Fibromyalgia and Dental Pain: Biting off more than I can chew

“If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched”, Adabella Radici sams-teeth

Look at a child’s lovely teeth and then hopefully we can see that those of us who clench ours instead of laughing with joy, showing toothy grins, will be prone to pain in the jaws and teeth!To-day I experienced my first tooth ache. It happened out of the blue, a bottom front tooth that had never been decayed, nor capped. The pain was excruciating and unrelenting. Being 4000 miles away from home, in a small hotel on another coast, the pain was even more disturbing. I quickly searched out a dentist nearby and found an efficient young woman who was very knowledgable and calming. X-rays revealed no abscess, no cavities and the gums were in good condition. She speculated that it might be due to fibromyalgia and I was prescribed Tylenol # 3 for pain.

I consider myself an expert on FMS. I have read, explored, researched and analyzed about this condition as much as most other experts, having lived with it for over 40 years. My book is unique as it presents a theory regarding why it affects primarily women. I have not read anything that even comes close to my argument about women’s vulnerability to FMS. Yet, like most who have this condition and write about living with it, I am intent on what ails me most at the time. I tend to focus on the ‘biggies’, that is, pain, fatigue, depression and sleep disorders. I have been negligent in pointing out the extreme scope of this syndrome instead of showing how we dwell on symptoms that we think have become unique to our own particular set patterns. In fact, these patterns do often shift and rarely are two days alike. This is why to-day I write about tooth pain. It is a new experience in a life time of living with many kinds of pain and in various locations of my body.

I have had a difficult year dealing with elder care of my 90 year-old parents. My resources are depleted. I am exhausted; my reserves are drained; it has been physically and emotionally demanding. I am now feeling the effects of this stress. How could I not know that this condition would rear its ugly fangs (no pun intended) and produce a new form of attack on my tired psyche and body? But, my teeth? Why there? I have had facial pain in the past, shock-like, jabbing pains that were somewhat transient. But, this horrific pain is something new! Aha! The stiff neck, the tight shoulders that are almost up to my ears, carrying the weight of the world on them! This ties in to my belief that women generally do bite off more than they can chew. This is the story I write about in my book…the women who have overstimulated their nervous systems to such an extent that they cannot completely recover.

“Not my teeth”, I find myself groaning. Yes, new trigger points that are caused by clenching jaws and grinding teeth at night, shifting patterns due to overload of my nervous system. All this following a long tiring root canal just a month ago on a molar on the other side of my mouth. The muscles in my jaws became so tight! It begins to fit. Trigger points shift often. Why did I think my teeth would be exempt? Will this last, I wonder? The chronic stress I have experienced this year is not likely to end soon. Will the muscles in my neck and jaws relax and the pain shift to another locale? Just one more question of many in living with the demon of fibromyalgia.

58 Responses to “Fibromyalgia and Dental Pain: Biting off more than I can chew”

  1. Dear Carole: You did not mention that you have fibromyalgia so I am assuming that you do!I would check with my doctor if I were you as the idea of taking an antibiotic for the rest of your life seems rather dramatic to me!? Anyone else heard of this kind of treatment for unexplained dental pain? Best wishes, Barbara

  2. Guy Wittner says:

    I always get stiff neck due to long hours in the computer. i usually take some light neck exercise to relieve the pain and it works. :;':.

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  3. Good idea and great advice!
    Barbara

  4. Brooks Devillez says:

    Stiff neck is mostly caused by prolonged stress on the neck. taking periodic breaks is known to prevent stiff necks. .

  5. You are so right Brooks!

  6. Nell Trent says:

    I have fibro and had a root canal about a month and 1/2 ago. I have had 2 endodontists say it is “solid.” I asked one of these endodontists if fibromyalgia could cause healing to be longer- He said – OH yes- about twice as long. Try to give it a month- If you can’t we can redo it (a DENTIST did this root canal- not the endodontist). Redoing it- will cost a lot. I would just have it pulled b/c it still hurts. Causes my face to hurt sometimes. It’s not been great at all. I’m going try a month- to see if he is correct- b/c this is beside my front bicuspid- (pointed tooth) — and everyone will be able to tell I’m missing a tooth. We can’t afford a bridge right now- SO I suffer. To others w/ fibro, if you have a back tooth that needs a root canal– talk to your dentist and doctor maybe- before you have this done. I’m not sure how many have the same problem that I’ve had- but I have ear ringing now- and other problems. I can’t take anymore NSAIDS. The endo I saw y’day- said stop the anti-biotic. THANK THE LORD FOR THIS!!! BEEN ON IT off and on since this tooth was done. Going to try and wait the month out- b/c if he does it over- and I have to have the medication packed up there for a MONTH- I will be one sick puppy. – and WHAT IF IT FAILS?? In a total bind. Wish I could pull it and have a bridge (removable) put in- but who’s to say- that will fix what’s happening. Looking for another DENTIST now- to check out all my tooth and again LOOK at this root canal.

  7. Brittani Goldenman says:

    A stiff neck can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with too many pillows behind your head. The unnatural angle throws your spine out of alignment, and strains the surrounding muscles, causing stiffness and pain. To avoid waking up with a stiff neck, make sure you sleep with only one pillow, and you may want to consider investing in a cervical support pillow to help ensure proper and healthy spinal alignment when you sleep.”

  8. Albert Begum says:

    Neuromuscular Dentistry will help alleviate TMJ symptoms such as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, jaw pain, clicking or popping in the jaw, and tinnitus (ringing within the ears). The majority of North Americans suffer from a number of of such symptoms, and unfortunately oftentimes these patients’ symptoms are either misdiagnosed or dismissed as having no physiological cause. In a number of cases, signs can in fact be related to TMJ, also referred to as Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. These terms are simply different names for the same group of symptoms. ;

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