TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, is not much fun. From an early age I could click my jaw at will and usually cause people to reel with disgust at the sound. It could happen unbidden at a dinner party – not the most pleasant thing for the other guests. In me it causes symptoms of an aching jaw which sometimes freezes or locks in a painful position or subluxes. Sometimes this happens when I eat. There may be no warning, it simply ‘goes’. It can be agony and can sometimes take a couple of days to stop aching. From childhood I also had a weird habit of using my finger knuckle to rub the earflap near the ear canal because I had dreadful itching in my inner ear. It was the only thing which relieved the itch, and produced another strange sound which I have never heard anyone else do. I was amazed when I found these were classic symptoms of TMJ….as also the headaches, tinnitus and neck ache which I also have, and severe aching when having to hold my jaw open at the dentist. I have been to only one dentist who had the blessed contraption of something which held my jaw open for me. Bliss.
Careful when yawning!
See the link between TMJ, Chiari Malformation and Ehlers-Danlos in this youtube clip: