I've been dealing with chronic pain/TMJ 24/7 for the past 3-4 years. I've always had hypothyroidism symptoms but I started to notice my neck feeling swollen and sensitive around the time my TMJ started. I'm wondering if the two are linked, so is my TMJ specialist since ... [More] he really believes there is since TMD has a lot to do with hormones and stress. I wear a top splint made specially to bring my jaw into alignment since I have anterior disc displacement with reduction. I used to wear it all day, now I just wear it at night since I was able to bring down my jaw pain levels with trigger point therapy! The dull achy pain is still always there though. I just want to know what is wrong with me and fix it! :-D
my brother is hypothyroid and TMJ dx. (also celiac and whole bunch of other issues) but the TMJ seemed to happen not that long after he was getting his hypo symptoms. I clench my jaw way way more... I wake up with facial pain and pain my my cheeks and jaw...... Also as i said in my other post.... that my tongue swells up randomly sometimes now.... don't know if there is a connection but i would not be surprised. I am sure that a lot of it is caused by the stressed placed on the body by the thyroid not functioning the right way....
I've had TMJ problems for years, but they became severe five years ago. Currently they are roughly described as bilateral fixed non-reducing antero-medial displacements with mid-stage osteoarthrosis, severed synovial tissue, subchondral cysts and condylar reshaping. What this translates to in plain english is: 24/7 pain, little to no reduction in jaw opening, extreme tenderness with chewing, biting etc, extremely hypermobile TMJs, little to no inflammation. I have near perfect occlusion and have never been a clencher or grinder. That's just the TMJs. I have enormous problems with my head/neck posture, my cervical and thoracic spine, shoulders and neck muscles. These areas are constantly tight and painfully so making sleep really difficult. I find it hard to be comfortable no matter what position I am in. Then there's the thyroid issue. I never really knew much about it before but in my family history there is extensive auto-immune problems in the genes including hashimoto's thyroiditis and motor-neurone disease to name a few. Anyway, three years ago I woke up with a tender lump on the right side base of my throat. One thing led to another and after a fine needle aspiration I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. 3.2cm non-contained papillary carcinoma. Complete thyroidectomy and full neck dissection followed then radioactive iodine and high-dose artifical thyroxine after that. Prior to the cancer I have no idea if I had any sort of thyroid problems as I was never tested but I would not be the least bit surprised if I did. I am fairly certain there is some sort of connection between thyroid disease and TMJ problems but exactly why and what that connection is remains elusive. I am currently researching the auto-immune aspect because f my genetic history, but I'd love to know if others find anything in other avenues of research.
Yep - I've been there. In early 2010, I was a healthy person - hardly every went to the doctor, and never took pills / medications (even for headaches). Now, I'm on four medications daily to keep my autoimmune diseases under control.
I never felt right after my daughter was born - my monthly cycles became irregular, I was tired all the time (but I had a new child), and it was getting worse. I assumed it was my busy schedule.
That was years ago - just last year, I thought I had colon cancer. It turns out it was ulcerative colitis - an autoimmune disease that attacks the colon. I'm really very lucky to have not had cancer or Crohn's disease. I began taking two pills (canasa and lialda) daily to keep that under control.
But the fatigue worsened - it was to the point that I would sleep for 10 hours at night, and still not be able to make it though the day without a nap. Doctor's told me it was stress or depression, but finally a doctor looked for my T4 peroxidase antibodies - I had Hashimoto's thyroiditis. For that I take synthroid.
Just weeks after that diagnosis, I developed jaw pain. That pain was just confirmed to be TMJ last week. There are two types of TMJ - autoimmune and something ligament related - mine is autoimmune arthritis of the jaw, or so it seems. I have another joint problem called cubital tunnel (which is like carpal tunnel, but in the elbow). I take aspirin daily for these issues, but it does not seem to keep the pain under control.
Apparently, joint problems and arthritis are not uncommon with thyroid problems. I have been reading a lot, and it seems that having multiple autoimmune diseases is not uncommon. It also seems that genetics play a role in autoimmune disease, as well. My mother had hyperthyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.
My husband and I joke that my warranty has run out - every time we turn around another system of my body is under attack. I am debating going to see a geneticist and / or an immunologist for a consultation. We will not find it to be funny if my daughter gets these diseases (we are also getting screened for cancer, as we both have multiple instances of terminal cancer on both sides of our immediate family).
Good luck with everything - you are certainly not alone!
Oh my goodness, I have been wondering the same thing about my son. He is 24 and has TMJ so bad I have to massage his neck and upper back every night trying to get relief. I have hashimotos and graves. I have heard that it is 68% likely that your offspring will have some type of thyroid problems if your parent does. Thanks for the post. I keep telling him He needs his thyroid checked.
