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TMJ?? - severe dizziness


#1

My TMJ problems started few years after having lots of dental work done in 2014 (crowns, bridges etc). At first I had headaches right above my eye and behind it. In April 2018 my jaw locked open approx 10 minutes during dental procedure. I was able to unlock it but my dentist did not mention to me that I have TMJ issue and should have this checked out ASAP. In June I started getting severe dizziness and had pressure on the back of my head. Other symptoms were clogged ears, ear ringing, very stiff neck, fuzzy vision, numbness in right hand. I did not connect dots that the dizziness could have been caused by TMJ. Therefore, I went to ER 8 times, was admitted to the hospital, had multiple MRIs and CT scans of brain, neck and jaw. All type of blood work done. I was checked by ENT, control disease doctor and neurologist. There was nothing wrong with my neck C1 or C2. My thirod levels were good. All tests were negative and none of the doctors could figure out why I felt so dizzy and lightheaded. None of them mentioned jaw.
At this point I decided that maybe this has to do something with my jaw and went to TMJ dentist specialist. CT scan of my jaw showed that my bite was off and my lower jaw was pushed backwards pressing on ears, veins and nerves. I agreed to splint therapy $5000 that I have to wear 24/7. Now I’m 2 weeks into the treatment and dizziness is still severe. I also started therapy with chiropractor on my neck. But nothing is helping. I never was much in pain so this is not an issue but the dizziness in ruining my life. I feel constantly dizzy or about to faint. I am unable to drive since June and not able to work almost 4 months. Did anyone have gone through similar situation? Did the splint therapy work for dizziness and how long did it take?


#2

Imho dizziness is mostly caused by issues with the inner ear (which might be caused by some external influence eg hypertension) and potentially also by neurological issues or a combination of the two.

TMJ? Don’t believe that for a second. Quack medicine.


#3

I have severe, long term TMJD. My disk on the left side is pretty much gone and the jaw bone (condyle) is remodeled such that about half the bone is missing. It used to hurt a lot. Sometimes it still does but the bone wearing away meant it stopped clicking. There was a time there when I had hairline fractures in my skull radiating up from my TMJ. So yeah, TMJD is totally a real thing.

I also have a vascular loop on the left side auditory nerve (vestibular paroxysmia) that causes vertigo if I’m not careful.

So, both of those known issues aside, my dizziness and nerve issues and all my other MAV symptoms are just that, MAV. I didn’t get better until I treated it with lifestyle changes and medication, specifically Effexor. My issues are pretty clearly migraine variant balance disorder starting in the brainstem.

I’d still like a TMJ splint to reduce pain and stop my jaw from dislocating.


#4

How did you get this diagnosed? Were there any specific tests done to prove that the dizziness is MAV related or rather it was assessed based on symptoms? I’m looking into MAV as well. Need to find one around me since all other tests are negative and jaw was my only issue.


#5

Hello Aga,

Diagnosis of any vestibular issue is a long and winding road. If you read our Wikis here, you’ll see there is a lot of testing and medication trial and error. The problem with MAV (aka Migraine Associated Vertigo, aka Migraine Variant Balance Disorder, aka Vestibular Migraine) is that there is no such thing as a definitive test. It’s a collection of symptoms and a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning they can’t find anything else that’s wrong with you. Some here have inner ear issues. Some have migraine. The state of medicine today means we really can’t test for a lot of things because we just don’t have the knowledge and equipment.

My case was typical and abnormal at the same time. I thought I had constant sinus infections. After multiple unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics by GP sent me to an ENT. The ENT did a CT scan and noticed that I don’t even have the front half of my sinuses (a fairly common birth defect at 12-13% of the population). My issues were migraine masking as sinus issues. That’s the typical part. The abnormal part is that my years and years of dizziness, head pressure, headaches and ear issues bloomed into full brainstem auras. I’ve written a thesis on that recently in another post.

In terms of testing, I’ve had the typical MAV round up of MRI/MRA with contrast, X-rays, blood testing for autoimmune disorders, vestibular testing, auditory testing, eye tests. I know about the vascular loop because of the MRA. My inner ears aren’t well coordinated, but not extremely off. My eyes don’t have nerve damage, glaucoma or any other suspect issue. My hearing is better on one side than the other, but that was the result of trauma that happened after MAV developed. I have scads of MAV symptoms and not much else to explain them. So, MAV.

The other thing, is that mine responds to typical drugs used to treat MAV. My best med now is an SNRI.

MAV isn’t well known or understood. Your best bet is to read our Wikis. Read Dr. Hain’s pages (referenced in the Wikis). Create a symptom diary for a month. Take all that info to a neurologist or an oto-neurologist.

Oh, and welcome to mvertigo!


#6

hi, there is a study at unc chapel hill looking into the relationship between tmj and migraine. If this is a hypothesized relationship, it does not seem crazy to think that dental work caused tmj and then tmj caused mav in your case.
I wear a mouth guard, and it has helped with jaw pain.