TMJ. out of the clear blue !

Jan 10 2014 my ear ached, had trouuble opening my mouth and it hurt to chew. This was my right side only. I saw my doctor, I had a bad ear infection. Antibiotic helped and the ear infection cleared up. However, my jaw and ear still hurt. My doctor referred me to an Ear,Nose,Throat doctor. His exam didn't make him suspect TMJ. He sent me in for a CT Scan. To the surprse of all, I have severe osteoarthritic degenerative TMJ bilaterally.

So, now I have to follow up with a Head,Neck,Pain clinic and see their dentist. I am very nervous about this visit. I know there are cavities and a crown to be had. I do not have dental insurance. So, my question is what should I expect at this appointment concerning the TMJ? And, to throw in an other wrench, I had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiattion.

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Oct 07, 2015
Good post
by: Dr. Ben Keeling

Hello! Your site is awesome!
May I share your article on my site and link at you as an author?

Thanks for answering!

Mar 02, 2014
Out of the Clear Blue
by: Dr. Spainhower


With what you've described, your TMJ pains could be coming from many sources or factors. Your pain could be coming from a physical factor or even just stress.

When a person's TMJ pain is diagnosed coming from Osteodegenerative arthritis in the TMJ's, then correcting the bite is probably an option. I would seek treatment from a dentist that has been trained by the "Peter Dawson" academy or a dentist that can correct the bite into "Centric Relation".

Keeping the bite correct is important with severe and active degenerative arthritis. As the TMJ degenerate, the bite gets worse, so you have to maintain a good bite to reduce your symptoms.

If your pain is not coming from OA, then it could be coming from anything. You can email me at for more answers.

Dr. Spainhower

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