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TMJ disorder after an accident - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Dental Health
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 681 Questions
User :   I am a 37 yr old woman.I have had a lump in the front of my right ear for a while ,but now it is tender to the touch and slightly bigger.I was told that i have TMJ after a car accident & i also clench my teeth.I know we have lymph nodes there ,should i be worried?
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hello doctor
Doctor :   Please let me know some other details.
Doctor :   How big is the lump?
Doctor :   What is it's consistency - fluid like inside,hard,soft?
Doctor :   Can you pinch the skin above the lump?
User :   A little bigger than a pea,kinda hard,i can pinch the skin above
User :   no fluid that i can tell
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   Is it movable under the skin?
User :   just alittle
Doctor :   So have you consulted a dentist for your TMJ?
Doctor :   Are you using a stabilization splint (biteplate, nightguard)
Doctor :   or any conventional analgesic pain killers such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or NSAIDs ?
User :   The accident was years ago but at my last visit he fixed some issues with my bite being off because of a missing tooth from an old root canal
User :   no
User :   no
Doctor :   Ok, so i can put you on some simple paracetamol treatment but if does not reduce in three days time , i feel you should be consulting a dentist.
User :   I also tend to thrust my tonge to the roof of my mouth
User :   why a dentist?
Doctor :   Take Tab.Tylenol 500mg. thrice daily for three days.
Doctor :   TMJ's usually show up in later stages as small painful lumps as preauricular lymph node enlargement.
Doctor :   I would not worry if the pain would be less than 4-5/10 and take a paracetamol.
Doctor :   If not then visit a dentist.
User :   what does the dentist do for that?I'm in Costa Rica limited resources.what is paracetamol
Doctor :   Paracetamol is Acetaminophen, usually called Tylenol....
User :   what is 4-5/10 mean
Doctor :   Tab.Tylenol 500mg. thrice daily for three days.
Doctor :   If you grade the pain, how much do you grade it out of 10?
User :   not that bad a 3 yesterday i had a headache 7 took advil
Doctor :   Ok, Before you need a dentist's consultation, you need to understand that it can be aggravated by 1. habitual gum chewing or fingernail biting
User :   no 7 i meant &
Doctor :   Ok.
User :   none of that going on
Doctor :   2.Stress frequently leads to unreleased nervous energy. It is very common for people under stress to release this nervous energy by either consciously or unconsciously grinding and clenching their teeth.
User :   true
Doctor :   3.Teeth grinding and teeth clenching (bruxism) increase the wear on the cartilage lining of the TMJ. Those who grind or clench their teeth may be unaware of this behavior unless they are told by someone observing this pattern while sleeping or by a dental professional noticing telltale signs of wear and tear on the teeth. Many patients awaken in the morning with jaw or ear pain.
Doctor :   4.Occupational tasks such as holding the telephone between the head and shoulder may contribute to TMJ disorders.
Doctor :   And hence you need to avoid these aggravating factors.
User :   do i need to get this removed ,will it go away on it's own
Doctor :   Do you follow?
User :   yes
User :   i was fine until the headache
Doctor :   Jaw rest, Heat and Ice therapy, Medications,Stress management,Physical therapy.
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