Sunday, June 24, 2012

Jaw pain and Meniere’s disease

In the past I have written about my dental problems especially having some of my teeth extracted.  It seems to only make sense that a tooth ache could cause issues with balance, tinnitus and possibly ear problems. And of course there may be a Meniere’s disease connection as well.  Sam, a regular commenter, sent me a link from which talks about temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint” is the area directly in front of the ear on either side of the head where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet.”

I know when I have dental problems or the muscles in my face are sore this leads to ear pain, headaches and lately tinnitus. There was also another email from Liz this week who described the problems she had with pain around her face that lead to some rather serious issues as well as dealing with fibromyalgia.

For me it seemed to affect every system in my body. Tinnitus, ear fullness so much fluid gathering around my face that it impacted on my teeth and they would crack in high winds or supermarket air and eventually fall out or my dentist would pull out remarkably healthy teeth. betahistine and BFZ (diuretic helps enormously but barometric pressure at extreme is a nightmare. low blanket cloud with wind and high clear pressure trigger attacks and also I cannot wear glasses to san or read as attack is immediate and i have to lie down before I fall down and throw up.
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  1. Hi.

    I'm a 48 year old woman and have probably had Meniere's for 4 years. I first got dizzy to the point that I went to the er 5 years ago. TMJ. The big difference, I know now, is that with TMJ, the dizziness was apositional. I was fit with a bite guard which altered my bite and completely eradicated the dizziness within 2 weeks. Then, I got dizzy from hormonal changes.

    I had never heard of Menieres. I knew from the ER that a 2 mg Valium would take care of it so occasionally I would get a prescription thinking I hadn't worn my bite guard enough or should get my hormones checked....

    One day as I was filling a Valium prescription I asked the pharmacist if he had something to unplug my left ear which had felt like I was on an airplane for years. He, God bless, asked if I had Menieres When I googled it, I knew, but had never had a vertigo episode(drop attack). 2 weeks later, one minute I was reading a book and BAM. had it not been for the pharmacist I would have called 911. After all this I got all the testing and learned what I already knew.

    In 2 weeks, I am getting a Meniett device and am very hopeful it will take care of the dizziness. The doctor I saw also told me that he expects this to go away on its own around the 5 year point. He also called my case mild. I can't drive safely most days. I had to quit a very lucrative job and my side work as a personal trainer. I have no idea which days I can make appointments and show up. I asked what severe would be and he said no balance and hearing loss. He also indicated it could be the stress of the Meniere's. I was in remission a year ago, or close enough. I've had a 6 years that have been incredibly challenging and I am good with stress. Really good. So, I just don't see it. I would like to hear how many know of someone that have had it just go away. So many stories of the battle, a few of hope would help. I can't complain, I have enough money, great family, single
    Mom with 2 amazing kids, absolute faith and optimism. I want to get back to work and have companies that would take me on almost any basis if I could make commitments and keep them

    Whoosh, thanks for listening. My main point was meant to be that if it's TMJ, there is a solution. The bite guard changes your messages to the brain and completely erases the dizziness and discomfort.

  2. I don't agree that TMJ is only for people with positional vertigo. I have been dealing with Meniere's symptoms since August 2010 (on and off blocked ear, tinnitus and dizziness), and started having vertigo attacks September 2011. And it wasn't until I saw a dentsist who specializes in TMJ issues that I found relief. I was having vertigo attacks every 5-6 days and it was a classic menieres pattern. My ear would get blocked and then more blocked, the tinnitus would get louder and then I would get vertigo and my ear would clear -- and then the pattern would start all over again. The only time I found temporary relief from this pattern (before the TMJ dentist) was when I went on a diuretic (25mg). The whole thing stopped for about 5 weeks and then started all over again (I believe now that this is because my body adjusted to the diuretic as it came back slowly). I have also been on Serc and have been seeing a naturopath -- both of which have helped but did not stop the pattern. I decided to pursue the TMJ route when I kept finding referneces to it on the internet. Many sites had stories about people who had been misdiagnosed with menieres when they really had TMJ. I also had many of the TMJ symptoms. I had been experincing headaches up the back of my next for years; I had a lot of ear aches abut also aching around the jaw and outer ear area. However, I did not have the classic intense pain or headaches that others have. Eventually I found a wonderful dentist who has treated thousands of TMJ patients (this is key) and he told me that he believes that my symptoms are directly related to misalignment (which can happen as you age, from car accidents, bad orthotics, etc.) and that this misalignment was causing inflammation of my jaw joints. He also told me that the TMJ is only 3 mm from the ear. He made two custom mouthguards for me -- one for the day and one for at night -- desiged to relax my jaw and reduce the inflammation in the TMJ. I had a bit of a rough start with the mouthguards as they don't seem to help if my ear is already blocked (in other words, they can't clear the excess liquid) but once my ear cleared, it has remained clear ever since. I have had one vertigo attack in 3 1/2 months and I have been symptom free for 2 months. I also know the mouthgaurds are working because I flew across Canada two weeks ago and had no problems with the pressure. In the past both flying and fast elevators would leave me dizzy or send me into an attack. I don't really know yet if I have found a permanent solution but I am very hopeful that I am finally healing. Of course my ENT belives I am in remission and that it's simply a coincidence that my symptoms have disappeared since starting on the mouthguards. If anyone wants more info. I am happy to provide it. I believe there is a cuase to everything that goes wrong in the body and labelling something menieres is just a convenient way for doctors to stop having to look more deeply for the cause.

  3. Hi there, I am sorry to hyjack your post here but I wanted to see if you had posted any info or learned via female sufferers of MD how pregnancy afffected their MD, or if they chose not to on the advice of their doctor.
    Can you tell me if there is a search engine to for all the posts you made? Thanks

    1. Hi Jenn,

      I developed Meniere's 6 months after my first child was born. I was 26. I had another baby 3 years later and unfortunately went bilateral in the last trimester and was unable to work or drive. I had a great deal of vertigo and vomiting due to the increased blood volume of pregnancy and maybe hormones. After I had the baby (NO complications at all, natural delivery), I then went completely deaf for several days. However, I resumed my diuretics and within weeks I was symptom free in the good ear and would be for another 14 years. NOW I am not as of last year.

      I had the EMS surgery 5 months after the 2nd pregnancy in my "bad" ear so I could care for my family.

      This is what happened to me. My husband was quite scared for my safety and health.

      Everyone is different...I did not have any more children after that.

  4. hello david
    last 5 posts are scams

  5. David, someone is posting promotional crap on this page again...

  6. Thanks Peggy,
    it looks I am going to have to start approving the comments again. I hate it but I am getting bombarded with spam

  7. Sorry about that... you do seem to be getting a lot of them lately. :(