TMJ and vertigo

When I saw the neurologist, he asked me if I have any family history of migraine, seizures, or epilepsy. I told him I didn’t think so. I decided to ask some of my cousins if they are aware of anyone in our family who has any of those things or a vestibular disorder.

One of my cousins replied and said that he has had vestibular issues and had been diagnosed with Meniere’s, but the diagnosis was later retracted and changed to TMJ (tempromandibular joint disorder).

I hadn’t heard of TMJ being connected with vertigo. I found a good article that explains the connection:

ooooh, I don’t know about this one at all, Anna. I file this one under baloney - it’s yet another excuse for dentists to charge you money!

I agree with Hain on this:

“It seems very unlikely to us, however, that any substantial dizziness is caused by TMJ/TMD, and it also seems highly unlikely to us that TMD causes any organic changes in auditory processing. Rather, we think that this association is probably psychological in origin, and related to a redirection of attention.”

"With all of that background aside, the TMJ is blamed for an immense number of human ailments. One dentist, apparently trying to drum up business, sent me a circular claiming that TMJ causes:

  • Headaches/Migraines
    …suspiciously long list…
  • Pain behind the eyes, dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing."

“I have also been contacted by a group of dentists who were upset that I questioned the association between TMJ and a myriad of other symptoms. I asked them for data in the form of peer reviewed publications. These were not provided, but this probably reflects the lack of diligence of these dentists rather than a lack of data, as Pubmed has large numbers of papers, largely written by dentists, concerning the association between TMD(TMJ) and many ear complaints.”

Seriously, vestibular medicine is just a mess of conflicting & overlapping diagnoses and medicine is full of people trying to relieve you of your money!

PS I’ve had TMJ, which is thankfully improving significantly due to following purely conservative guidelines. It came on well into my vestibular condition - perhaps I should blame my TMJ on my dizziness?! (Well, indirectly I can. I know what caused it: the psychotherapist’s muscle clenching exercises that were supposed to relax me ended up causing a massive muscle spasm in my jaw!!!) My dentist sold me a mouth guard for the equivalent of $400 and this simply made things WORSE. DENTISTRY IS A RACKET! and you should imho never go to a dentist for treatment of dizziness!

Edit: May 2024: I retract this last statement, with hindsight. It’s good to remain open minded.

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I actually have pretty significant TMJD. My disc on the left side is gone and the bone is so eroded my jaw dislocates when I lay down. Every morning I work it back into place. It hasn’t made a grinding or popping sound in years because those structures are simply gone. Before that I had hairline fractures through my skull on that side from all the impacts. It made for an interesting x-ray. The right side has arthritis from carrying the load. It doesn’t really hurt that much anymore unless I have a day where I’m doing too much talking or chewing. It is always very stiff. My insurance denied treatment so I haven’t pursued it beyond telling an oral surgeon to keep his knives to himself.

I doubt my jaw has much to do with my dizziness. Structurally there is a vascular loop impinging on a nerve on the left and tinnitus and hearing loss on the right from trauma. Maybe the jaw plays in, but there’s too much going on in a small space to tell. None of those explain the majority of my MAV symptoms, for example visual snow and aura or an unhappy digestive system. In the MAV menu of symptoms I appear to have ordered the combo platter. There are too many disperate issues for me to ascribe it all to something localized and structural like my broken jaw.

Yep, I’ve had that pleasure on many an occasion. Luckily it’s “tightened up” over the last year and I no longer find it dislocated in the morning!!

I don’t really care anymore. My pelvis is displaced regularly, too. Walking down the hall to the bathroom in the morning I look like a rusty Transformer, if Michael Bay featured a Ford Pinto model.

Ouch!! Poor thing!

No, I used to have real pain. After 45 physical therapy sessions, countless adjustments and a very obvious brace, I can say now that it’s settled into annoying and uncomfortable but no longer truly disabling. I’m counting it as a win. You can get used to way more than you think you can.

I second James on this. I have TMJ due to teeth grinding not linked to dizziness in any way.

Vigs, it’s 2:30 am. MAV keeping you up, too?

@Manatee If you can catch today’s Migraine World Summit episodes there’s a talk on TMD (TMJ is just the name of the joint, if you have issues you can either call it by “TMJ issues” or TMD (D for disorder).

My former neurologist said my jaw opens crooked and my right TMJ is a lot weaker than the left and she suspected some type of joint damage or issue.

My understanding is TMD can definitely trigger migraines, or be one of the many issues that elevates our threshold to the point where we get migraines (see today’s talk on the migraine summit, that explains it in great detail!)
Here’s the link below but you may not be able to see it unless you sign into the summit, it’s free: This talk will only be available for free until 8:59 am Eastern time Sunday the 22nd.

Also, I saw a physical therapist who said TMD can lead to tight neck muscles, and we know tight neck muscles can trigger migraine as well as vertigo, especially the STM (a long neck muscle).

My dentist says I don’t grind or clench my teeth as there is no evidence of it on my teeth, so I probably need to get my right TMJ checked out at some point, but it was advised to get my dizziness more under control first.

I stay up late on Fridays as no work on Saturday :slight_smile:

Thanks but I’m not that interested since I don’t have TMJ/D issues. :slight_smile: I may try to catch tomorrow’s talk on vertigo, if I have time. There is a big film festival going on where we live and we have two more movies to see tomorrow. We’ve seen six so far this week. :popcorn:


I wish that’s why I was up, or that I wasn’t working right now. Owning the business means working the weekends. I’m struggling, though. This trip through baseline is like getting caught in a never ending snow storm at a busy airport. Awful, uncomfortable, seemingly forever and full of little indignities. Yesterday MAV was on full display in front of most of my colleagues at a conference I helped host. Hearing me talk about it on the phone (usually when apologizing for some sub-par performance on my part) is a very different thing than witnessing it. Most of them had no idea. I guess toppling off the superstar pillar they are used to seeing me inhabit is a good thing for my ego, though it leaves some bruises. I will say being forced to rely on my team made me very proud of them and grateful to have them, even if at this point I can’t actually recall whatever it was we were working on yesterday. After the conference when we were back at work, I finally asked them to stop asking me methodology questions or I’d start to cry and not look all that confidently boss like. These are good, kind people who are so good at what they do. I’m lucky. Two rounds of rescue meds and 14 hours of sleep later, I’m just about able to follow my team’s conversation today and not puke. Just about.

Wow Emily, only a question of time before you find a med that works. After that you will have baseline dizziness where you can fake it ,till you make it. Working from home is a blessing of sorts with this crap. This thing makes you appreciate everything you will take for granted otherwise. It strips you off any arrogance you can remotely harbour. In fact I like the new me, wish I got here through any other path than vestibular hell. It is what it is :slight_smile:

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I’m off amitriptyline, but the crap side effects are gone, too. My neurologist comes home from vacation on the 30th. I’m betting she puts me off and makes me ask my new neuro-ophthalmologist at Swedish for Effexor. That appointment is on June 4th but I’m not expecting much from the initial visit. I bagged it early today when English started sounding like my second or third language and I couldn’t look at the screen without reeling. I’ll try again tomorrow. I have a crew of six riding on me getting this proposal done and done well.

And on a less me first note, thanks Vigs. You are a good friend to me. I’m grateful for you, the friends I’ve made here and the support of this site.


Your GP can give you effexor. It is a well understood migraine med. Use the Hain webpage printout for additional leverage.

My GP literally yelled at me over a bad kidney function test a month ago. I’m hiding, like a child.

nortriptyline is not as notorious for weight gain. Take that if effexor proves difficult to get

I have an open script for Nori.

Try it you never know until you try it.