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TMJ and MS?
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TMJ and MS?

First off, I'm new to the board, so I apologize if this has been asked before. I've Googled and Yahooed repeatedly and haven't found anything definitive about this.

I have a whole slew of symptoms, starting ten years ago or so, that almost seem to fit a diagnosis of fibromyalgia better than one of MS, chief among them lots of muscle and joint pain, sleep disturbances, and TMJ. But I don't have tender points. Seriously, there is not a part of my body that cannot be pressed hard enough, the stiffness is so severe.

However, I have other symptoms as well (vertigo, shooting numbness on occasion, clumsiness), and my doctor doesn't think that fibromyalgia covers enough of my symptoms and wants to keep looking. To that end, I have an MRI scheduled for Monday.

The TMJ is extremely irritating; I have to fight the urge to clench my teeth together even when conscious, and it's a losing battle when asleep. My teeth are now so sensitive from this that sometimes when I bite down on something any temperature other than room temperature, I'll get shooting, ringing pain that makes me want to drop to my knees. The TMJ is definite, but does having TMJ mean that it's unlikely I have MS?

I'm so tired of all this and just want an answer and a way to go forward.

And another question, mostly out of curiosity: I keep reading about heat sensitivity when I read about MS. What is this? I mean, I keep hoping that hot baths will help my muscles relax, and while in the tub itself, it seems to. But I often want to pass out before I'm done or when I climb out. I have always thought I'm just running my water too hot (I do get it verrrry hot). This wouldn't be heat sensitivity, would it? More like idiocy, right? :-)

Thanks for all your help. Sorry this was so long.
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749148_tn?1302864559
Hi
I have MS, fibromyalgia and TMJ... I wear a soft mouth guard that my dentist made out of bleaching tray materal (I'm allergic to latex) I wear it faithfully and it helps!!!  I think you can now buy them at the drug store... try it!
Debbie
~live as if all your dreams came true~
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks! Good to know TMJ doesn't cut off all routes to answers. I guess I sound terribly impatient; I should probably just wait until I have my appointment to start in with the questions - but I am pretty impatient after ten years. The first five years I just kind of blew stuff off, the next five, my doctor didn't seem to take me seriously. Now - new doctor and possible answers. I feel like a diagnosis would give me my life back, if that makes any sense at all!

I have tried the guards before, but unfortunately,  always seem to spit them out in my sleep. I do think I'll try one again, though - I gave up a few years ago, and maybe there have been improvements in the designs since then.

Do you have to take medication for MS and fibromyalgia both, or does one become more manageable with treatment of the other?

Thanks for all your help!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, Trace, and welcome. I'm an oldtimer here, and I've gotten to know so many great members. We'll certainly help you if we can.

Everyone has TMJ, since that stands for temporomandibular joint, the jaw hinges on both sides of our faces. TMJ disorder, though, is some malfunction of the joint, on one side or both. The overwhelming majority of TMJ disorder cases are caused by teeth grinding, especially during sleep. Many otherwise healthy people have this problem, and it's treated with a mouth guard. This is not a part of MS. Still, you need to keep trying with the guard, because you can grind your teeth down to practically nothing, causing a whole other cascade of problems. My dentist told me he has a patient who has chewed through 3 mouth guards over the years, and he keeps making her new ones. Medical science usually attributes teeth grinding to stress, though whether that's actually the case I don't know.

I was diagnosed with TMJ disorder several years ago, and my dentist made me a mouth guard ( $200), even though I insisted I don't grind my teeth, in my sleep or otherwise, and my teeth aren't worn down. He said I'm just not aware of it, etc., etc. Wrong! That was before MS was really on my radar screen, but I was having other dental and neck pain and mouth numbness. All of that subsided within a few months, and hasn't come back (thus far), knock on wood. I still have the dumb mouth guard, though. TMJ disorder without teeth grinding can certainly occur with MS.

I'm not sure whether TMJ disorder as part of MS can be a feature of trigeminal neuralgia or not. That would depend on which cranial nerve is involved.There are 7 or 8 major cranial nerves. I'm sure our Health Pages (far upper right side of screen) have a lot of info on this, but at the moment my memory is faulty.

As to hot baths, in MS that's asking for very serious trouble that doesn't necessarily go away. Hot water can raise your body's core temperature and cause an MS flare. If you even think you might have MS, please don't take this chance. I know it's tempting to ease pain this way, but really, it's not worth it.

ess
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the info.! I will get another guard and keep trying.

And thanks for the info. about the hot water. It never actually seems to help anyway, other than the time I'm actually in the water (and not a whole lot then). But I do get really dizzy afterward, and I usually have to lie down on the floor awhile before I can dry off and get dressed.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Trace, and welcome to the forum!!

I am undx, but suspect MS, as I have many of the symptoms.  I did the same as you with the hot baths to relieve pain, but finally had to give them up because they made me so weak I couldn't get up out of the tub!!!

Later finding out that heat intolerance was a symptom of MS, kinda put a few other things in perspective for me and led me to start trying to find a dx.

Do you know what strength machine your MRI will be done on?  Most common is the 1.5T, but the 3T is much better when looking for lesions that come with having MS.  The most common MRIs to check for MS are done with and without contrast, and with MS Protocol.

One thing most of us here do is make sure we get a copy of any and all tests that are done.  This way if you have to change drs, you have all your records and can make copies to take with you to your appt.  Always keep a copy for your files.

I wish you the best on your road to finding a dx.  There are many of us here who are traveling that road with you.  We call ourselves limbolanders!!!  Hope you won't spend long in the land of limbo, and that your dx comes quickly.

I look forward to getting to know you better.  For some great info, check out our health pages.  You can find them in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Take care,
doni
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Avatar_f_tn
No, no idea what size machine or how the test will be done. My doctor prescribed it by saying it was needed because of "mental status change," because she had to put something down for the insurance to approve it. I told them why she really wanted it when I made the appointment. I hope this is standard and they do whatever kind of testing needs to be done to confirm.

Thanks for the kind words - I hope you are not in limboland much longer, either!
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Avatar_f_tn
About a month ago my neck started aching and became stiffer than usual, fibro issues, then outta the blue my left lower jaw pain became unbearable. My dentist checked it out and said it wasn't the tooth that had a root canal last October or my heart - it was because of grinding my teeth so he sent me to buy a mouth guard from Walmart. After a few weeks the jaw pain became unbearable so back to the dentist I went, he said it was TMJ and to keep wearing the mouth guard. Any recommendations for the pain? It's like a migraine affecting my left side of neck, jaw, and up to eye.
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