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What can be the reason for pressure in my jaw preceding with a viral infection ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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I am having some pressure in my jaw. Only on the left side of my face, close to the bottom of my ear. My ears do not hurt. This started when I got a bad thrush infection (which is now under control). It was preceded by a bad viral infection and stomach infection. It was caused by antibiotic use for the stomach infection. The same day I found the thrush my jaw started not shutting all the way, it was off and on through the day, its like it would freeze up and I couldn't bring my teeth all the way together. This lasted only two days, it hasn't happened again. I went to the ER and the doctor there thought it might me TMJ but he wasn't sure. I've never had any problems with that before, though I can crack my jaw on that side. After the thrush infection I also developed bad dry eye which I never had before. My sinuses seem to ache off and on but i'm not having major pain or drainage. I don't have a tooth ache. My bite is off but I've never experienced any pressure in my jaw before. I had an extensive case of thrush and was on diflucan 14 days (finished sunday before last) and now I'm taking the lozenge. I can eat fine now but during those few days I couldn't close my jaw, I ate nothing, it was miserable. My question is.. does this sound like sinus or tmj? Im not sure what doctor I should go to. It isn't painful but the pressure is there and I'm fearful of having another occurence of what happened when the thrush started.
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

From the history provided it seems that your symptoms (pressure in joint, and transient inability to close the jaw) were probably due to partial dislocation of the temporomandibular joint, which could be just incidental. Since this is a first episode and lasting for just 2 days, there is no need to be concerned about.

As your symptoms have resolved (since you are able to eat food normally, now), but some residual discomfort or pain is persistent. This could be due to some inflammation of the joint tissues which might resolve in a few days. Use of OTC advil and motrin might help early resolution.

In case, such dislocations recur again, then it could be due to abnormal functioning of the jaw muscles or due to joint associated problems. In such a situation consulting a dentist, who specializes in TMJ disorders might be helpful.

The other symptoms including dryness of mouth are due to effects of diflucan and will soon resolve on their own.

TMJ disorder is a very chronic condition, and cannot be attributed to your symptoms lasting just 2 days.

Sinus problems do not present with the symptoms you had. They usually have headache, drainage, and systemic symptoms which are lacking in your case.

I hope this answers your question.

I shall be available to answer any persisting doubts or questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What can be the reason for pressure in my jaw preceding with a viral infection ? 1 hour later
Thank you for the insight. The two day episode with my jaw not wanting to close happened july 2nd and 3rd. Could i still have inflammation from that episode? It has never really been painful, even when it wasn't shutting, just irritating pressure. I remember my anxiety made it worse. Now the pressure feeling comes and goes, usually comes later in day. My bite has gotten increasingly off the last few years, I've heard that can cause issues.
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 46 minutes later

Thanks for the additional information.

It is true that anxiety related habits including clenching of teeth, teeth grinding can cause long term damage and progress to TMJ disorder, needed proper therapy and bite alignment. But proper prophylactic measures and habit changes can help prevent such occurance.

The description of pressure, on and off could be due to persistent inflammation or disruption of the capsule disc of the Temporomandibular joint.

Since it has been, more than 3 weeks since the episode, it should have resolved by now. In case, it has not improved, a trial of anti inflammatory medications for a few days ( Advil or motrin) might be helpful.

In case it does not improve, or it worsens, a MRI of the TM Joint, might help to get a clear picture of the exact problem you have.

Further treatment or interventions can be based on the findings of the MRI.

I hope this helps.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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