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TMJ from accident??

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
HI Guys

I'm going crazy trying to find some relief for my daughter. For the past year she has suffered from intense pain around her left ear. We tried everything including pediatrition, orthopedist, neurologist, ENT, dentist and orthodontist. Everything has been ruled out...TMJ is the only remaining possibility.

WHen this was suggested before I didn't buy it because every medical organization says it doesn't exist. ANd therefor they won't pay for it as medical or dental.

As I searched today I found a few posts that claimed their TMJ came from car accidents. So PLZ PLZ is there anyone who has had experience with this? My daughter was a passenger in the accident that caused my injuries. I would like to check into this but not sure who to go to.

Thank you


  • I don't personally have any diagnosis of TMJ, although I know I grit my teeth at night and have had some jaw pain as a result.

    But, my BIL has had severe TMJ and even had to have surgery to correct it. His symptoms were pain around the ears and severe headaches. The surgery fixed the problem for a long time, although he still has some residual pain, but not like before surgery. So from my perspective, TMJ is indeed a real problem and should be taken seriously.

    Take care and good luck to you and your daughter in finding a 'fix' to her pain.
  • Don't know if this helps, but prior to having orthodontic work done, I never had an issue with TMJ. Then after 3 years the braces came off and I was fitted with a permanent retainer on my lower teeth. Within a week I had horrible ear/jaw pain. After all kinds of test and seeing an ENT the orthodontist removed the lower retainer. Within a few days I no longer had any pain.

  • I developed TMJ after my ACDF in 2009. I had clicking so loud others could hear it while I was eating. My jaw would come completely out of both sockets when I yawned and I would have to push it back into place. I now have to wear a mouthpiece on my lower jaw at night and the clicking is gone. I was also told I should not overly extend my mouth eating. I cut up apples, etc. and must suppress yawning.
  • I don't know the answer to your question about TMJ being caused by the accident possibly, but there was a time prior to my spine problems being diagnosed that I was suffering from severe jaw pain on both sides and headaches. My dentist referred me to a dental specialist in a neighboring town who worked with me on my bite, posture, all sorts of things to alleviate that jaw pain and he fitted me with a mouthpiece that he made and fit on my top teeth. I wore it for six weeks all day/night except for eating and then he told me to use it at night always. It made a tremendous difference and I will admit that I don't use it all the time now, but I have it and when that jaw pain starts, I'll wear it for several nights and I get great relief. This was not covered by insurance and I paid a great deal of money to have him help me, but it was money well spent in tne end. Seems like your dentist could do some of the preliminary work investigating her bite and any jaw shifting she might have.

    I have seen advertisements for these mouthpieces that can be purchased and used for grinding of the teeth at night. You do something to shape them to fit your specific bite. It might be worth purchasing one of those (I think they are available in retail stores) and see if she can get some relief from using it at night first. If it doesn't help, then perhaps you will have to investigate a dental specialist such as the one I used. Hope it doesn't come to that.
  • I have TMJ and have had severe ear aches from it in the past. I thought I was having an ear infection, but when I asked about it at my dentist it turns out its TMJ. As far back as I can remember I could make my jaw pop and for the last twelve years it pops every time I open it past a certain point. When I chew my wife can hear my jaw from across the room at times.

    I have learned that I get the ear ache whenever I clinch my jaw, either at night or during the day if I'm stressed. I have been able to minimize this by being aware of clenching and forcing myself to relax if I am. I tried the mouth piece and wasnt able to sleep with it, but if it gets to a bad point again I def. will use it.

    I would say starting with a mouth piece is a good cheap way to start and hopefully you can find someone that knows tmj well and can get your daughter some help. Best of luck.....Mitch
  • A lot of things "cause" this. Me, I've had it since I could remember! Oddly for me, I grind so bad I have screwed teeth and have crowns now, but very little jaw pain if any. TMJ is one of those things that aren't set in stone as to what causes it! If you can show a link between the time line from the accident, you might be able to link it.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Kris i remember you saying before that you had trouble with your daughter after the accident. I was never diagnosed with TMJ after my accident,but i do have pain around the joint in my jaw near my ears that started after the accident.When i go for massages my therapist massage up the sides of my neck and around my ears and jaw.It does help the pain but it has never actually stayed away.
  • I think it is time to get back to the orthopedist. Actually I have to call the no-fault insurance to get approval and see if they have any suggestions for doctors. I'm also going to try to get my ortho on the phone to see what he thinks.

    The more I think about this the more it makes sense. From the accident she has had severe lordosis. SHe has done lots of PT and they work on her neck to relieve the muscle spasms but no one has been able to find a cause for all of this. I know they say muscle spasms take years to go away but if the muscle is spasming it is doing this for a reason.

    I have to look to see if she ever had an MRI of the neck. I'm thinking yes but not sure. If they did they might be able to just look at those films.

    I hesitate to start this up because it will focus her attention back on the pain. RIght now she is doing well so I hate to rock the boat. But I also don't want to wait until she has another flare up.

    Sounds like I will be on the phone today :(
  • with the TMJ symptoms. I don't know for how long this was going on for her, with the dental jaw issues you are having, and if she had tendency to do so while sleeping.

    Has it been in episodes for her since the MVA? The impact, whiplash injuries as they love to umbrella together, of course can get the TMJ going.

    With my broadside collision, I had TMJ a month after MVA, so painful and sudden I was in ER, facial pain extending from the already inflammed neurospasms in my neck and spondylosis-arthritic flare-up affecting my eye vision (episcleritis) (ER care 24 hrs loss of left eye treatment) occurred prior to that!

    The TMJ was continuation of trigeminal nerves inflammed with migraines, left ear aches, (symptoms you are aware of & others mentioned.) I had a round of steroids, different dose than special dosing for episcleritis. I also started wearing the dental brace protector (over-the-counter) at night and the TMJ flare-up did clear up in 3 wks., no further problem with any more flares.

    Wondering since you are not fully wanting to move forward with the Orthopedic MRI route, if you can get to a neuro dr who works with TMJ and do some standard treatments first.

    Kris, I was surprised to see how well I did in 3-4 weeks, getting the migraines down and trigeminal nerve calmed down, steroids, r & r, moist-heat gel wraps....all worked - - even in the midst of dealing with intense neuromuscular recovery treaments (neck, shoulders and back) for the 12 months continuing after that TMJ episode.

    Soooo even intense TMJ can be resolved in some cases.
    Hope that gives you some light in your concerns for what I experienced with the neuro flares and with MVA. So hoping your daughter's path is an easier one, sure understand you opening up that orthopedic door with her.


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