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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Do I have tmj?

Hello, My name is Lola, i am 15 years old. I ve never really had any problems with health until now and i need someone to help me please! I have problems with opening my mouth properly. My jaw seems to be misplaced, and it gets stuck constantly. Every time i try to open my mouth i have to move it a certain way to unlock it, sometimes my ear pops, i think it has to do with the jaw problem. I m not sure what to do, my mother has this problem too and sometimes when she is chewing you can hear her jaw pop. I also have a frew friends with this problem. I have been asking my parents to take me to the doctor to have it checked out but all they say is, You just need to drink more milk. I wonder if this is normal, if it only happens for some time and disapears, ( and yet i have had this for almost three years now) can this be treated? I also just found a painful bump about a centimeter below my left earlobe, could this be a cyst? PLEASE HELP!!
Mon, 13 Jun 2011
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Dentist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 's  Response
hi lola,
you have a couple of problems,
let me address it differently, the reason im answering to this question is that i happen to be a specialist who deals with tmj problem...i would advise you to see a oral maxillofacial surgeon, who deals with tmj problem...neither a orthodontist or dentist or orthopaedic surgeon would help you specifically...due respect to the doctor who is assisting you,

1) yes you have a tmj problem....symptoms what you are experiencing indicates of a dislocated disc, there is a articular disc between the bones of the joint, now this may get dislocated and can impede the path of rotation of joint on opening and closing axis of joint, it snaps when you cross the obstructing disc....and while closing it may obstruct again ...thats the reason you have to adjust your jaw while closing..this may result in disc perforation and close lock jaw(difficult to open the mouth) or vice versa
another side to this if you are only experiencing un interuppted wide mouth opening and then gets locked and you are unable to bring the jaw back to its resting position
then it is dislocation and if you can assist it back then it is subluxation but you have stated you have a problem while only opening then this gets ruled out and disc dislocation seems likely...i can assist you better if i can see you pics with maximum mouth opening from front and pls notice when and where exactly you feel pain and obstruction, xrays will be needed but later a tmj open and close mouth view and if disc is the problem then an mri
2) a lump behind / below your earlobe seems to be just an enlarged lymph node...probably due to some infection...while go down in a couple of days antibiotics may help but after an infection is diagnosed..please do not blindly take antibiotics...
will get in touch again after your reply
then i can assist you with the treatment.
dr adarsh desai, oral maxillofacial surgeon and implantologist
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General & Family Physician Dr. Ramesh M.Vachharajani's  Response
it seems that you have got some problem with tempporo mandibular joint.
There may be loose muscles or loose ligaments of the joint.
While wide opening of mouth you protect your tm joint,as sometime there may be sub laxesion (partially dislocation)
Avoid chewing of hard things.
Consult your Ortho dentist or orthopedic surgeon, of course very little can be done of your problem.
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  User's Response
Hi Lola,

Your problem could be a chronic temporomandibular joint dislocation. And as your mom too suffering from the same problem it could be hereditary. Does anyone else in your family suffer from the same problem. The treatment to this is Eminectomy. Here the joint is restored in its anatomical position but without reducing its mobility. But it is done by very few experienced doctors.
And about that painful bump, from how many days do you have that? Is it rapidly growing or constant in size. What about its consistency? Any difficulty in chewing? It will be better if you get that examined by a Surgeon.

wish you a good health

Dr. Ashwin
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