You are not a doctor. I am not a doctor. I have been to a doctor. Seeking personal anecdotes.
Have you had TMJ? Do you have it?
Sometimes I feel like there’s an icepick being driven into my ear. I had a dental procedure (implant) begun last November and completed only a couple of weeks ago. During that time I chewed on only one side of my mouth. When I started experiencing the pain, I mentioned it to the dentist and he said TMJ is usually a dull pain, not a sharp pain. Then I went to an ENT, and he said chewing on just one side could cause the pain. Otherwise he couldn’t find anything wrong with my ear. I went BACK to the ENT a couple of weeks later after the implant was completed, because the pain was really bad–not all the time, but when it was bad, it was bad. He spent about three minutes with me and said it probably would take awhile once I started chewing normally for the pain to go away. He said, we could do all kinds of tests and an MRI and probably would never be able to pin down what was causing the pain.
I might add that I’m under a LOT of stress, dealing with my 91-year old mother about 1,000 miles away, and the sudden vacancy of a rental property (loss of income), which will need major renovation before it is habitable again. I’ve been reading that stress can cause TMJ because of tension in the jaw, tooth-grinding, etc.
The pain, when I feel it-- and it’s not all the time, but maybe intermittently, 5-10 times per day for a few long seconds-- is not in my jaw, but just inside my ear. I looked at the chart of the ear in the ENT’s office and basically there’s nothing in that area, just cartilage. For a while (and this is what sent me back to the ENT the second time) it felt like the cartilage itself-- the pinna (learned that word from the doc), the part that your glasses sit on and your earrings hang from–was sore.
I also wear hearing aids, and it sometimes feels like the hearing aid is causing the pain. But I also feel the pain when I’m not wearing the hearing aids.
Any home remedies? I’ve read that warm compresses and massaging the area sometimes help. For a while I was taking a lot of ibuprofen and I don’t want to do that continuously.
Other TMJ stories? Thx.
There are probably other threads but TMJ is too short a “word” to search.