Dental Health and Toothaches in Fibromyalgia

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Tooth pain, is usually caused by problems with the teeth or jaws. The degree of tooth pain can range from mildly annoying to excruciatingly painful. The treatments for tooth pain may be as simple as improving your oral health care routine, or as complicated as oral surgery.

A toothache or tooth pain is most often caused when the nerve to a tooth is irritated, but there are numerous other reasons for a person to experience tooth pain. dental infection, gum disease, plaque, dental decay, injury, cracked teeth, poorly placed fillings or crowns, failing or leaking fillings or crowns, loss of a tooth (including tooth extractions), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea are the risk factors for toothache.

Damage to the tooth is a common cause of tooth pain. For example, teeth that are chipped or broken due to trauma can cause tooth pain. Similarly, a broken or damaged filling, crown, or dental implant can contribute to tooth pain. If you’ve ever winced after an unwelcome twinge of tooth sensitivity, you’re not the only one. But remember, there can be many different causes of dental pain, other than tooth sensitivity.

So if you are feeling any tooth pain or discomfort, especially if it persists, the best thing you can do is visit your dentist and seek professional advice. Tooth pain may be sharp, throbbing, or constant. In some people, pain results only when pressure is applied to the tooth. Proper identification and treatment of dental infections is important to prevent its spread to other parts of the face and skull and possibly even to the bloodstream.

Tooth decay

One of the most common causes of tooth pain is tooth decay. It has several degrees of severity. Abscess, which is an infection of the nerve and pulp inside the tooth, is a more severe form of tooth pain.  Cavities are holes in the teeth that penetrate the tooth enamel and underlying dentin and which can lead to tooth pain.

 

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Non dental causes of tooth ache

Some causes of tooth pain are not directly related to your teeth. If you rule out more obvious sources of tooth pain, your pain could be associated with any of the following conditions:

Heart Attack

 Pain from a heart attack can radiate into the lower jaw.

Sinus Pain Infection:

When the pressure of fluid-filled sinuses creates pain in the upper back corners of your mouth then Sinus infections can cause pain in teeth. You may notice pain in teeth located near the sinus cavities if you regularly suffer from sinus infections. Ask your doctor for advice about decongestants or other medications to relieve sinus pressure to manage pain in teeth associated with sinus pain.

Vitamin Deficiency

Inadequate vitamin B12 has been associated with tooth pain.

Temporomandibular Disorders:

There are instances, however, where pain originating from outside the mouth radiates to the mouth, thus giving the impression that the pain is of tooth origin. This often happens when there is a problem with the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ), ears, nerves, sinuses, or muscles.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can also be a risk for tooth problems that lead to pain. Due to fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy, pregnancy gingivitis and tooth decay can occur.

Prevention

One can prevent the majority of dental problems through basic oral hygiene home care — flossing and brushing. There are many different products, such as xylitol and fluoride-containing rinses and toothpaste, and having teeth professionally cleaned on a regular schedule. The dentist may apply sealants, varnishes, and fluoride, which are especially important in children but can also be valuable to adults and the elderly, too.

Grinding of teeth

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a very common reason for tooth, jaw, neck, and related muscle pain. People who grind their teeth generally do so while they’re sleeping or during stressful situations. Excessive teeth grinding involves violently clenching the jaw and grinding the top and bottom teeth back and forth against each other.

This can result in sore jaw bones and joints, headaches, and even cracked or chipped teeth, all of which are very painful. The best course of action to treat bruxism is to have a custom mouthguard made that is worn while sleeping to relieve the stress put on teeth and the jaw.

Treatment

Identify the possible cause

Treatment for a toothache depends on the cause. If a cavity is causing the toothache, your dentist will fill the cavity or possibly extract the tooth, if necessary.

Root canal

If you have severe gum disease, a root canal may be needed to remove the decayed tissue within the tooth. Bacteria that have worked their way into the inner aspects of the tooth cause such an infection. A root canal might be needed if the cause of the toothache is determined to be an infection of the tooth’s nerve.

Antibiotic

An antibiotic may be prescribed if there is fever or swelling of the jaw. 

Scaling

Tooth pain due to gum disease may require a technique called “scaling and planing,” in which a dental professional numbs your gums so he or she can use a special tool to remove plaque buildup from above and below the gum line.

Avoid cold and hot foods

Avoid very cold or hot foods because these may make the pain worse.

Home remedy

A home remedy for pain relief is to bite on a cotton ball soaked in oil of cloves. Clove oil is available at most drugstores.

Garlic

By simply eating more garlic through supplementation or as an ingredient in everyday foods, one can decrease their vulnerability to infection. Garlic contains a chemical called allicin, which acts as a natural antibiotic and can fight a tooth infection. To help alleviate pain, garlic can be crushed and mixed into a paste with a little bit of salt and applied to the area that is infected. This won’t cure the infection but may help with tooth pain and prevent the infection from growing or spreading.

 

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Finding the Right Dentist for You

To find a dentist who is both delicate and experienced about the effect of FM pain on dental visits and dental care, ask such questions:

  • Do you propose prescription to lessen anxiety during my treatment?
  • Do you have the modern equipment, like digital lasers and X-rays, in your office?
  • Do I have the choice of complete sedation?
  • Do you have any experience handling people with FM?
  • Are you experienced, skilled, and comfortable dealing with temporomandibular disorders (TMJ), as this disorder is common with FM?
  • How do you feel FM pain effects dentistry?
  • Do you propose any other non-drug means of relaxation that might help ease stress, like listening to comforting music?

The more you share your worries with the dentist before treatment, the more easily that treatment is expected to go.

Dealing With Fibromyalgia Pain after a Dental Treatment

An appointment to the dentist can be stressful, both emotionally and physically, and can produce a body-wide FM flare distinct from any discomfort caused by the dental procedure itself. A dentist experienced in treating people living with FM will know that your pain handling methods may be more difficult than for other patients. Ask about methods that may help control extreme pain, dental or otherwise, after treatment also.

Relaxation or deep-breathing methods may help handle anxiety and avoid a post-dentist FM flare. Take comfort in the fact that FM doesn’t have to get in the way of good dental fitness. “The mouth is the access to a healthy routine, and prevention is the finest method to dental care,” Timothy states. “The best way for everyone – as well as people with FM – to preserve their smiles is to have regular oral hygiene appointments and by oral examinations.”

References:

  • Toothache Medical Author: Steven B. Horne, DDS via E Medicine Health
  • Study TMJ in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by MG Rana,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources
  • American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • British Journal of Anaesthesia. All rights reserved. “Anaesthesia for patients with idiopathic environmental intolerance and chronic fatigue syndrome.”

  • Lapp, Charles W., MD, Hunter-Hopkins Center. All rights reserved. “Recommendations for Persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Fibromyalgia) Who are Anticipating Surgery”

  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofascial Research. “TMJ Disorders”

  • Dental Health and Toothaches via Web MD

 

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