TMJ/ TMD Journal

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Diagnosis Journey - From 1997 to 2013

Well, here I am back again...just wanted to let folks know I was still searching for what is causing all my symptoms. Turns out it may not have been all due to TMJ.

The CT is revealing something called Superior Canal Dehiscence

This definition is from Wikipedia -

Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) is a rare medical condition of the inner ear, first described in 1998 by Dr. Lloyd B. Minor of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA,[1] leading to hearing and balance disorders in those affected. [2] [3][4] The symptoms are caused by a thinning or complete absence of the part of the temporal bone overlying the superior semicircular canal of the vestibular system. This may result from slow erosion of the bone or physical trauma to the skull and there is evidence that the defect or susceptibility is congenital.[5][6]

So if you are suffering from unexplained symptoms you might want to check on the above link to see if you have this problem. Apparently it is very rare - could be a genetic defect or head trauma. It has also only been discovered since the late 1990's. It is hard to diagnose because many doctors have no idea it exists.

My CT scan reveals I have it on both sides. And right now either you learn to live with it or get the surgery which is quite invasive. Lots of links on SCDS out there and there is a support forum as well. I have joined under my pen name jan springer. Look me up if you have SCDS or think you might have it.

I am happy and finally feel empowered to know what I do have but not happy with the types of options available for a possible cure. For now I will keep researching and hoping for a cutting edge alternative that doesn't have a chance of making things worse or making you go deaf in that ear after surgery.

Maybe I was supposed to have this affliction so that I can write a book about it and educate folks. Yes, maybe I will write a book... :-)



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Friday, July 21, 2006

Your teeth, midline and TMJ

For those of you who have had dental work that screwed up your lives...Here's an interesting article on how the alignment of your teeth can affect your whole body...

From the article at the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain..."The teeth are passive members of the upper and lower jaw, but they have a specific way they must fit together and interrelate. As far as the brain is concerned tooth position has priority over joint position...this means the TM joint is forced by the muscles to move so that the teeth fit together properly...this can potentially cause a misalignment in the joint capsule"...

A little further down in the article..." often the internal derangement of the TM joint is preceeded by myofascial pain dysfunction and can involve moderate severe spasms of the head, neck, shoulder and or back muscles. A wide range of symptoms mayb occur such as headaches, muscle aches, ear pain, dizziness, stuffiness and ringing in the ears, blurred vision etc..." Heck! I had all this stuff and more!!!

Link submitted by Anna. Thanks Anna!


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Monday, July 10, 2006

Another excellent link for TMJ information

Here's another excellent link regarding TMJ information. This is one you don't want to miss in your research about tmj! My eternal thanks to Anna for submitting it!


Definition of TMJ and TMD
Predisposing Factors for TMD
sleep disorders
The causes of TMD
Parafunctional habits--Bruxing defined
Can the dentist see TMD on X-rays?
Sinuses, sinus headaches, Sinus toothaches, and TMD
The relationship of TMD to snoring and sleep apnea
The relationship of TMD to migraine headaches
The relationship of TMD and drugs
The signs and symptoms of TMD
Increases the likelihood of Dry socket
Increases the severity of gum disease
Increases severity of decay caused by sugar
Phantom pain
Difficult root canal treatments
Denture sores
Erosions of enamel on the tops (attrition) and necks of teeth (abfraction)
Cracked tooth syndrome
Cold sensitive teeth
Difficulty staying open at the dentist's office (trismus)
Headaches, Ear aches and Neck aches (Tension related headaches)
Chronic dislocation of jaw
Fusion of the TM joint (Ankylosis)
Organic Joint dysfunction
Treatment of TMD
Bruxing guard
Bite adjusted (deprogrammed) bruxing guard
How does deprogramming work?
A note to dentists about changes in the bite using a deprogrammer
Prosthetic solution (crowns and bridges)
Orthodontic solution (braces)
The use of drugs in TMJ
The treatment of heavy duty TMJ
Open surgical procedures
Miltex anchors
Implants and joint replacement
The all natural cures

I've printed it out and it comes out to 18 pages...gonna have some good night reading tonight!!


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Setback City! Muscles and TMJ

Well it finally happened...setback city. Grrrrr.

Thankfully the symptoms aren't too bad...just a tad feeling off center occasionally and the feeling I might get dizzy but it doesn't get into a full swing of it. But I can sense it getting worse as the days go by...

