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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2981
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 35 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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What causes TMJ and what are the symptoms?

Resolved Question:

What causes TMJ and what are the symptoms?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to Justanswer.I will do my best to answer your question.I am not a great typist,be patient and feel free to ask if anything is unclear.TMJ dysfunction can be caused by a number of reasons.Loss of teeth without replacing then is a common cause..because this leads to bite collapse and causes the jaw to have to swing further forward so the teeth can contact..stressing the ligaments.Costant grinding of the teeth day or night and clenching the teeth als can cause TMJ dysfunction.Trauma from an auto accident or any teauma to the jaw could be a cause. An uneven bite from high fillings or drifting teeth can also give you TMJ symptoms.Symptoms include Pain when opening and closing..just in front of the ears.Pain on the sides of the head extending down below the chin..What symptoms are you having and are any teeth in particular hurting you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I had 3 hours of dental work with my mouth pried open. I also had one cavity filled in the same area (Lower right rear teeth). my jaw ached and I keep biting the iside of my mouth on the right. I yawned and there was severe pain to my jaw, my ear popped and now I have hearing loss in my right ear. It feels plugged up all the time. I also get almost constant headaches. The original dental work was because I had a popcorn kernel stuck. He did peridontal work and put in stitches.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 4 years ago.
That is a long time to have your mouth open..and if the pain is in front of your ear..TMJ pain certainly may be the cause.The lower jaw is not directly attached to the hangs from the skull by ligaments and muscles..if they are stretched or stressed it can sometimes feel like you have an earache.Some people have this all of the time because of bite collapse but your sounds more acute and will resolve itself given a little time.Warm moist compresses,trying not to open too wide,sticking to some softer foods and a good antiinflammatory like Advil liquigels 400mg every four hours should help it resolve.If it lasts longer than a couple of weeks, a consult with an oral surgeon might not be a bad idea.Sometimes a night gaurd or a splint can be used to stop the jaw from closing at a certain point to speed up healing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I forgot to metion that I also have occassional slurred speech for fear of biting the inside of my mouth. This has been going on for about 6 weeks. I

And what about the headaches? I am still not sure I understand what the symptoms of TMJ are. Thank you for your help with this.

Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 4 years ago.
Your slurred speech most likely has nothing to do with your dental treatment and is unrelated to the TMJ.Headaches from TMJ dysfunction would be on the sides of the head ,cheeks and angle of the jaw.Other pains in your head are most likely unrelated to your dental treatment.The temporomandibular joint allows the lower jaw to swing.If the joint is irritated the symptoms are pain in front of the ears..headache on the sides of the head,sometimes clicking in the joint,pain when opening wide and difficulty closing the jaw without pain.I would suggest that you get a full workup from a neurologist because the symptoms that you are describing,indicate that you are having some other neurological problems that are more centrally located.
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