TMJ and swollen lymph glands in the neck
Hello. I am a 43 year old woman who has had orthodontic braces for 2 1/2 years. Late last year I was fitted with an "MDA" wire which required wearing elastic bands between the top and bottom teeth at any time I wasn't eating. While the appliance has since been removed (I am still in braces), I believe it triggered TMJ and now I am suffering from constant jaw and neck pain and stiffness.
I also have swollen lymph nodes in my neck and head and a lump / swelling on my cervical vertebrae. I have had a CT scan, Ultrasound and X-Ray that have showed nothing (other than enlarged lymph nodes). A recent blood test (complete blood panel) showed one type of white cell as low and another as high. I am seeing my regular doctor this week to ask what she thinks is going on.
I have not been sick nor do I feel ill at all - just the pain and tension which is constant. When I stretch my jaw (mostly by opening wide and then relaxing, repeatedly), I get temporary relief from my symptoms. I would welcome any feedback you can offer.
Firstly, the diagnosis of those enlarged lymph nodes has to be made. That is paramount; and could be the underlying cause of all your neck and TMJ symptoms.
I must be honest and say that I have some doubts about braces. What was the reason for having them? I get many letters from folk who develop TMJ pain after orthodontic treatment.
Look carefully at the graphic shown; you'll see that the sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, that supplies the jaw joint, is located in the upper neck. For this reason, many folk with TMJ symptoms also have neck pain.
Or, the problem in the neck could be quite independent of all your TMJ symptoms. Or it could be caused by those swollen lymph glands.
My suggestion is to first get those lymph glands seen to, and then have a long chat to your orthodontist. What's his take on the subject?
Then it's time to start looking for a chiropractor who works with the TMJ; not all do, so shop around and make sure the person has some genuine credentials. Ask your doctor for a start.
I hope this contributes, Kay. Please let me know what happens, keeping to this thread.
Chiropractic Help homepage»
» Jaw joint pain and swollen lymph glands in the neck