Your husband may think you are nuts, but you're not!! Spasms in the facial muscles are fairly common and they can linger for quite some time. There are many reasons why they occur and most of the time, the only way to determine what is causing your own is through a process of elimination.
Sometimes people get a "twitch" in the cheek muscle which is the same thing as when you would get a "twitch" in your arm, leg or eyelid. This type of spasm is thought to be anxiety related, but it could also be from a traumatized nerve. A muscle can become very spastic (tight) or fatigued if the twitching goes on for a long period of time. The fact that you stated you can repeatedly crack your jaw may indicate that you have an ongoing TMJ problem and now the facial nerves are irritated and the masseter muscle is twitching or spasming. It is not good to deliberately crack your jaw as this weakens the TMJ joint by causing damage to the ligaments as well as an abnormal wear pattern of the disk. Keep in mind, this may or may not be your case........
You mentioned that you have two cavities on that side of your mouth. I know you worry alot and this is not to alarm you........ just to inform you that cavities are infections. If those teeth don't hurt and they are not sensitive to temperature then that could be because the nerve has died in the teeth. This is not a healthy thing to let go because the infection will spread to the surrounding teeth and/or bone. So it really is best if you have those teeth taken care of asap. They may or may not be contributing to your other facial muscle concerns.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can also cause your masseter muscles to spasm. Frequently when people have a bad tooth, they unconsciously clench down on it throughout the day. Not sure of the reason behind that other than there may be some inflammation which causes the clenching reaction, I just know that it's a common thing for patients to tell me.
The pressure that you mention in your cheek when you bend over can indicate inflammation and/or a sinus issue. Do you have any teeth on top that are decayed or that have root canals or large fillings? Any of those things could contribute to sinus irritation/infections. Do you have any type of chronic sinus problems?
Originally Posted by complikati
I am starting to think I am losing it. I am a 27/f, with a history if anxiety/panic attacks. Well for several years, very sporadically, i would get this feeling on my face, (either side) that feels like someone is tightening a muscle in my cheek and won't let it go. Well this time I have had it for a month now (left side) and I am totally flipping out. It's not numb,no pain, I have no drooping, no slurred speech or blurry vision. It just feels like I am waiting for it to loosen and it doesn't. Every now and then I will feel very small spasms in it but nothing that noticable. I still have full function of my entire face, it's just this darn cheek that feels like it's tightened. I know it could very well be from stress/anxiety. Especially since I am a bit of a hypochondriac, I think I am going to die from it, and I also think I have had a stroke, (my husband thinks I am nuts) but it is very distressing to have something that you have no idea what it is. Has anyone EVER had anything like this? I also thought maybe it could be TMJ (I am able to repeatedly crack my jaw). Or maybe just a pulled muscle...but in my CHEEK?? I have 2 major cavities on that side on the bottom teeth, but they don't hurt yet. And when I bend over it's like I can feel pressure in that area of my cheek, like when youre on a roller coaster and the wind is pushing on your face, does that make any sense? I have posted this in 2 other forums, and they keep telling me to try different forums, this being one of them..lol...so I hope someone out there can help.Anyways, if anyone has some comforting words for this worrywart, please let me know!!