Can Fibromyalgia Affect Your Teeth?
Fibromyalgia is not a dental problem in itself, in fact it is a disorder related to muscles, but yes this defective condition of the muscles can cause problems in teeth and oral cavity or vice versa; means any sort of infection in the oral cavity may lead to fibromyalgia, but the later may not be the case always.
What is Fibromyalgia?
To understand the problems associated with fibromyalgia, it is first important to know what fibromyalgia is. It is a muscular disorder which is associated with extensive musculoskeletal pain causing fatigue, dizziness, sleep, mood, and memory swings. The CNS is the main center of pain. In case of FM patient, the CNS is more sensitized and the neurons of the spinal cord become more excitable.This way the fibromyalgia alters the way our brain perceives pain sensation and intensifies them. Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include: tension, headache, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), anxiety, GIT disorder, depression etc.
Fibromyalgia can be acute or chronic in nature. The symptoms may sometime occur suddenly after a physical trauma, acute infection, major surgery or some major psychological stress. Sometimes it may happen that there are no particular events and the symptoms arise gradually. Gender also plays an important role in development of fibromyalgia. Women are more vulnerable than men in developing it. The problem with this condition is that there is no permanent cure of the disorder; only some medications and physical exercise can help to overcome the symptoms and reduce the general stress.
What Causes The Dental Problems In Fibromyalgia?
One of the associated symptom of FM i.e. Temporomandibular Joint pain, abbreviated as TMJ particularly may give rise to dental issues. The symptoms include facial pain, and problem in mastication, pain in the muscles of ear, neck and jaws. The fibromyalgia is reported to cause much more problems and complications in the Temporomandibular Joint than some other problem, which might be specifically associated with the facial muscles. This is the reason; fibromyalgia is somehow related to dental issues, although it is not any kind of dental problem in itself.
What are the Common Dental Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia?
The most common oral manifestation of Fibromyalgia is xerostomia. It is also referred as dry mouth for easy understanding. The drugs of the anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, hypnotics etc… which are used for the treatment of FM may give rise to Xerostomia. When anyone has a problem of dry mouth along with fibromyalgia, it can lead to other dental issues. Dry mouth is a result of the adverse effect of the drugs we take. The saliva present in our oral cavity plays a vital role in neutralizing the acids and carbohydrates presents in our food which can attack the teeth and gums. In case of dry mouth, the proper amount of saliva is not generated and the teeth are more vulnerable for decay and dental diseases. There can be cavities too. To encounter this problem, effectively, special care of the teeth has to be taken.
Cleaning and brushing the teeth properly, daily floss is important. To keep the mouth moist, lozenges are available which should be used according to the prescription.
Another problem which can occur due to FM is Teeth Grinding. In this condition, the enamel of the teeth wears down and sometimes the teeth may break and cause extreme pain. The dentist may make you wear a mouth guard for prevention of teeth grinding.
The patient with FM may also encounter the problem of limited mouth opening, masticatory pain and pain on opening of mouth.
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