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Tooth and Jaw pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Barkis, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m a seasoned TMS person and I have beaten an awful lot of pain and other symptoms and I also personally see TMS and anxiety as different sides of the same coin. But I’m having trouble with this particular symptoms which is jaw and pain in one particular tooth.

    It all started after some decay and an infection was found in one tooth during a routine checkup. To cut a long story short I ended up with two root canals, one lower molar crowned and the upper molar with a kind of filling.

    I had pain ever since that day in the lower molar and I am not joking when I say it drove me to near suicide and I was literally placed under house arrest by the hospital and they were visiting me four times a day for months.

    I have been to at least 6 dentists, including seeing dental consultants at the dental hospital and none of them can diagnose me with anything. But on my last visit I attended the TMJ clinic where they said that my issue is almost certainly coming from clenching in the night which I now know for certain I do. I am now diligently wearing a night guard but my pain continues. In essence it now ebbs and flows and I can go for a week in minimal or no pain to suddenly having pain for a week. What is stopping me believing it’s TMS is the fact that one tooth is sore to pressure, so I cannot chew on one side of my mouth. Additionally, the dentist has filed this tooth so that it cannot touch the top adjacent tooth.

    When I massage the muscles around my jaw and cheeks there are some incrediblly sore points that cause the tooth pain and if I touch under my jaw line beneath the tooth it is really painful - like it’s in the bone type feeling. My fear is that this tooth is fractured and yet xrays have found nothing untoward. I actually see physio who is really into TMS and we have an agreement that his work is simply helping me relax. He believes my pain is TMS.

    Essentially I want to believe:

    Stress/anxiety/rage/emotions = tension = clenching = pain, but somehow I cannot believe as yet and all because one single tooth is seemingly bearing the brunt of the pain.

    Also, regardless of how much I try I cannot train myself not to clench.

    Can anyone comment - someone might just say something that makes the difference.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Are you looking for the feelings that the pain is distracting you from? It sounds like the pain has your full attention, which is how TMS works. Next time the pain flares up, think about what you were doing, or thinking about. What feelings might you be overlooking?

    I hope that helps.
    megank likes this.
  3. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    It does help and you are spot on in saying that the pain has got my full attention. In fact I’m at the point where when I examine my feelings I just get angry about the pain. It’s horribly obsessive.
  4. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    I've been there, intense jaw pain and tooth numbness. The pain would be so intense in the morning that I was sure there had to be something happening at night like clenching and grinding. The mouthguard made no difference.

    So one day I decided to not sleep at all and see what would happen. And sure thing, at the exact time I was supposed to wake up the pain came back. That is what made me realize the whole TMJ thing is TMS. Unfortunately we trust doctors and what we read online and get trapped in the TMS pattern.

    The key is acceptance, give up, stop fighting. Learn to tolerate pain to the point where you don't notice it anymore. Your tension levels will gradually lower and revert back to normal while symptoms will slowly fade away. TMS causes us to be stuck in cycle of depression and seclusion. Start new activities and get your social life back together. Be positive and things will work out for you.

    Every TMS sufferer has sensorimotor OCD. We keep scanning our body for hours and hours. And get worried a soon as the slightest abnormality appears. Learn to breathe consciously to help you with this.

    Hope this helps somehow
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    megank likes this.
  5. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bodhigirl Just started a string on this same subject.

    I almost posted this vignette on her thread but I'll type it now.
    I recently had some tooth pain that was 100% TMS. After resolving it, it occurred to me that I had been 'fooled' and had a molar removed unnecessarily:

    Back in 2005 when I had only been backpain free for about 5 years or so, I moved here to Tennessee and following some work/personal problems developed lower jaw pain. The dentist couldn't diagnose it so eventually root canal-ed it and capped it. No matter what he filed (your story reminded me of this) It would only not hurt for a day or so and begin again. I became obsessed with it and after a bunch of back and forth to him it was eventually extracted. I now know from this most recent episode that the whole thing was serving the same function as my back pain.
    I have been having Tooth-grinding-TMJish pain a lot in the last year....and it began around the time I became full-time care taker for my Mom, and ended a really horrible relationship.. Unlike some other TMS symptoms it was hard to use my 'turn your mind to an unsavory thought' strategy because I was asleep when it was happening.

    However it HAS worked on waking hour tooth issues. From the sounds of your story you might stand to benefit from some of that.

    BTW...there is TONS of pages online about obsessive tooth pain in Japan... People with perfectly normal, healthy teeth going back and forth to the dentist. I found the stories when I began to suspect it as a TMS conversion.
  6. Kittyruns

    Kittyruns Peer Supporter


    I sincerely know exactly how you feel. I had dental implants that caused me horrible pain and suffering. Not to mention having to take rounds and rounds of antibiotics and spend tens of thousands of dollars. I was in so much pain and misery. i lost 30 pounds and my husband and family were so worried.

