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Old 05-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

I recently started having an issue with my jaw. I have some muscle weakness and pain in my jaw. I find myself grinding my teeth and clenching my teeth. I also get a popping sensation in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on the right side. It gets worse in the evening but is there all day. I spoke to the neuro and speech therapist at my last clinic and they do not feel it is ALS-related. I am not sure I agree with them and neither does my GP. Anyone else have this problem?

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Old 05-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

I have had this problem long before the ALS but it is worse again lately. I got my dentist to make me a properly fitted mouth guard which I wear any time when I am sleeping. It helps a lot both with this and with the tongue biting which I am starting.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

I am guessing (just a guess), that the jaw problem you are experiencing could be caused by Upper Motor Neuron damage. These problems usually manifest as brisk reflexes (reflexes that happen to healthy people and are normal and go away in matter of just a few seconds but not when you have UMN dysfunction) , when there is UMN damage they are multiplied thousands of times (clonus, jaw jerk, startle reflex, etc.).

I'm not saying that necessarily that's the cause for what your are experiencing but, you should check with your Doctors just in case.


Hope this helps.


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Old 05-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

Yes,having pls/umn issues that now effect bulbar region i can relate to the problems you are having.
Mine are somewhat worse being all umn......jaw clonus/spasms,dystonia spasms in right lower face that distort my mouth,weak chewing muscles ect ect .
I do occasionally get jaw spasms that can suddenly snap my jaw shut very violently,had sore tongue a few times and last year cracked a tooth.
I do get tmj pain but dentist xrayed and said tmj area was fine and they felt it was referred pain due to spasms in jaw.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

I have had intermittent jaw pain and popping since I got ALS. As well as the heightened reflexes, there could be muscle weakness which is asymmetrical, causing stress on the TMJ. The popping has come and gone unpredictably. I had a recent episode of extreme jaw pain, but ibuprofen helped and I hardly have any pain now. Good luck!
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

I commented on another post about this the other day.

Right in front of my left ear I get a very sharp pain while yawning. I'm sure its TMJ related and I've always had some slight catching on both sides. But this is new and sometimes excruciatingly painful, although only lasting a few moments after yawning.

If I try and move my jaw to the right when yawning, I can sometimes avoid this pain. But as much as I yawn in the evening, I sometimes don't catch it and SNAP..OUCH!

My left side is the weaker side, tongue, smile..or lack of, weaker left hand, etc. I am sure it is somehow related to my ALS. I've always had some occasional snapping pain when I have yawned, but nothing like this until about 2 weeks ago. In fact on the right side the joint will snap, but hardly a sensation felt.

Now this might sound strange but it works for me. When I yawn I stick my finger just inside my left ear canal and the pain is considerably reduced. I think it limits the range of free motion the joint now has...possibly due to muscle weakness?
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Issues with Jaw muscles and popping TMJ

Yawing can be a pain....forgive the pun.
I brace myself when i feel a yawn coming on and put pressure on the tmj/around ear area to hold it down so the yawn causes less pain and inpact.
I'm one of those that yawn more because of bulbar problems........yawn when not tired.
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