Fibromyalgia & Your Teeth

I will admit this is not my “typical” blog. Stick with me thru the “Facts” I will get to my story. I feel that it is something those of us on medication for our pain, depression and anxiety do not think about it.  Dry mouth is a common side effect of those drugs. Without saliva, tooth decay and gum disease are more likely to occur.

Individuals with any form of arthritis, arthritis-related inflammatory disorders (Fibromyalgia for instance), or autoimmune disorders are at HIGH risk of developing many diseases of the oral cavity including, but not limited to:

  • Developing periodontal disease – more than twice as likely as others
  • Developing severe jawbone loss – moderate to severe
  • Extractions – averaged 12 missing teeth in studies

Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center published findings linking periodontal disease to autoimmunity in October 2010. This evidence of autoimmunity explains why regular flossing helps prevent periodontal problems, and it also explains why some people are affected by periodontal disease more than other people. This theory can also be linked to the fact that the risk of both periodontal disease and autoimmune disorders increase with age.

“In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, toothgums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.”

Of course if it’s a possible side effect (a.k.a. evil sidekicks) of Fibromyalgia or a treatment I am likely to get it.

I had been experiencing dry mouth for the past few years ~ Thanks to medication. Approximately 1 1/2 years ago I had been told I had the start of periodontal disease. The hygienist found I had more than several teeth pockets at 5’s and 6’s.  I brushed my teeth 2x a day but honestly only flossed for the week before my appointment.

Six months later I returned to the Dentist.  I had began to floss more frequently and it had proven to work.  All of my 6’s were lowered to 5’s.

So this week here I am again, another 6 months later sitting in the Dentist chair hearing the  lecture “Why to Floss”.

She told me I was bleeding a lot – I told her it was normal. “Individuals with periodontal disease may experience bleeding of the gums when brushing, which is often the first sign of a problem.” “Floss for a week and the bleeding will stop”.

She continued to explain “one theory is that gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream where they attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels. This condition can cause blood clots and may lead to heart attacks.”

Once the cleaning was done it was time for Dr. Mike to examine my teeth.  He asked if he was walking in to find good news.  “Of course, I deserve a gold star”.The good news is that I have lowered all but 4 of my numbers to 4’s and only had 4-5’s left.

Ia smile is the prettiest went on to tell him he was my favorite Doctor.  Not only did I not get diagnosed with a new syndrome/condition or disease but my health had improved. Even better I leave with a new toothbrush, floss and a compliment “You have beautiful teeth” This is one of the sidekicks of our “Invisible Illness” that is visible and we have the power to control. Drink lots of water & floss daily.

 

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Living Well with Fibromyalgia – Dec. 2014

Dec meeting

 Melissa Swanson (from This is My Life ~ Surviving Fibromyalgia) and our wonderful team of writers have produced a great first stop for all Newbies (and some extra support for us Oldies) with this issue of LIVING WELL with FIBROMYALGIA.   

http://wp.me/P376oM-3fh

So, after all the pain and fighting to be understood, you have a diagnosis – YIPPEE!

Umm…now what?

By no means does this issue contain everything a Newbie will need to know but it’s a pretty good place to start.

You can view previous issues of LIVING WELL WITH FIBROMYALGIA by visiting FibroModem.com and clicking the link (in the right column)
to the issue that you would like to view.