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Tooth pain : help me with believing its TMS please ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Pierre, Dec 26, 2022.

  1. Pierre

    Pierre Newcomer

    Hello !

    I broke my front teeth when i was 7 (i'm 39 now).

    I'm a typical TMS sufferer and had lots of different symptoms (that came, and went when i stopped caring about them) : pelvic pain, headaches, abdominal pain, and tooth pain around one of my broken teeth (it is devitalized so i should not feel anything) !

    A month ago, during a bit of a stressful time at work, i felt pain in this tooth. Went to the dentist, X rayed, nothing wrong with the tooth, but maybe it was a bit damaged and sensitive, he told me. He put a coat on it. Few days later, pain was gone as i did not think about it anymore.

    Now, a month later, pain is back in the same tooth. Everything in me fears it is something structural, and i feel the urge to go to the dentist to get checked again.

    I have strong arguments that it is tms :

    - pain started just after a funeral, which reminded me heavily of my own dad's funeral and broke my heart / made me really fearful (guy died from a sinus cancer, and i convince myself that my tooth pain is the same thing... i know this is bullshit, but this is what my brain produces !)
    - tooth does not hurt when i touch it, nor when i eat, nor is it sensitive to warmth or cold
    - also appeared when i had to leave my significant other for a week (never was easy for me)
    - and i had to stay in my family for christmas (always difficult)
    - pain disappears when i'm playing with my friends, running, having fun
    - pain is not present when i wake up, but as soon as i think about it, it's on ;
    - pain is worse when i stress and have to do stuff
    - pain appears at an old site of injury (broke my tooth when i was 7 : and the pain is exactly mimicking what i felt when i was 7, like my tooth has been hit)
    - the woman i do therapy with just went on retirement, so it's a bit of a separation issue as well...
    - i had exactly the same pain lots of times in my life and it was never anything.
    - i'm prone to anxiety.

    Still, i feel the urge to go to the dentist. I want to be SURE it's ok. I still fear it. It's been a week and i've been resisting going to the dentist because i know this is stupid shit (and again i've been to the dentist last month, did x ray, nothing was found) : pain did not get worse, did not get better... I think i'll go to the dentist for one last check, but i feel shame because deep down i KNOW nothing is wrong... But still the pain FEELS dangerous.

    How can i convince myself to stop fearing it ? I feel like i'm slipping back to old obsessive behaviours, and i want to keep out of it !

    Thanks a lot !
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Well known member

    You have a choice.
    You can continue on the path you have been on -symptom, obsess, not care., no symptom for awhile, new symptom and begin the cycle again.
    You can do TMS work to become aware of your thought cycles and internal stressors you create and learn to see them as they arise so you can have fewer TMS relapses and break the constant cycle you are on. TMS work: read a book like one Dr. Sarno wrote and do all the work he speaks of with heartfelt understanding and knowing it can create symptoms before things subside. KEEP doing the work in your mind and being aware of your inner self - thoughts and feelings, find ways to slow down, self-sooth, and have self-acceptance.
    If you need guidance with this, use one of the two free programs you can discover at this website by reading though it’s pages. You will find success stories, and can search on “tooth” by using the spyglass at the top of right of this page.
    Know that you are already recognizing some patterns and personality and linking your pain to stressors and that means you are doing well with TMS understanding. The Pain PT has an excellent video on youtube discussing the pain fear loop that might benefit you. He also discusses many mind calming activities on other videos that could give you ideas and skills to help you break free of this loop.
    Again, your choice is to work on breaking free this time, or work on breaking free in your life.
    Ellen likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep, everything that @Cactusflower said. Above all, don't beat yourself up, but treat the pain, and yourself, with compassion, recognizing that your poor primitive brain actually thinks you need this obsessive focus on fear, or you might literally get eaten by a tiger. Your job is to rationally talk back to your brain, with love, and convince it this is not true. Talking to yourself out loud is surprisingly effective. Good old pen and paper also work.
  4. Theresaann

    Theresaann New Member

    I've found the most benefit long term from TMS symptoms by uncovering the emotional stress/beliefs that are underlying the threat my brain is perceiving. The breathing, calming, self soothing, PRT kinds of approaches help in the moment, but transformation in the symptoms and my mind happen when I feel the emotional hurt there, feelings like anger, sadness, shame, rejection, humiliation, etc. I have found internal family systems (IFS) work to be really effective for this process.

    You have a great list there of evidence for nothing being structurally wrong with your tooth, that's great. Maybe it's time to delve a little deeper and let yourself feel the feelings that are causing the threatening feeling to your brain? Feeling feelings is just that-feeling. It's a foreign experience to those of us who have learned to repress or intellectualize feelings. It's a skill we have to learn by simply just feeling.

    But even a little bit of feeling can be profoundly healing, I've found in my own case. On my own I've done this kind of work and have healed from at least 6 TMS type symptoms, one was almost life threatening. I'm working with more right now as I'm entering into a new phase of expanding my coaching and manual therapy practice. I'm still not free of pain, but I can make it come and go. The issue that's causing it is multilayered, but feeling by feeling I'm chipping away at it.

    Another great thing about the Internal Family Systems work is that you can do it on your own. There are many, many videos on youtube describing this technique. Blessings!

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