    It boiled down to my rage and anger (TMS BIG TIME) at my dentist who was also my neighbor. He was always saying I needed all this work done and it wasn't optional and it could not wait. My teeth would hurt so bad in the morning that I would just dread getting out of bed and facing the day. I also saw a dentist who made me this fantastic nightguard for $750...It is basically junk. Dentists are like the stepchildren of the medical world. A good one is worth their weight in gold but there are many out there who just are trying to make money and it makes me sick!

    Have you heard of the Curable App? It, and this forum, have helped me immeasurably! Thinking about you and am here for you if I can help you in any way!

  7. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    So sorry I didn’t reply sooner.

    Well, I am having more good days than bad and it suddenly flares. However a TMS sinus symptom that I thought I had got rid of years ago is poking me again.
  8. Bettina

    Bettina New Member

    Barkis, I'm curious if you've had any improvement in the last month. I'm struggling with similar problems. It always helps to hear about others seeing progress on similar issues.
  9. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    I’m happy to report that I have indeed had more success. I pretty much only have pain for a few hours over say a two week period. I believe that my attitude to the pain is what has reduced it and this occurred when it became clear that the pain was muscular in origin and not tooth.

    To me this pain felt like toothache through and through but it isn’t. I’ve had this for over two years now so definitely chronic in nature.
  10. Bettina

    Bettina New Member

    Thanks so much for your quick response. It really helps. My experience is so similar, where I had a rather unpleasant root canal surgery in January - which, now, I'm alarmingly wondering if I ever even needed, that led to a roller coaster of obsessing about whether it healed, jaw pain from clenching, related stomach issues and general madness! I'm sure you know what I mean. When I think back to my initial visit to the endodondist, I said to him, "to be honest, I can't say for sure whether it is tooth pain or wider spread pain from clenching". In spite of fancy and expensive imaging, which I guess confirmed his feeling it was tooth and yet there was nothing specific he could point to to definitively say it was, off we went with an "apicoectomy". It is shocking to think about the possible overlap between dental work and back surgeries/unhelpful back treatments for symptoms that are merely muscular/emotional based problems. Anyway, many thanks. I feel 70% better already. I will try to stay the course in terms of thinking about tms and thank God I didn't call this endodontist yesterday, as I was thinking about doing, or probably today I'd be in there getting the tooth pulled!
  11. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    My experience is very similar.

    I’m sure you know this but it’s worth mentioning, but essentially when a dentist can’t find a physical reason for tooth pain they call it ‘Atypical Toothache’ or other fancy names. Essentially this is categorized into different strands, phantom pain; nerve pain, vascular pain and muscular pain. By far the most common ultimate reason is muscular but it absolutely feels like a specific tooth is the cause.

    My own diagnosis was in effect brought about when I was meditating one day and I suddenly and forcefully clenched my teeth together at a point where I was about to fall asleep. I was actually quite shocked because I had no idea I was doing it and my dentist said there were no signs. However, I went to a TMJ physio who looked in my mouth and straight away told me that I was a ‘clencher’ because I had bite lines on my cheeks, congruent with clenching. If I’m honest I still thought it was my root canal playing up and only recently have I put the jigsaw together which is:

    Emotions (specifically rage and anger) causes clenching
    The clenching causes muscles to overwork
    The clenching bruises the periodontal ligament in one or more teeth

    Sarno doesn’t, as far as I know believe in repetitive strain, but my view is that muscles indeed can sustain trauma if that particular muscle is not used to being under a certain amount of stress.

    One thing which may sound very strange but you know on Facebook when you find yourself watching stupid videos after following a feed? Well I got into a habit of watching people fighting and I was, almost nightly, having ‘angry’ dreams where I was fighting in the dream. I completely stopped that now and my clenching has obviously reduced.

    Now the sucker blow. I had a long-standing sinus issue that disappeared when my tooth pain started, but now that is better the sinus issues has come back!
  12. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Hi Bettina,Barkis et all

    For the root canal did the dentist do the little hammer test to find the tooth? Basically they tap the three teeth in the area and when the offending tooth is hit you sing with pain. I had my dentist repeat this over and over in fear of having the wrong one treated. I had a root canal that started with very small pangs once or twice a day. Eventually after six months the pangs became longer and stayed for longer periods of time, I was waiting for my insurance to kick in. Once treated my pain instantly disappeared, I remember it well in a new job with masses of stress, and I ended up having nosebleeds from taking too many Ibuprophene , 8 a day.:(

    On another root canal issue it was so different, tooth #13, here is a link to what happened. To this day #13 has remained calm.


    I have signed up for wisdom teeth extraction and Invisalign, see my recent thread. It’s hard not to be suspicious of dentists and I am moving to a new one for this treatment. I am somewhat miffed that my last dentist chose to fill and gold crown potentially useless teeth.

    Keep an open mind, dentists can become your instant hero when needed.

    Be well
  13. Barkis

    Barkis New Member

    Yes I had the tap test on three teeth and the dentist claimed I could not in fact identify the tooth which was odd because I was certain that one tooth was the culprit.

    Bear in mind that I ended up at a dental hospital seeing several consultants who all pretty much failed to find a physical cause for my pain.
  14. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Ouch you poor thing! Teeth are a perfect place for TMS to mess with our minds.