Thank you all for your information. I've recently been diagnosed with Hyper-Thyroid and haven't been able to get clinical confirmation that TMJ (from which I've later begun to suffer--to the point of broken teeth from grinding) is connected to Hyper-Thyroid. I've just started taking Methimazole and am very hopeful I recover my health. As it is, I am so fatigued, I can barely walk a city block. I appreciate all of your helpful comments. Best wishes, Gregory
I am just now starting with TMJ pain. I had a total thyroidectomy Feb 2011, for thyroid cancer, papillary on the left, and follicular thyroid cancer on the right side. Two different cancers. I had the radioactive iodine tx after having the thyroidectomy. I had swallowing problems, loss of taste, and salivary gland problems. I often got a jolt in my nerve of my jaw joint when salivating. Now today , my jaw muscle is inflamed. I get worried that my cancer could be back, but more likely it is damage from the mega dose of radioactive iodine I received. So yes to me I would say there could be a connection.
OMG I just typed in OVERACTIVE thyroid and TMJ and came upon your discussion as I was told at dental hospital I had TMJ and I have had hyperthyroidism for 18 months going to mention to my doc about thus discussion thanks
look at your tongue, does it have lattice edges, not smooth. that is a sign your tongue is swelling due to thyroid problems so the tongue takes on the imprint of your teeth on the sides making in and out curves around each tooth. look in the mirror. it can make your bite off and tmj problems etc.... I went to dentist after dentist and finally a dentist noticed because his wife was just diagnosed and that is how I found out that I was hypothyroid and should be checked.i had a lot of the other symptoms too but didn't realize my bite problems all of a sudden was due to thyroid problems.....who knew....
Thank you for addressing the thyroid – TMJ connection.
I have had hypothyroidism for 20+ years, and I had quite debilitating TMJ with chronic pain for more than 10 years. Fortunately the TMJ is much better now, primarily due to physical therapy/exercise/stretching/lifestyle modifications and overall commitment to health and wellness.
I strongly caution anyone seeking treatment for TMJ to do their homework and research beforehand. Amazingly there are very few proven effective treatments of any kind for TMJ. It is an extremely misunderstood condition, that of course mostly affects women. Surgeries and even splints can be extremely damaging and cause problems to severely worsen. In my case, a splint/mouthpiece severely exacerbated my chronic pain condition, and it took me many years to overcome this.
Like many "chronic pain" patients, I was given dozens of different medications related to TMJ over the years. Nothing improved the condition, but the medications themselves caused many additional problems with side effects etc. My quality of life and situation improved only when I myself made the decision to stop all these medications (not including thyroid replacement medications).
The patient advocacy website tmj.org was a tremendous help for me and life-changing. The TMJ Association is an amazing small organization that has done so much to help TMJ patients. Please check out their resources if you're interested – extensive website with a wealth of information and the facts about possible treatments and outcomes.
Thank you for your interest in my experience. I want to offer encouragement to everyone out there with severe TMJ. For many years I could not eat normally, was in moderate to severe pain most of the time, and my activities and mobility were extremely restricted. Now I basically have a completely normal physical life and am pain free. A few years ago I never would have imagined this was possible. Do your own homework and research, and rather than just trusting surgeons/big pharma etc., believe in the possibility of your body to heal itself.
I am suffering daily with TMJ for one year now. Awful!! Constant severe pain and barley can stand it most days. Have had many trigger point ionjections, cervical facet blocks, med changes, continuing in PT, stress reduction. Still awful. ANy suggestions??
I am not sure why you chose to post on the Thyroid Forum, but it triggered my thoughts back to some info I have seen about the possibility of TMJ being linked with hypothyroidism. Note the following I found.
Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ syndrome) is also common as hypothyroidism causes problems with muscles and ligaments. In addition, both edema and clenched teeth due to chronic muscular tension can affect the jaw and cause the pain and muscle spasms of TMJ syndrome."
So have you ever been tested for a possible thyroid problem? if so, please post results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report. Do you have other symptoms?
I was diagnosed with tmj since I was 16 yrs old. And 12 yrs later I was referred to a thyroid doctor due to lumps on my neck. who did me a biopsy and turns out i have thyroid cancer on the same side as my tmj
I recently went off my birth control and started experiencing TMJ and Tinnitus. I'm still taking my thyroid medicine, but am slowly going off of it since apparently I never needed to be on thyroid medicine. Why my doctors put me on this medicine and kept me on it is beyond me! Hoping once I go off all this stupid medicine, my TMJ and Tinnitus will disappear. It seemed to go away early this morning, but came back when I took my T4 this morning.
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