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Front teeth allodynia. Does this sound like TMS?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by deafheaven, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    Hi everyone, just signed up to get your advice and thank everyone who will take time to read my story.

    Long story short, I sustained a trauma last October in my front teeth which I thought would heal quickly. Ever since the issue has become chronic. I've seen many specialists including dentist, TMJ, ENT, neurologist, did an MRI and X rays and all are clear. No infection, no inflammation, no damage. Yet, one doctor mentionned allodynia.

    The trigger is characterized by extreme sensitization to touch of the 4 front teeth. I mean to the point just wind on my teeth, or even gliding a hair on the teeth can trigger the pain. Of course daily activities like brushing teeth, eating drinking, talking and even mouth-breathing trigger the pain. So I try to avoid the triggers, eat less (lost 20 lbs), avoid talking to people. Basically I stopped living.

    The pain once triggered is sort of like flared up teeth, burning, tingling, pressure to the joints, muscle spasm in masseter/pterygoid, migraines.

    What makes me think it could be TMS is that at night and first thing in the morning my teeth feel fine. Once I took a 30 minute nap while I was in pain and when I woke up the pain was gone. Does allodynia dissappear when unconscious?

    Also, I did have burning scalp syndrome 4 years ago, sort of similar to my teeth but in my scalp. It lasted a year.

    Hopefully someone has some imput, the pain is driving me nuts.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    FredAmir likes this.
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi. That does not sound fun. I have had TMS symptoms almost everywhere, including my nose and chin at times. About a year ago I started getting super dry chapped lips only they didn't look like much of anything but they felt terrible. No one takes it too seriously because I look fine and there does not seem to be much explanation. I have concluded it is yet another TMS symptom and it comes and goes. Sounds like you've exhausted potential medical causes and so it would be a good time to embrace TMS recovery. Combined with the burning scalp sydrome, TMS seems like a very likely candidate. I say embrace TMS recovery because the thing is you can't just casually try it on and expect too much. We want evidence, a test, proof that it is definitely TMS and it just does not work like that. If you can look at the other recovery stories and truly believe that our minds have the ability to create excruciatingly painful physical symptoms in order to distract us from something emotional and psychological, then you can find a way to apply that belief in your own life, to your own pain. You need to be able to accept that premise though, can you? Our pain feels so structural that sometimes that it becomes a huge obstacle in believing that our individual pain is generated by TMS. We recognize the potential in others, but our pain feels different. We need some kind of verifiable proof in order to believe it in ourselves. So perhaps rather than prove that it is TMS, prove that it isn't. What do you have to loose? When we are trapped in the pain distraction, there is room for little else. Especially joy. When we find ways to let go of that distraction, when we stop trying to fix the pain and focus on our life, desires and feelings in spite of the pain, things begin to change. You cannot monitor the pain or judge your success based on it. Outcome independence is the hardest thing to grasp but once you do, you can turn things around pretty quickly. It might just be a few wonderful moments at first, but those will expand and grow. And when you reach a point in which you feel you can live a happy, fulfilled life with or without the pain, it may just disappear altogether.
  3. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Tension in your masseter, temporalis and/or digastric can be accompanied by sensitive teeth and molars, but also by migraine and pain on the scalp. It is a common combination seen in triggerpoint treatment. However it is my experience that approaching such tension as TMS rather than treating the muscles is the best way to get rid of it in the long run.
    Not experiencing the pain when just waking up is a pretty good give away for TMS. For example some people mention the experience of going to the loo in the middle of the night, only realizing when they return to their bed that they are not having any pain.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    I greatly empathise. After many years of torment I was diagnosed with atypical trigeminal neuralgia and tmj, which when all is said and done is TMS. It manifests primarily in my right upper teeth but at its worst my entire palate and front teeth were affected, as were the whole right side of my face, my temple, my neck and my throat.

    I've been through the living hell you describe. At one point my dress size was a UK size 6 because I couldn't eat. Even soup and drinks triggered my pain and sensitivity. Brushing teeth, eating and drinking, wearing make-up, some days speaking and smiling were ordeals.

    These days I am much, much better. You can read "My Story" for more insight into how I began to heal. Interesting that you mention how a nap made things better. It isn't that being unconscious makes allodynia disappear but rather that sleep is the best way of calming an over-sensitised nervous system.

