Fibromyalgia and pain in the jaw
Fibromyalgia causes a lot of pain all over the body, as we all know very well. Does that include the jaw? Or is the pain in the jaw caused by a totally different condition?
Fibromyalgia usually comes with an extensive list of associated diseases. A common condition observed in people with fibromyalgia is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
It is estimated that 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients experience facial and mandibular pain, and possibly up to 75 percent of fibromyalgia patients are living with TMJD.
What is temporomandibular joint disorder?
TMD is a disorder that affects the jaw. It attacks the muscles and the cartilage in the face, head and neck. This can cause many different problems, including:
- Pain in face and jaw
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Pain in the shoulders, back or neck
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Vertigo and nausea
- Grinding of teeth
- Hearing problems
- Pain in front of the ears
Waking up with intense pain in the jaw, face and intense headache, plus the stiffness and pain in the back, arms and legs of fibromyalgia, is far from pleasant. It is easy to understand why TMJD is such a big problem, especially when combined with fibromyalgia.
There are two types of TMD: joint TMD and muscle TMD. It is the last one that mainly affects people with fibromyalgia. It can also affect the muscles we use to chew and move our scalp, face, neck and shoulders.
Some of the possible causes of muscular TMD may include:
Most of these are also possible causes of fibromyalgia or are symptoms of fibromyalgia.
These two conditions are closely linked, and doctors consider muscular JDM as a type of fibromyalgia.
Like fibromyalgia, TMD affects the way our body and brain interpret the signs of pain – which means that our body feels pain when it should not have any..
TMJD can also make sensitive trigger points even more sensitive, leading to more pain throughout the body. The last thing we need is more pain!
Treatment of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Unfortunately, many of us are living with TMJD without being treated or even being diagnosed. Because? There is a disconnect about which doctor treats you.
Some doctors see this as a dental issue, while dentists view it as a medical problem. This can also lead to problems with which the insurance company will pay for treatment, often ending up in medical or dental insurance that covers TMJD treatment.
So what can we do to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by TMD?
It is believed that one of the main causes of TMD is stress. As I’m sure, we all know that stress causes many problems, especially when you have fibromyalgia.
Finding ways to reduce stress can help reduce the symptoms we experience because of TMD as well as fibromyalgia.
If you think it’s a lot easier said than done, believe me, I hear you! But there are steps we can take to reduce stress.
Here are some suggestions that can help you lessen the stress in your life;
Combined with stress reducing lifestyle changes, medication can help relax facial muscles and reduce pain. Massage was also found helpful for some.
In some cases, a dentist may place an orthotic occlusal plate to help stabilize the bite and balance the jaw, head, and neck muscles.
As with many other aspects of having fibromyalgia, there are no easy answers. However, with some determination, a persistent attitude, coupled with the help of doctors and therapists, it is possible to get relief from jaw pain..