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Bad taste in mouth following dental work

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Louise D, May 9, 2023.

  1. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    I am currently trying to figure out if the taste I have in my mouth could be psychosomatic or not. It started after two dental fillings three weeks ago. I have a long history of TMS manifesting in different ways. I also have a severe dental phobia. I have lost several adult teeth and will be getting a partial denture soon. I am trying to face the fear this year and get all needed work done so I don't lose more teeth. That has been a stress all its own, trying to continue to face appointment after appointment without running and hiding like I have always done.

    As background, I also have a lot of anger about my dental situation that I try to deal with. I had no phobia of the dentist as a child. It developed in adulthood as I developed complex PTSD from an abusive marriage. I have been out of that marriage for a few years now, but the PTSD continues and my mind and body have a hair trigger where stress is concerned. The anger comes from the fact that I would not have become absolutely phobic and avoided the dentist and lost all these teeth if not for my experience with my ex. Ex is thriving (and still drives past my house) and I am trying to pick up the pieces. Just a little of the emotional background associated with this.

    So, the dentist that I found six years ago, who I was able to allow to do two fillings, retired recently. I have been looking for a new one that I can work with. I had two teeth that were getting dangerously close to not being able to be restored with fillings so I chose one of the dentists I tried and had the fillings done. I don't trust her though and I feel like she looks down on me, but her confidence in her own ability and that I could get through it, got me to follow through. Well, since the fillings, I have this odd taste, but only where my tongue touches the tooth. At first, I had a bitter, metallic taste in combination with this taste. The metallic part is almost completely gone and so is most of what I would call bitter, but this odd taste remains. The filling was on the tongue (lingual) side of the tooth. It's like a citrus taste, but not in a pleasant way. I think the materials tasted like that when she was preparing the filling. (It was a glass ionomer filling). I belong to a forum for people with dental phobia and there are dentists that answer questions there. One of the dentists said that once the filling has bonded, there shouldn't be any reason that I can still taste it or any reason that any flavor would be leaching out of it. I called my dentist and the person there that spoke with her for me said - "She said that you are more than welcome to come in for some mouth rinse and a tongue scraper." (The offered mouth rinse is not recommended if you are dealing with a bad taste because it actually has a bitter, metallic taste and is used as an antiseptic). She did not want to see me to check things out. After a second call, where I asked more about the rinse, the person who spoke with the dentist said that she said - whatever the taste is, that it could not have been caused by anything they did when the fillings were placed.

    It has been three weeks and I can still taste it. If it were something I tasted all the time, I would be more inclined to think it's psychosomatic; however, if I pull my tongue away from that tooth, the taste goes away. That seems to point at it being an objective issue that is related to the tooth. I also have burning mouth syndrome and that has been worse since the fillings, and that really doesn't surprise me. I had some post-extraction issues in March after a scarier than usual appointment with the oral surgeon. I had altered sensation in my face like the anesthetic didn't wear off all the way, but it was inconsistent. Then after the oral surgeon saw me to check it out nine days after the extraction and explained the possibilities and encouraged me that it wasn't likely permanent even if the nerve was injured, sensation returned to normal within a very short period of time, far less than the 6-8 weeks he suggested if the nerve was injured. It seemed as soon as he reassured me, it went away.

    I'm sorry this is so long. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't want to spend a lot of money looking for another dentist or two to ask about this, when I probably won't get answers. I wondered if anyone here has had a bad taste in their mouth as part of TMS - or after dental work for that matter.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your story reminds me of my relative's story. She ended up losing one tooth because the filling generated a sour and bitter taste in her mouth, but even more so she lost years of her life over that filling. Burning mouth syndrome, 22 years, and many dentists later, it slowly subsided, but gave way to other chronic pain conditions. Yet, she still erupts in anger when talking about it. She is a typical TMS personality, but refuses to give TMS any consideration, and continues to limp along with severe insomnia, fatigue and anxiety. I hope it will not be your case.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    TG957, thank you for commenting. Why did your relative lose the tooth? Why did she not have the filling replaced with a different material or even have the tooth crowned?
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    She asked to get that filling removed, which led to the tooth eventually getting fully decayed and pulled out. She decided that any metal in her mouth was in conflict with whatever prior dental work she had. She started going to the dentists after 15 years of abstaining, but she is extremely cautious about how much of dental work she allows.
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Why are you obsessing about these details?

    That's a rhetorical question, @Louise D, and a bit of a slap upside your head, to be honest!

    My point is to illustrate that your fearful TMS brain is distracting you with irrelevant details that have nothing to do with you and which do not matter! What matters in the story is the obvious TMS personality traits of the individual and the resulting lifelong suffering.