I just realized that the past few times I've been to the chiropractor he has not done any tmj work...instead he's concentrated on the spine...neck, back and hip areas...this is a good thing because it allows me to zero in on what he isn't doing and what is now happening to me. ;-)

Anna, a fellow TMJ sufferer, has sent an excellent link about TMJ and the surrounding muscles. These muscles can go into spasm causing all kinds of troubles from pain to dizziness to referred pain and

Here's the link:

Thanks Anna!!

I'm thinking one of my problems could be the tensor veli palatini muscle that appears in this article - this is the one that affects the eustachian tubes and gives middle ear symptoms...interesting stuff!

Read the article!!!

The article continues on

jan, off to do some very gentle gardening

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

TMJ and chiropractors

Remember that TMJ can throw your spine all out of whack and can create awful symptoms such as dizziness.

As you know I suffered dizziness for about eight years before I finally found help thru a chiropractor. Over those eight years I had gone to many specialists including chiropractors. No one could help me until a chiropractor was suggested to me by a friend who found relief from her own dizziness problems.

The proper chiro who was finally able to help me worked from RECENT Xrays he took in his own clinic. That doesn't mean to go out and look for a chiro guy with his own X-ray machine. LOL. Just make sure you have one who will either send you in for X-rays or will work from an extremely recent Xray. I had several worked from an X-ray that was 5 years old. One worked from a Dental x-ray which showed part of my neck. And one told me he didn't work from X-rays because X-rays harm the body...when I told my current chiropractor about these other guys he literally laughed! And wanted to know how do those chiropractors know what is wrong with your spine if they don't have an X-ray?

Which now makes sense...but when one is desperate we kind of take anyone's word who says they can help. Right?

Within a month I noticed a big difference. No dizziness. No real off balance problems. Headaches were going bye bye and the muscle aches throughout the body were getting I suffered for eight years from something that could have been helped within a month...

Don't do what I did...Instead do your research about how to get a good chiropractor, if that is the route you choose to explore.

Here's a link where you can find info about how to find a good chiropractor:

The above link is supplied by Dan who says a chiropractor fixed up his problems.

Check if your chiropractor is any good by using Dan's link:

These above links are supplied compliments of Dan. Thanks Dan!

Hope the above helps in your search for help.

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SCM and TMJ can be connected!

I received the following information from a fellow TMJ sufferer about our SCM muscles. SCM are the sternocloidmuscles. These are the large muscles that come from behind our ear and move down our neck to beneath our clavicle.

When you have tmj these muscles can also be affected because if our jaws are out of alignment then it affects our neck and the rest of our body. SCM can affect our head movements and how we breathe and swallow.

Check it out, especially the Symptoms section:

Sternal Division: Lateral surface of mastoid process / front of manubrium
Clavicular Division: Lateral surface of mastoid process / upper border of the front of

Flexes neck and head forward, bringing chin to chest. Flexes neck sideways,
bringing ear to shoulder. Stabilizes head (as a "check-rein) when tilting chin
upward, or during talking and chewing. Assists in swallowing.
As an accessory muscle of respiration, SCM lifts upper ribs in breathing when
neck is erect or hyper-extended (not when head is bowed).

May entrap spinal accessory nerve (cranial nerve XI) en route to trapezius causing
weakness in trapezius or torticollis of muscular origin. SCM motor fibers often
originate as part of the vagus nerve.

Sternal Division. Pain referred upward to cheek and sinuses, occiput, eye
(orbicularis), top of head; pain referred downward to sternum. Tearing of eye, visual
disturbances when viewing parallel lines. Chronic "sore throat" when swallowing,
possibly with a chronic dry cough.

Clavicular Division: Pain referred bilaterally across forehead; frontal sinus-like
headache, ear ache, nausea, dizziness, car-sickness, faulty weight perception of
held objects, and hearing loss (reversible).

Strained by:
Whiplash injuries, structural faults (short leg or small hemi-pelvis), overhead
painting, carpentry, wallpapering; horseback riding, front-row movie seats,
coughing, chest breathing, working for long-periods with head turned to one side
("word-processor headache").

Many thanks to Anna for supplying this information.

Hope this helps our fellow TMJ sufferers :-)

Have a good one!


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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Still doing good!

Jeepers! I really have neglected this diary. My apologies!! I guess when we are feeling good we tend to forget that others are still suffering with this tmj crap!! My sympathies. I think about people who have this problem everyday. I still wonder how I was able to handle it.

But handle it I did!

The best advice I can to folks suffering tmj, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, off balance, to never give up looking for help. Sure you can take breaks from searching but in the end do follow through on any leads you get.

Never lose hope. Never let a quack doctor tell you "it's all in your head" or "you'll have to learn to live with it".