    I had to look up:
    What causes atypical Odontalgia?
    Atypical odontalgia, also known as atypical facial pain, phantom tooth pain, or neuropathic orofacial pain, is characterized by chronic pain in a tooth or teeth, or in a site where teeth have been extracted or following endodontic treatment, without an identifiable cause.

    My pains were never unexplained like this.
    Be well
    megank likes this.
  15. Bettina

    Bettina New Member

    Don’t be too surprised about the return of your sinus issues, Barkis. Sadly, that’s tms for you. The same is true for me with digestive problems - try not to put up with it. I’m doing my best to ignore it, remembering that my mind is just looking for a new outlet for my emotional pain...
    megank likes this.
  16. MissBarbara

    MissBarbara Newcomer

    I had the same problem. Toothache was so terible I even couldn't go to work. only my psychologist was able to help me...
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2019
    Kittyruns likes this.
  17. kindle123

    kindle123 Peer Supporter

    @Barkis sorry to hear about that you are going through this.
    Just yesterday I had one of my old molar fillings really give me a scare! And since then I have been trying to look a little deeper into its clinical and mental side of pain. I have since been trying to find out if the nerve pain in the tooth (like it’s been known with Dr Sarno that it is very much adaptable to change especially with Herniated disc) is same like back or any other place in body? If we are able to get out of other sorts of so called nerve pains then why isn’t there much thought on TMS with tooth?
    I had a wisdom tooth which had a cavity so bad that one day I was eating something and felt something chip lo and behold it was a part of my tooth, I had no pain whatsoever went too my dentist and got it extracted as the half rough tooth was just annoying! But my thought over here is why one tooth that had a cavity died on its own without me even noticing ( if the mechanics of spread of cavity is same for all teeth then this one sure went to the nerve but why did I not have any pain).
    I wish there was something more on cavities and their impact on nerves, it always make me wonder what people did in olden days with these tooth pains, not everyone took a stone and smashed it!
    Can’t help wondering the science behind tooth nerves could be different than any other nerve in the body. I know people will say it’s the debris of food that causes infection and then inflammation which should certainly go away after different treatments.
    But the cavity going to the root and causing pain always reminds me of a herniated disc X-ray where the pulp is touching the spinal nerve but that is not the cause of pain as we know.
    I wish there were X-rays of comparative study where they show people have cavity’s touching their tooth nerve root but no pain, that would certainly help with the TMS belief.
    I hope you have found a way/answer to this pain. I am hard at convincing myself that this is TMS, just to rule it out I took an old antidepressant and didn’t have any tooth pain all day!
    megank likes this.
  18. megank

    megank New Member

    Thank you. I've been having sensitivity in a tooth that has previously had work done. I thought I wrecked the enamel some by using too strong of hydrogen peroxide, which I swished with to help heal a (true) infection in another part of my mouth. Maybe the swishing with the H2O2 wasn't the best idea, but here we are. Definitely feels like TMS but part of me still wants to go to the dentist to be sure. But then there's the money thing.. lol.
  19. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @megank,
    I was having sensitivity in a tooth that I couldn't handle (in my case though, the tooth hasn't had any work done, but I think I probably tended to be a little bit over zealous in using my old electric toothbrush and probably thinned the enamel!). My tooth's mightily sensitive to brushing (and maybe a little bit to cold food and drink, but not to hot food and drink). My dentist recommended these toothbrushes (the Curaprox 5460 Ultra Soft) and I've found them to be marvellous - no more jumping out of my skin with pain when I brush my tooth and, although they are soft, they still give a good clean https://www.amazon.com/Curaprox-546...keywords=curaprox+sonic&qid=1621963729&sr=8-4 (The makers of the toothbrush also make an electric sonic toothbrush for which they do toothbrush heads for sensitive teeth and that's sold on Amazon too, but it's pricey.)
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
    megank likes this.
  20. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am actually suffering from that right now. The same mechanism that gives us TMS can cause a few other problems.
    I am having a tooth removed tomorrow. I was almost certain it was TMS based on my history and WHEN the discomfort began.
    (Right after a rip roaring Rage inducer, waking up with tooth pain.Very suspicious that it was a TMJ like thing.)

    Had an appointment with the dentist anyways to fix a different chipped tooth. Pointed out the likely TMS offender. He saw nothing wrong with the crown, but did mention that the gums were inflamed.I ignored it.
    A week later my whole neck is swollen and I have a rip roaring infection in the jaw. It didn't come from the tooth proper, but from me BRUSHING about 4-5 times a day based on previous warnings from the Dentist... Apparently it wasn't the frequency but brushing too hard. Infection in the jaw/root. I was so worried about losing another tooth that... I am losing another tooth.

    Many of my problems started from the domino effect of the tooth I spoke of further up the post that was almost certainly TMS (no infection...just couldn't get comfortable)

    Yes. Then there's that. too.....though I am sure I have spent money on worse things (LOL) . I didn't know you aren't supposed to use Hydrogen Peroxide? Is that new? I always thought it was a good idea for infections.
    megank likes this.

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