weird sensations in my neck/jaw = AM I DYING?
June 26, 2015 11:59 AM   Subscribe

I know you are not my doctor; she's on vacation. I'm going to call her when she gets back. But in the meantime, if you've had symptoms like this in your neck/jaw/mouth and NOT been dying, I'd love to hear about it.

To review, this was me. I've worked on consciously relaxing the tongue, and this symptom has abated somewhat, but not entirely. I still have weirdness at the base of my tongue. And I get it elsewhere in my jaw, now, too -- like along my bottom teeth. And recently I've started feeling weird painful twinges in the front of my neck, just above my collarbone on the right. (I can't feel anything when I palpate the spot.)

My deep fear is that these twinges and pains are sensations radiating from a tumor. Please tell me I'm wildly off base and that this stuff can be explained by teeth-grinding or something else not dangerous?
posted by fingersandtoes to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
I have similar sensations. I'm a sleep tongue-thruster and clencher, especially when stressed. My dentist has also recommended being evaluated for TMJ but I keep putting it off.

I have regular (3-4 times a month) massage and I gently stretch several times a day. Also, Ibuprofen.

Of course, you should see your doctor if you really feel you may have a tumor.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 12:27 PM on June 26, 2015

Go to the doctor, but this sounds like anxiety. Try massage, yoga, hard physical exercise, baths...whatever might help you relax.
posted by three_red_balloons at 12:30 PM on June 26, 2015

I get weird nerve/electric twinges in that area. I do hold stress in shoulders and neck plus used to be a tooth grinder etc. I think that's all it is
posted by KateViolet at 12:38 PM on June 26, 2015

Go to the doctor. Going to the doctor is the BEST. Either they will tell you it's nothing, or they will treat you for a condition which is presently being untreated and causing you anxiety. It's a no lose situation.
posted by something something at 12:53 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have had a similar thing since last November. It was driving me crazy and I was losing sleep over it. After a bunch of doctor visits and waiting months for an ENT appointment I was diagnosed two weeks ago with acid reflux.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:44 PM on June 26, 2015

Response by poster: ENT! I forgot about the T of ENT. I've been trying to figure out who to ask since my GP seemed baffled when I went to her with the initial nausea/pain/tightness symptoms in the sides of my neck. Is ENT the right answer?
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:07 PM on June 26, 2015

Yes, you should get evaluated by an ENT physician. Without speaking with you and doing a thorough exam, advice you receive on the internet is no substitute for a consultation with a physician (as a warning and disclaimer).
posted by scalespace at 3:15 PM on June 26, 2015

Everyone already said MD, so yes. Do that.

But also ... I had *insane* tension problems (vertigo! insomnia!) for a while and one thing that worked (duh) was removing myself from a very unpleasant work environment. Should you be writing more in a journal? Studying meditation? Hiking more? Probably/maybe. That's assuming you don't know why you're stressed out.

Looking at some of your past questions ... maybe you do know why you're stressed out?

I find tui na massage helpful, especially with a skilled practitioner. And I've had success with acute problems w/acupuncture. Sitting down with a good Chinese Medicine practitioner might also point you to some dietary changes to try.

But it sounds like stress.
posted by amandabee at 3:53 PM on June 26, 2015

Best answer: Sounds like jaw clenching. I had all sorts of weird symptoms including ear, neck, head and temple pain. One time I woke up in the middle of the night and the whole left side of my face was having involuntary muscle spasms. Getting my bite adjusted by the dentist and wearing a special bite guard fixed it up.
posted by tamitang at 5:59 PM on June 26, 2015

Best answer: I went through this anxiety recently too. I saw my doctor and they said they thought allergies. I saw my dentist and he said nothing he saw or felt was unusual (I have bone loss in the same area of my jaw, plus sometimes grind in my sleep and I need a new mouthguard). I saw my doctor again and he gave me a referral to an ENT, and they found nothing, and agreed that it was possibly allergies.

See all the doctors. At least with me that was the only path to peace of mind.
posted by terrapin at 8:06 AM on June 27, 2015

Dentist is also a good idea - they can look at the TMJ and your dental alignment, and also look for signs of grinding.
posted by tinkletown at 12:14 PM on June 28, 2015

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