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Experiencing pain in jaw. Suggested TMJ. Seeing oral surgeon. Worried?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 6171 Questions
I have been experiencing a lot of pain in the right side of my jaw. When I open my mouth is almost feels lie it pops out and in. I went to my dentist and he said it was TMJ but wanted to get x-rays. The x-rays came back and it shows something in between the bones ( like the canal way, he said many people that have TMJ it can be a bone on bone situation but a normal jaw has like a canal way. Well in my canal way on the right side there appears to be something and he wouldn't comment and I'm seeing a oral surgeon but I am freaking. The other side does not have that in the canal way.
Posted Sun, 18 Aug 2013 in TMJ
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

i am so sorry to hear about the pains you have been experiencing on your jaw. I hope together we would be able to get answers to this. TMJ is most common in women in their 20-40's!

From reviewing the information and the xrays, for real there is an abnormality on the right. It is difficult to make a call on this xray on what the exact pathology or abnormality is. From the look on these films, it could be inflammatory debris or part of a muscle that has found its way into this space or something else. This is too difficult a call to make right now. Further investigations may be warranted.

However, like you doctor rightly suggested talking with an oral surgeon will make some sense. He will do a more detailed exam and maybe do a CT scan that will be able to characterize this abnormality fully. If it come out typical of any pathology, then he may propose the various treatment options to you.

I understand your fears. They are real and what we can do at best now is to find out what the possible cause is and provide solutions. Worrying about the problem isn't helping us at this moment. The best thing is to think on how to find answers and solutions as you have rightly started doing so. Continue the process.

For now, I will suggest that you take some pain medications, avoid over using the joints now and try some cold compresses, too.

Wish you all the best with this. If you have some more questions, please feel free to ask them. Please, calm down and get relaxed. We shall get definite answers from this upcoming encounter and exams and also proposed solutions.
Dr. Ditah, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing pain in jaw. Suggested TMJ. Seeing oral surgeon. Worried? 8 minutes later
Would cancer look like that in the x-ray ( like jaw cancer)?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 23 minutes later
Thanks for the follow up.

I knew this is what is freaking you out so much. Because you have brought it up, i'll discuss it.

Cancers often cause lysis of bone. This is not the case on this film. What we are seeing is no bony destruction and cancer should be a very rare possibility in this case. Though it remains to be excluded, odds of being a cancer are very very minute judging from this Xray.

Most bony cancers are metastatic rather than primary. not having a primary cancer makes bone cancer less likely. Also, at a joint which is often even very rare.

Stay calm.. Your problem is real, cancer is a possibility but definitely should be an overwhelming surprise to me if that turns out to be the cause. It is 99% more likely not to be it.

Hope this answers your question. feel free updating me or asking some more questions. Thanks
Dr. Ditah, Md
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Experiencing pain in jaw. Suggested TMJ. Seeing oral surgeon. Worried? 2 minutes later
Thank you so much!! My freak level has came down a good bit! lol thank you.
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 23 minutes later
Humbled to know I could relieve you of this anxiety tonight.

Sleep well.

If you no longer have any more questions, you may consider closing the discussion, rating the answers and writing a short review to help us improve on the quality of our services. Else, I am still available for more of your related questions to this query.

Dr. Ditah, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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