Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Temporalis and masseter muscle atrophy
Within about 8 or 10 months, my temporalis and masster muscles on both sides of my face wasted away significantly. It left me with protruding cheekbones and hollow temples. The change has been very dramatic.

During the time that this happened, I had pretty serious TMJ problems. A disk in my left TMJ became displaced, my jaw was in a closed lock for almost a year and I was diagnosed with TMJ internal derangement and osteoarthritis. Muscle spasms and pain were very common in the beginning but have since subsided.

My health is otherwise good. I have not lost any weight whatsoever to explain the wasting. The muscle wasting became very apparent at age 27-28 and came about so quickly that this cannot be normal aging.

I received treatment for my TMJ issues 5 months ago and have regained almost full range of motion in my jaw. But I have not regained the lost muscle mass and still have major hollowness in the temples and cheeks. My TMJ specialist does not have any answers for me. I have scoured tmj literature and forums and cannot find this particular problem.

My questions are:

What could explain this? Could it be connected to my TMJ problems or is it something else entirely?  Could permanent nerve damage from TMJ explain the wasting?
Cancel
11 Answers
Page 1 of 1
1175033 tn?1309511759
I am sorry you are going through all this, that wasting isn't normal.   I have been having similar issues with my jaw,(but I don't think I have wasting) but just now getting help with it.  I have been doing a lot of research on these types of issues and I believe your issue might lay in you cranial nerves. You need to see a neurologist and get a brain MRI to see if something is damaging that nerve.  
I hope that is not the case, but I cant think of anything else that would do this type of muscle wasting that to so localized.
  I would say it could be connected to your tmj disorder, and I hope it is not permanent. Bell's palsy is where a virus attacks nerves in your face and can cause paralysis of parts of the face and that is usually not permanent, maybe it could be some form of that.

I hope it gets getter soon!  Let me know if you find out the cause,  Stacey
Comment
Cancel
1175033 tn?1309511759
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response! I hope it is just disuse atrophy and that there is no underlying problem with the cranial nerves. But the lack of improvement is making me think otherwise. I'm going to go see a neurologist and will let you know what I find out!
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
I am exactly the same age as you, and I have exactly the same problem!!
I got TMJ for about 8 months now.
My cheeks and temples are sunken, and I loss almost all of my facial fat (under eyes and forehead).
So, have you got MRI yet? Is it really about nerve damage?
I'm thinking about seeing neurologist, too.
According to my TMJ dentists (I went to consult 2 tmj specialists), one said it's because of muscle atrophy, another said it's because of muscle tightness (that might cause fat loss).
I'm so confuse and doubt that it might be nerve damage as well!!!
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
I am exactly the same age as you, and I have exactly the same problem!!
I got TMJ for about 8 months now.
My cheeks and temples are sunken, and I loss almost all of my facial fat (under eyes and forehead).
So, have you got MRI yet? Is it really about nerve damage?
I'm thinking about seeing neurologist, too.
According to my TMJ dentists (I went to consult 2 tmj specialists), one said it's because of muscle atrophy, another said it's because of muscle tightness (that might cause fat loss).
I'm so confuse and doubt that it might be nerve damage as well!!!
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
I have the exact same problem. I have been suffering from TMJ problems for 4 months now and have had significant loss of my temporalis and masster muscles. My face looks hallow after a relatively short period of time. Does anyone know if this is revers able?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
I have the same problem and I am 36. Did anyone find anything?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Very interesting.  I am 42 and have been having horrible TMJ issues.  I had a doctor inject one side of my face (the painful side) with prolotherapy.  For a period of time is had me pain free.  Unfortunately I had him inject me one last time because I still had clicking and it has been a disaster.  I am now experiencing pain in the joint (prior the pain was in my temple and eye area).  Additionally it has left my face completely asymmetrical.  The left side is much larger.  The doc says prolo can't grow tissue that way but my face is living proof that it can.  It's a thought for those of you with tissue loss.  Or you could try fillers.
If anyone knows of a good TMJ specialist, please let me know.  I'm in the northeast and considering flying to Houston to see Dr. Auvenshine.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
How are you guys doing now? have your face got back to normal after TMJ  treatment, I am in the same position now, feeling quite depressed and upset from the way a look. Never thought this would be the concequesnces of not treating the TMJ disfunction right away..
PLease any hope and update would be very much appreciated.
Thanks
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Hi There, how are you doing now? Have you got any treatment at all, is your face looking more like it used to be? please let me know. I am really desperate
Thanks
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Your comments sound just like me.  I was in a car accident and suffered severe whiplash when I was 20 yrs. old.  Prior to that I had not been to a chiropractor; after it, I lived there.  Had to quit my job as a CNA and have suffered with headaches for 30 yrs.  My temples are sunken and I have hair thinning on the top and right side of my head - does anyone else have this symptom?  Maybe it is from the long amount of time I have suffered from this.  Have braces right now and my ortho is looking for a comfortable position for me.  Prior to that I had an appliance since 2000.  But the headaches persist.  Somehow I have raised my family (of 8) in the midst of the pain and will persist in doing so for as long as the Good Lord allows this to continue.  Am going to see a chiropractor who adjusts the skull for tmj in August, but I have learned over the years not to get my hopes up.  On top of this I have had chronic fatigue for 15 years.  Still, life is not so bad, and there are others who have not the blessings that I have.  Prayers for you all.  God bless.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
663179 tn?1225122598
I have the EXACT problems. Please help, anyone hear anything or get any results to help???
Comment
Cancel
663179 tn?1225122598
I have exact issue!!  Any word on if it improves?
Comment
Cancel
663179 tn?1225122598
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Submit Answer
A
A
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Neurology Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488 tn?1310696703
Blank
Marathon Running Done Over Many Yea...
05/15 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
233488 tn?1310696703
Blank
New Article on Multifocal IOL vs &q...
05/15 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
748543 tn?1463449675
Blank
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
01/15 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGD, FICCMOBlank
Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452919248
Blank
selmaS
Allentown, PA
144586 tn?1284669764
Blank
caregiver222
5265383 tn?1453516751
Blank
aspen2
ON
209987 tn?1451939065
Blank
tschock
AB
1780921 tn?1462244109
Blank
flipper336
Queen Creek, AZ
11079760 tn?1449081557
Blank
cjtmn
Minneapolis, MN