We have heard from a number of patients over the years who were misdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary TMJ treatments when they actually had Lyme disease.
Lyme disease symptoms often mimic those of TMJ disorders. The TMJ Association encourages patients who think they may have a TMJ disorder to be sure to talk to their medical doctor in order to rule out other conditions which could be the cause their symptoms. Especially with Lyme disease, early diagnosis and treatment are important.
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick. It is the most common tickborne infectious disease in the United States.
Lyme disease can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash. Left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Permanent damage to the joints or the nervous system can develop in patients with late Lyme disease. Other symptoms may not appear until weeks or months after a tick bite occurs. They include arthritis (usually as pain and swelling in large joints, especially the knee), nervous system abnormalities and heart-rhythm irregularities.