Wednesday, 11 July 2012

You might have TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint Disorder)?

Are you experiencing headaches, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, pain in your neck or shoulders, or sometimes back or leg pain? Or maybe you grind your teeth at night?  Chances are you are suffering from TMJ or Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorder.

The joint is where the upper temporal bone (skull) is hinged to the lower bone (mandible) and is responsible for jaw movement such as chewing, talking, yawning, etc. So, what is the connection between this joint and all bodily pain or symptoms I just described earlier?

Well, according to statistics, nine out of ten people have at least one sign or symptom of TMJ and mostly high stress women are prone to it. My osteopath Dr. JP Prado who was treating me for my back pain, was the one who spotted the problem and recommended that I consult with his mom, Dr. Dorothy.

I did go for an x-ray and to my surprise,  the x-ray confirmed that I was suffering from TMJ. As you can see from the image below, my left jaw joint (right side of the image) was not firmly in place and would've popped out of the socket in a matter of time.

Panoramic x-ray shows the misaligned joint 

TMJ is known as the Great Impostor because it not only mimics the conditions I mentioned earlier but believe it or not -  is the root cause of all other problems. I'm referring to these problems I've experienced throughout the years -  balance problems, nausea, cervical pain, lower back pain, restriction of neck motion, constant throat infection, sinus congestion, ear infection and even asthma.

Note that for each of the problem, I would see a specific doctor such as EENT, pulmonary, orthopedic, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc. You can just imagine the cost of my medical bills.

If you have any of the following, you may be a TMJ candidate:  history of trauma or dental work like braces, orthodontics;  jaw clicks; limited or painful range of jaw movement; teeth fail to meet properly; grinding or clenching at night; recurrent symptoms in head, neck, shoulders, back, knees; including headache or migraines; biting of tongue, cheeks or lips.

the Splint
By the way, when I saw Dr. Dorothy, my lower teeth was half its original size from all the grinding, my jaw was already receding, my face was a bit lopsided to the right and my left shoulder was higher than my right. Dr. Dorothy recommended a splint (which looks like a mouth guard) that I wear 24x7 to correct the misalignment. While she's correcting my jaw (upper body), I still see her son the osteopath to address my spinal problem.

P.S.,  Do you know the saying that there is no such thing as a coincidence?  Well, I met Dr. JP in one of Yoga Plus's weekend wellness talks. He was giving a lecture on Yoga and how to address spinal alignment problems. It was right after that lecture that I booked a session with Dr. JP and the rest is history. All I can say is, I am so happy that I discovered the source for all my seemingly unrelated medical problems. And in closing, I do agree with Albert Einstein,  "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."


johan rodrigues said...

Truly we most of the time face such type of problems headaches, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, pain in your neck or shoulders, or sometimes back or leg pain and this is really a lovely blog where you shared a information that may come to help us more. Thanks for sharing this evidence here.
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SwellNoMore said...

From here I have got some good experience headaches, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, pain in your neck or shoulders, or sometimes back or leg pain. This is really a good blog which can help us more and want to know about the Yoga and how to address spinal alignment problems. Thanks for sharing.
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