It is tough when your doctors don't agree. Part of your symptoms, such as the ear pain, sounds like you might have a TMJ issue. But not all your symptoms sound typical to me.
Grinding is not a prerequisite for having TMJ dysfunction. Did the dentist do a panorex x-ray to look at your joints? Did the dentist ask about if you were stressed and if you might clench your teeth, even while you sleep at night?
If you don't know if you clench your teeth while sleeping, do you often wake up with a headache?
Thanks for posting. I have since been back to the dentist. I had just the normal check up X-rays done. Nothing specifically for the joint. His observations were that the was no evidence of grinding again. I do not wake with a headache. He fit me for a temporary mouth guard which is very awkward to sleep so I only tried it for 2 nights. Today I saw a new ENT. She said the lump was my jaw joint. She thought it sounded like a muscle or joint issue I was experiencing and suggested a different type of mouth guard. I also had a salivary gland biopsy (most painful thing ever) to rule out Sjogren's. One parotid duct did not seem to be producing any saliva. So I guess I am at the wait and see point.
I have no evidence of grinding either, but I clench when I sleep. Did the dentist do the plaster molds for your teeth in preparation for making a custom made mouth guard? Did the ENT tell you what different type to try? I use a hard flat-planed splint myself on the top teeth. Let me know your biopsy results?
How do you know you are clenching at night? The dentist fitted me with a "loaner" guard that fits over my front two teeth. I found this really difficult to sleep with. I couldn't really close my lips over it and was forced to mouth breath all night which made my mouth more dry than usual and it was hard to drink with the guard on. Additionally, I kept waking with an allergy type ticking dry cough. I gave up after 2 nights. My 3 small kids wake me enough at it is. Sleep is precious. It seemed too tight and my front tooth was really starting to hurt when I pulled it off. My new ENT told me to just buy a cheap $5 mouth guard like they use for football. The kind that you boil then fit. She said I would likely bite through it in a week or so if I had a problem. So that is what I am using now for the past 4 days just on the top teeth. So far it seems fine. It's not great but easier to sleep with than the other. No noticeable improvement though. I am anxious for the biopsy results. I am not sure what I am hoping for other than some DX. I have the feeling it will be inconclusive just like everything else. My list of health issues has been extensive and well beyond the list posted above
I have awoken with my teeth clenched together. I also have awoken with a headache from doing it.
A "loaner"? What does he do, sterilize it after the patient returns it for the next patient he wants to loan it to? This type of guard you were given by your dentist is not the kind any one in my family has. I'm glad the thing you are using now is an improvement over that one.
When do they expect to have biopsy results back?
Hi there! I'm still not sure if night time grinding or clenching is my issue. I am not sure what the dentist does with the "loaner" guard. It was filled with acrylic to fit my teeth. He said it was the only one FDA approved for TMJ, whatever, it sucked. The other was better. After several nights of using the guard, I have not found much relief. Most of my pain comes on in the afternoons. I went to the ENT today. The biopsy show the salivary gland was scar tissue. I am told this is unusual but indicative of Sjogren's. the lab was unable to confirm SjS. She wanted to take another biopsy. When she cut in she couldn't even find a gland to use and aborted the process to avoid further pain with a poor outcome for the time bring. I then went to the eye doctor for Schrimer's test which showed dry eyes. Eye doc says clinical diagnosis is Sjogren's. I need to figure if this is the cause of my ear, jaw & face pain and how to stop it. Thank you for you comments and concern.