Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dental troubles

What a few weeks it's been.
What should have been a simple dental  restoration (a crown on a back molar) has turned into a major trauma...

After having my last upper molar on the left (UL6 for those geeks who really want to know) crowned a few weeks ago my life has been absolutely altered by excruciating muscle spasms in my neck and head, my sleep disrupted with tinnitus, buzzing and a horrible taste in my mouth ever present.

This first appeared after the temporary crown was fitted (plastic) but got much worse when the permanent (porcelain/metal) crown was put on.I thought at first I was rejecting the metal (I am highly metal sensitive - I can't wear earrings for instance). But after subsequent investigations by an osteopath, and 2 trips back to the dentist it appears to be more about misalignment of the teeth. If the bite is not meeting properly (malocclusion) then this appear to set all the bones of the cranium and jaw off. Then the muscles strain to bring everything back into alignment and if they can't do it they are in permanent strain which makes them spasm.

It seems this is all much worse if you grind your teeth at night (which apparently I do) - I have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome. I never realised this until now but waking up 2-3 times in the night with my mouth open and pain in my neck I realise that is what is happening. It appears that the jaw is grinding to try to realign the bite (which with natural teeth would happen as you would grind down any that are high). With a porcelain crown it is so hard that no amount of grinding will do that so it's a never ending cycle of pain and grinding. So you get pain transferring down the neck to the shoulders and up to the top of the head. I've had sinus infections, headaches and terrible neck pain and clunking. I can't believe such a tiny thing can cause so much pain.

I am about to go and get it readjusted again (the dentist gets you to bite and sees where it is not meeting properly then he grinds it down with a drill). This will be my second time. It's not fun, and it's been an absolute nightmare overall.. I would say to anyone considering a crown - check first if you have problems with TMJ syndrome) as you may need extra work before and after the treatment from an osteopath or craniosacral practitioner. I finally found some mention of why this might be on a great website that talks about the link between the teeth and the body.  It helped explain to me why everything felt so 'off' and I felt so ill.

oddly though it has been an incredible learning experience - particularly as it brought back memories of being young and having so much dental surgery where I was anaethetised and had my tonsils and adenoids taken out. I swear I had one night where I relieved this surgery - like a waking dream. I think my mind was trying to exorcise the trauma of that event.. I had visions of people leaning over me - just shadows really and a dread fear. I know night-time is the worst for fear and worry but this was a different experience altogether. Quite out of body.

I will update when I have had another adjustment. I hope it is better..