I was told both of these by my doctors. Sure it depressed me for a few days, but I always managed to pull myself out of it and continued to look for help. If they cannot tell you EXACTLY what is wrong with you then it is your duty to yourself or whoever is suffering to look for some sort of help.

Needless to say I'm out of pocket thousands of dollars because I didn't go to a proper chiropractor right after my first car accident. LOL. Eight years of hell could have been avoided.

But I am feeling a hell of alot better now!!!

It's funny how the right chiropractor can help. I went medical doctors, did all kinds of tests, and they found nothing, nadda. When I finally get a chiropractor who seems to be interested in educating me about the spine - I feel better within a couple of months. Sure I'm angry because I suffered for so many years on something that could be fixed within a short time span. But I can't let it get to me...too much

One thing you should do is to research what a chiropractor knows about the body. It's really amazing how the spine can affect your health.

And tmj can make your whole spine go out of whack too. Because when the jaw is out of alignment then everything else is going to slowly go out too. It makes sense, right?

Anyhows I'll leave you with the hope that if I ---who was dizzy for eight years - loaded with aches and pains, and feelings of tilting to the side, off balance, headaches several times a week, tight neck muscles, shoulder pains, back pains etc...can get help, then any of you can get fixed up too.

Just keep looking and never lose hope!!!



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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Update - things are looking up!

Great news!!!

I had my three month Xrays at the Chiropractor this week and he was very impressed with my improvement. The sideways curve in my middle back - the one causing all my sleep problems - is almost gone. My neck still needs work as the curve had reversed itself but with the help of my chiro the neck is almost straight. Now I am doing excercises to put the normal curve back into the neck. He feels I have improved to the point where I can now come in once a week instead of three times a week.

I feel much better. I still have had no dizziness *frantically knocking on wood* but I do have some tipsy spells still. Very rare and very mild. I can lift without getting dizzy but I still have to be very careful or I will start getting pressure in my head - a warning of course. And the vibrations in the affected ear have lessened but do appear after I've done too much work.

The chiro doesn't know how all this came about but I suspect it started with the dislodged jaw, followed up by the whiplash accident which just accelerated the symptoms. My massage therapist thinks it was all those nasty splint adjustments that may have made my spine in the neck probably go out of alignment even more.

Now I have to figure out how to ditch this doggone splint as my chiroprator is wondering why I'm still wearing it 24/7 after two plus years!!!



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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Have I been slacking or what???

Well holy moly! I hadn't realized I'd been neglecting my TMJ journal for so long...My apologies dear diary!
Anyways just wanted to let you know that yes I did get better after more chiro visits...I got so much better that I was able to shovel snow - and boy did I shovel that snow and totally enjoyed it!!! Hadn't done it for years without getting dizzy. Unfortunately and you knew there was going to be an unfortunately right??? Unfortunately I did something wrong...maybe too much too soon as I also started driving for longer periods of time and cross country skiing - oh God! Did I love my cross country skiing trips into the woods behind my new place...but it seems over the past three or so weeks things have slowly started going downhill again.

I am still going to the chiropractor three times a week - talk about putting me in the poorhouse - but like I said he has been helping me. I haven't had any dizziness (crossing my fingers) for more than a month...I do get occassional split seconds of feeling weird, my balance goes funny sometimes but seems to correct itself after some rest.

Another thing I've been trying to do is to leave out my splint for longer and longer periods of time as my chiro suggested. Unfortunately it bothers me after I have it out longer than ten minutes. I cannot eat without it as the back of my teeth do not meet if I have no splint - never had that problem before getting the splint.

Awwwwwww well on the whole there is a pretty good improvement from the chiro visits. I haven't had any massages. Haven't felt the need for them, which is a good thing, yes? Next time in town though I have to go back and get one - a maintenance massage is a good thing to have once a month. Keeps the blood flowing to one's muscles.

One thing I have noticed too lately. As my setback slowly returns my anxiety and panic attacks become more frequent. I of course know why I have them now...which really is a big help when I have one because I can just breathe through it and off it goes. LOL. It's all coming from the neck or jaw...we still are not sure exactly where the dizziness stems from but I am scheduled for another Xray I think sometime in March so he will hopefully see what's changed and what hasn't.

A few days ago I had an assessment which showed my right side is now in the red zone...instead of the left side which was affected the first two assessments. The chiro guy says at least something is happening which is a good sign. Let's hope so, eh?

I'll try to post more often...but in my new place there are so many things to do that I don't have much free time anymore.

Alas I am off!!



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