    In my story you can read how I describe sleep as the charm and the start of my recovery. To this day whenever I have a flare-up it is sleep that soothes it once more. The fact that you have glimpsed this chink of lessoned pain suggests that this is indeed TMS and that by learning to soothe yourself, you can calm your frazzled nervous system back to it's natural, neutral resting state.

    As other have noted, burning scalp is another form of TMS. This bout of allodynia sounds very much like the symptom imperative at play.

    So, good news. There is much you can do to overcome this wretched condition.

    Plum x
    Lainey likes this.
  5. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    Thanks everyone for your responses it's very comforting

    Plum: I had read your story before signing up and I really related in a lot of aspects. I wish you the best in your recovery

    I started reading Sarno's books (Mindbody Prescription and Divided Mind) and I'll keep reading them until I feel better. I am 100% sure my issue is TMS related. I'll update on my progress. I think I know exactly where my inner rage is coming from, I just need to get my thoughts straight.

    I am realizing I have been doing everything wrong. Everything I was doing or thinking was contributing to the pain.
    Gigalos likes this.
  6. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    I've been making some progress. Been reading and listening a lot, about 3 or 4 hours a day.

    The sensitivity has diminished a bit and muscle pain also.

    I completely resumed talking, eating and brushing teeth. Though I am still very fearful of talking.

    I realized I'm conditioned to so many situations. I've been wearing for the past 8 months a cotton roll as a spacer between my upper lip and gums to prevent my lips from touching my teeth while talking. I decided to stop doing this and within 5 minutes all of my facial muscles started to spasm up. I still ride my bicycle wearing a surgical face mask because of the wind. Any time I don't wear it my teeth flare up.

    It's just so hard to "forget about it and live your life" and the pain is located in your face and causes these tension headaches

    I also suck on ice cubes to relieve some of the pain. It helps numb the throat muscles and burning teeth. Is this something that can hold back my progress?
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  7. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's nice that you are making progress.
    I remember experiencing painful teeth from cycling and walking, even when it wasn't that cold outside.
  8. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    I'm not sensitive at all to heat or cold, just to touch.

    So the wind on the teeth (or even mouth breathing) feels like something is touching my teeth
  9. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    Just circling back to say that the symptoms are gone. I can't remember when exactly probably around March 2019. I just remembered this forum existed and that I posted here.

    Hopefully this gives hope to some people with similar symptoms.

    The key is to let go & stop caring and eventually the symptoms lessen and disappear. The fact that I can't pinpoint exactly when the symptoms went away is what you want to achieve.

    I can't say I changed anything else in the process, except that I started rock climbing and that I love it. I think that might have played a big role.
    lucieG and nowa like this.
  10. Patrisia

    Patrisia Peer Supporter

    @deafheaven that's great to hear! How long would the pain last once triggered? I have a relapse and mine is 24/7 but for example brushing triggers it and then it hurts even more
  11. deafheaven

    deafheaven Peer Supporter

    Usually all day. Sometimes just for a few hours

    The teeth would either tingle, be completely numb or extremely senstive to touch... Clearly blood flow retracting from that area
  12. christyloe

    christyloe Newcomer

    It depends upon the alignment
  13. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    That must be really tough. Hang in there.

    My thought is that it is conditioned response. I have seen it happen. The initial injury is healed but the pain remains as a conditioned response. That's why all the tests come back normal but the pain and sensitivity remains. Treat as a conditioned response and it will go away.

    You can use the steps I outline in this video series. The one on Rapid Recovery goals deals with conditioned response. You need to tailor it to your situation. Take care.

    My New Video Series on Rapid Recovery from TMS | TMS Forum (The Mindbody Syndrome) (tmswiki.org)
  14. SleepyPigeon0608

    SleepyPigeon0608 New Member

    I am experiencing sensitive teeth and gums right now. I had my wisdom teeth out last January and I feel like the surgery made the pain intensify because before the surgery my teeth were fine. I had toothaches but they went away. Since then I've developed sensitive teeth when I eat, drink and brush my teeth or even when I'm doing nothing. My dentist cant find anything wrong. I do have cracked teeth but I won't need crowns for several years and they're not causing the pain according to my dentist. I wear a splint now cause I clench at night. Wondering if it's connected to my neck and shoulder symptoms. Hoping it's tms
  15. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yo Sleepy,

    You mentioning the clenching (masseter) and the neck/shoulder problems (often involves the trapezius) tells me it probably is TMS.

