngitis
- frequent coughing or constant clearing of throat
- feeling of foreign object in throat
- tongue pain
- salivation (intense)
- pain of the hard palate in the mouth

Neck and Shoulder Problems:
- lack of mobility - reduced range of movement
- stiffness
- neck pain
- tired, sore neck muscles
- shoulder aches
- back pain upper and lower
- arm and finger tingling, numbness and or pain


While many of these symptoms have been connected with TMJ Dysfunction, there is no true "classic" picture of a person that suffers from TMJ Dysfunction.

can you guide me in the right direction.

thankyou
Posted Sat, 8 Sep 2012 in TMJ
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shivangi Gajwani Jain 1 hour later
Hi,
Thanks for writing in.
First of all I would like to recommend 3 temporommandibular xrays for diagnosing your problem ie:
-TMJ - Lateral Oblique - mouth open / mouth closed
-TMJ - AP Axial- mouth open
-Orthopantogram (OPG)

I would also like to know certain things ie:
1. Did you undergo any orthodontic dental treatment earlier in life?
2. What kind of a splint did you wear (hard or soft) and are you a known bruxer ie: do you grind your teeth a lot?
3. Did the splint give any temporary relief?
4. Do you have many crooked or broken teeth along with cavities?
5. Do you have difficulty in sleeping and worry often or are depressed as these are major causes of bruxism?

Bruxism causes severe jaw pain, sometimes it is more during the mornings when the patient wakes up due to unintentional night grinding which can also lead to back pain, muscle cramps and headaches. Teeth feel loose and pain often.

Incomplete orthodontic treatment during childhood can lead to malpositioning of teeth (which may be natural malpositioning also) resulting in cramps which if not treated can lead to neck and shoulder pain.

If there is a problem with the joints which can be diagnosed by seeing the Xrays as well after clinical examination by your doctor then your treatment may require
-Physiotherapy
-Hard splint
-Muscle relaxants
And sometimes even surgery.

I would strongly suggest you to visit an oral and maxillofacial surgeon / TMJ specialist so that he can diagnose and treat your problem accordingly. Such problems also are a result of severe stress, therefore I would also recommend you to relax and avoid as much stress as possible.

If you have any more concerns, I would be happy to help you.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Swallowing difficulty, jaw tenderness, neck cracking, upper back pain. Is it TMJ dysfunction? 7 hours later

1. Did you undergo any orthodontic dental treatment earlier in life?

Not sure what you mean by orthodontic dental treatment..but ive had tooth problems and always at the dentist with root canals..several..been a nightmare.


2. What kind of a splint did you wear (hard or soft) and are you a known bruxer ie: do you grind your teeth a lot?

I have a small hard split ..that covers the lover teeth..its covers ony like 3 or for teeth. The splint is lose now..and i used to wear it but not much help.
3. Did the splint give any temporary relief? Not really.
4. Do you have many crooked or broken teeth along with cavities?
Not really broken but ive lsot fillings and theres lose teeth..and cheweing is very hard.

5. Do you have difficulty in sleeping and worry often or are depressed as these are major causes of bruxism?

YES

Do I see my GP..what do i tell him..or do i go straight to a dentist?? Gosh

thankyou
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shivangi Gajwani Jain 5 hours later
Hi,

I empathize with you. And based on the symptoms you mentioned, I feel it calls a review with both a physician for the treatment of anxiety, depression and stress - as that will reduce your problem along with a review with a dentist. A dentist who specialises in temporo mandibular joint issues (oral surgeon or TMJ specialist) would be preferable. You can visit him/her with your relevant X-rays (those mentioned in my previous discussion).

Orthodontic treatment refers to braces / wires in teeth used to straighten or correct the crooked teeth. If the treatment is incomplete (as it is a long treatment or teeth), teeth may have gone back to original place resulting in an uneven bite, bruxism/grinding and pain. Further as you have root canals and fillings, getting your bite examined is warranted.

Splint has to be worn regularly for it to be effective. I would suggest that whatever splints your dentist gives you after examining x-rays and clinically, please make sure you wear it. You may need a repositioning splint that positions your lower jaw and keeps it in a harmonious position and relaxes the muscles reducing pain.

Along with the above mentioned treatment, physiotherapy may help.

I would also suggest that you reduce stress by meditation or yoga as both maybe effective. You also need to have a good posture while working.

I hope you will feel better soon. If you have more concerns, I would be happy to help you out.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Swallowing difficulty, jaw tenderness, neck cracking, upper back pain. Is it TMJ dysfunction? 1 hour later
Thankyou doctor.

I believe now Im heading in the right direction.

I saw my dentist and we are working together to get proper management and care.

Nice smile :)

All the best for now.

 
 
Answered by Dr. Shivangi Gajwani Jain 2 hours later
Hi,
I am glad to be of help. If you have any more doubts in future do let me know.

You can also write a review as in your experience with healthcare magic and the answers given by me.

Hope you feel better soon.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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