    The point of the story for YOU is that you are already many steps ahead of @TG957's aunt, because you do understand the mindbody connection. So take a deep breath and let's start over.

    Your TMS brain is completely out of control. It's got you running in circles with this dental thing which is pretty obviously TMS. You are trying to make us believe that it can't be TMS because you don't taste it when your tongue moves away. Why not? Anything can be TMS, because our brains are in charge of every single physiological process and sensation that exists. So I'm not buying it.

    You always have a choice. Since You have decided (or rather your TMS brain decided) that you don't trust this dentist because of your perception of how she behaved. You can always get a second opinion. What you WANT, if you're willing to be rational, is for the second opinion to be negative so that you can fully concentrate on your mental health and stop obsessing about this phantom sensation.

    My first question was rhetorical. My serious question is how are you treating your PTSD?
  6. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    TG957, thank you for the further information. I had this happen once years ago and I had that filling removed. It was replaced by a biological dentist I knew back then using materials that he had used on me before and the taste went away. It's hard to know if that was an objective reaction to the materials at that time or if it was psychosomatic even then. He is retired now and I don't know anyone who uses the materials he used to use so that is not an option. I appreciate your comments.
  7. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    JanAtheCPA, thank you for replying.

    I am not treating my complex PTSD in any particular way at this time. I had counseling with a specialist in trauma for several years. She retired last fall. We talked about trauma therapies, including EMDR, with which she also had a lot of experience. She did not think it would be wise for me given my current life circumstances. EMDR can do more harm than good if one is still in circumstances that are continuing the traumatic experience. She was of the mind that one needs to be out of it first. My own research on the subject confirmed her opinion.

    I am still dealing with my ex driving by my house and similar things like his new wife showing up at my door last fall banging on my door about an old financial issue that amounted to less than $14.00, which I had already emailed him about with resolution, so it was very odd indeed. I consider my ex dangerous and any presence of either him or her at my home frightens me and keeps me on pins and needles. The most recent sighting was two nights ago when I went to take out my garbage - there he was driving right past my front door - slowly. And there is nothing I can do to stop it because they haven't done anything illegal yet. Beyond that, my adult children are not doing well - particularly two of them who are living with me and being supported by me due to their own disabilities related to their history with my ex. I returned to the workforce about a year ago after 25 years away as a stay-at-home mom, and I can only tolerate working 25 hours a week from home due to a mitochondrial enzyme deficiency. The only job I could get is for a mid-size CPA firm and that only happened because I had a personal connection to one of the partners. After the length of time away and the low energy from the mitochondrial disease, it is extremely difficult and what I perceive as a stressful, chaotic work ecosystem is taking its toll, but I have nowhere else to go. I am not making enough to support three adults (my two kids and me) and get further in the hole every day, but I can't increase my hours. I am trying to deal with the dental situation to get that from hanging over my head in the hopes I could handle even 2-3 more hours of work a week if some stress from somewhere would let up. Most days I am just trying to keep my head above water. I don't know where I would begin to untangle the lifetime of brain re-wiring that is part of complex PTSD.
    Last edited: May 10, 2023
  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Louise, so sorry about your situation! You are in a tough spot, hopefully it will eventually settle down for you. I would suggest meditation as an effective tool to rewire the brain. Meditation helped me to fully recover.
    RobOptimist likes this.
  9. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    TG957, thank you so much for your kindness. I hope so, too. Thank you for the suggestion. I may give that a try.
  10. Louise D

    Louise D New Member

    The bad taste has continued to increase. I thought perhaps I was premature in treating it as TMS since I didn't get a second opinion or see the doctor about whether it could be a genuine intolerance to materials. I didn't do the work necessary to rule out non-TMS issues. I jumped to TMS. So, since I have not been successful thus far, I contacted my dentist today to see about getting my dental record to get the list of materials used so that I could have that in the event I go to an allergist/immunologist to investigate intolerance or allergy. I would probably see my regular doctor first, but I thought a reasonable first step would be to gather information. The office will not give me my record so far. I went in today and the staff member was obviously disturbed when I said I wanted the records for myself and not another dental office. Then I got an email later in the day with a billing statement that went back to my first appointment there back in 2009 with the old dentist who retired up until today. She said, here is the transaction list you requested. She and I both know that is not what I requested. We discussed it in the office that I was looking for the records that included doctor's notes. I wrote back clearly stating what I need, but I don't think I'm going to get it. This is disturbing on multiple fronts. Why are they denying me the records to which I have a legal right? How do I move forward unless I can rule out the non-TMS physical possibilities? I'm just so tired of one obstacle after another. I should have listened to my intuition and not used this new dentist when mine retired. There were red flags and I just got so tired of things being difficult and she is reputed to be so good.

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