Fibromyalgia and Bruxism…What’s the Connection?

Just the mere mention of the word, ‘Dentist’, and I’m running for the hills.  Nothing personal, if my dentist ever happens to read this…you’re a nice guy!

Since the onset of fibro, I have definitely had more problems with my teeth including sensitivity to, well…everything.  I have also experienced flares after having dental work done. 

Visit after visit, flare after flare promoted me to look into…

‘Is there a connection between fibromyalgia and dental health.’

My dentist was unaware of any connection between fibro and dental problems, but it is something that I have heard others living with fibro talk about. 

Well as with all thing’s fibro…there are so few, if any solid answers. But I have found these…

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, can be linked to certain medications taken for fibro, but I am not on any medication other than for my thyroid.  Despite this, I have noticed my mouth is far dryer for no particular reason.  Saliva, neutralizes acids and sugars and without enough saliva the teeth are left open to decay and disease. 

Bruxism

Do you clench and grind your teeth?  This is known as bruxism. At first, I wasn’t even aware I was doing this so frequently. On waking in the morning, my back teeth would be tightly clenched and my jaw aching. The first time it happened I didn’t take much notice, but then it started to happen every morning. This was then leading to frequent headaches, especially first thing in the morning.

What I hadn’t noticed was how often I was doing this through the day, especially when I focused on something. It got to the stage where I actually cracked my back tooth…OUCH!  

Why are people with fibromyalgia prone to bruxism?

Life with fibromyalgia means that we have chronic activation of the fear or anxiety response which Bruxism is understood to be linked to. Stress is also linked to bruxism and we know only too well how stress can induce more flares. Nocturnal bruxism is most common, so the clenching and grinding goes on, causing sleep disturbance (that sounds almost x rated…I am talking about teeth here). Your dentist will notice excessive wear and tear on your teeth and this could lead to breaking as it did with mine.  Furthermore, this can lead to a potentially serious jaw condition known as Temporomandibular Disorder. Both Bruxism and Temporomandibular Disorder can have serious consequences for oral health.

What helps to alleviate bruxism?

If you notice during the day you are grinding and clenching your teeth, and notice you are waking with an aching jaw, headache, painful neck or even your back teeth tightly clenched, visit your dentist who will be able to diagnose bruxism.  Your dentist will be able to make a mouth guard or mouth splint which will prevent your upper and lower teeth from further damage. Mouth guards are available to purchase from your pharmacist but are unlikely to fit as well as a custom made one, and it really needs to be as comfortable as possible.

As bruxism is linked with stress and anxiety, CBT, NLP and Mindfulness are also beneficial to help reduce emotional triggers.

A bed time routine is an effective way to alleviate bruxism and is also very important when living with fibro. 

Unwind before bed

Deep breathing exercises

Having a warm/hot magnesium bath

Use the stress relief exercise before you sleep

Turn off all blue light, such as lap tops, pc’s, etc at least an hour before you sleep.

Meditate before you sleep.

Don’t let the memory of a stressful day fester in your mind.  Get all your thoughts down in your journal before you try to sleep.

Have you experienced problems with bruxism? If so, we’d love to know what helped you. Drop a comment below or get in touch xx

Have a wonderful day xx

The Dreaded Cold Virus Got Us…

What a couple of weeks phew…

I felt as though we had left planet earth and there definitely should have been a quarantine warning sign on our front door.

Should I say we are back to normal now…no, I’m not sure that there is such a thing as ‘normal’. Rephrasing it…back to organised chaos. I apologise for the lack of posts as the dreaded cold virus got us all one by one.  By the beginning of last week everyone was home with high temperatures, aching, sore throat and coughing.  Sadly, we lost two of our little hammies as well.  One died suddenly although she was a very good age and the other was poorly for a couple of weeks really down to old age and she finally passed away after lots of love and care on Saturday morning :’(

So, between coughing and aching, looking after my sons and our hammies, it was all a bit overwhelming. It’s rare that I ever get any colds but if I do it seems to hit my fibro symptoms head on and especially affects my energy levels and I have to step back a little and rest, drink lots of warm lemon water, or it takes me longer to bounce back. This morning when I woke up I felt so much better and energy levels back up which is great. All the boys went back to school and college, so some much needed peace and quiet for me to get some work done.

I hope you are having a wonderful day xxx

Everyone went back to school and college today despite the odd cough and my symptoms have eased, leaving me with more energy, which is great.

I hope you are having a wonderful day xxx

Fresh Air Gave Me The ‘Umph’ I Needed!

Monday morning arrived, dark, freezing and well… you know Monday morning. I should invest in a gong to wake the boys up, far less work for me. What a weekend it’s been, you know, the kids pent up inside because it’s too cold to venture out (for teenage boys). The noise levels elevating my fibro symptoms especially my fingers, toes and back. Fog started to set in by Sunday afternoon (I sound like a weather report) leaving me feeling dull and…I think ‘rusty’ is a good word.

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I Let It Slip.

After 2 ½ hours sleep last night, I can safely say, a bear with a sore head had nothing on me this morning. My alarm broke the silence and my, at last restful sleep, like a siren blasting onto my ear drums.  I wanted to hit the snooze button, but I haven’t done that for a long time and what’s an extra ten minutes going to achieve?

Continue reading “I Let It Slip.”