    Just look at the following link to see how the masseter and temporalis muscles are related to sensitive teeth:
    http://www.triggerpoints.net/symptom/upper-and-lower-molar-tooth-pain-toothache (Upper and Lower Molar Tooth Pain (Toothache) | The Trigger Point & Referred Pain Guide)
    You can check if your masseter is the culprit by simply pinching it between your thumb (inside your mouth) and your fingers (outside). The temporalis can easily be checked by pushing on the highlighted areas with your fingers or thumb.

    Back in the day when I had sensitive teeth, I could often bring on the exact pain in my teeth this way. I sometimes even managed to make it go away for a short while by treating the TP's, but sometimes it backfired and made my muscles feel even more sore afterwards.... In the end my problems only resolved by treating the whole shabang as TMS.

    So I'll state this again: Use TP theory only to strengthen ones believe in that the underlying problem really is TMS. TP's are symptoms of TMS, they are not the cause (imho).

    I sometimes end up pretty sore from dental interventions. Certain procedures simply bring fear of pain (and sometimes actual pain), the chair usually is very uncomfortable for me (could be related to the fear) and together with all the force that the dentist puts on my jaws and tissues, I sometimes end up with unreasonable pain in my back, neck and jaw muscles. If TMS is around, the anticipation alone can make the whole experience more dreadful than it should and the resulting soreness can linger around a lot longer than just the expected couple of days.

    good luck with you recovery!
    SleepyPigeon0608 likes this.
  16. SleepyPigeon0608

    SleepyPigeon0608 New Member

    So if I can't trigger it, what's it mean?
  17. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    I honestly don't know, Sleepy, but I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe you didn't hit the right spots, maybe you didn't press hard enough, maybe triggerpoints aren't even an issue in your case. I just though it might be, as I've seen multiple cases where teeth sensitivity was accompanied by tp's in one or more of the mentioned muscles. And since you brought bruxism into the mix, I had a good feeling that the masseter and/or gastric could be involved.
    By the way, are all your teeth sensitive or is it only certain teeth? If it is all your teeth, than I can only think of one other muscle: the soleus. However although this connection is sometimes mentioned by tp-therapists, I have never found a good description of which exact sensations in the jaw are correlated with tp's in the soleus.
    Don't put too much time in this though. TP's are a dead end if you keep focussing on them. Use the tp-correlations to quickly ease you mind, but if you can't find them quickly... leave it.

    I'll leave with this quote from healthline, where they mention possible causes for sensitive gums. This one stood out and is pretty much in line with what TMS is about:
    " 7. Stress Too much stress can lead to an elevated cortisol level. This is a stress hormone. A high level of cortisol over a prolonged period causes inflammation in different parts of the body, including your gums".
    SleepyPigeon0608 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  18. SleepyPigeon0608

    SleepyPigeon0608 New Member

    I feel like most of my teeth are sensitive (some more than others). That does scare me because it never used to be like this. I think you're right with that quote because my body is so used to being hopped up on stress. It had to be TMS. As I mentioned above, my teeth and gums were fine before my wisdom teeth surgery and then afterwards it just went downhill. I'd had some soreness in my teeth and jaw previously (likely the clenching and grinding) but it wasn't bad. The surgeon said the surgery would solve my pain but it didn't. Maybe it was a nocebo effect. Did you find your teeth symptoms eventually died down? I long for some hope that this won't be forever. Wondering if it could be trigeminal neuralgia...
  19. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Also TMS.
  20. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    Many sympoms I once had have died down. Sometimes they revisit me briefly, but not as brutal and longlasting as before.

    Maybe read some of Plum's postings. She was diagnosed with atypical trigeminal neuralgia (or she came to that diagnosis herself, not sure... just read her story) and found relieve in treating it as TMS. (edit: oh wait, she posted this herself already in this same thread :) )
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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