Since fibromyalgia is a general disorder of specific syndromes of pain throughout the body marked by particular pressure points, there can be referrals of pain to other areas and related stresses.
TMJ or temporomandibular joint pain disorder is also a syndrome of complex problems relating to the jaw and commonly relating to bruxism, or grinding of the teeth at night or other times of the day.
One will typically notice intense pain in the jaw accompanied by clicking and crackling sounds upon movement of the jaw.
Presently, these issues can be more easily treated than they once were, but they are more complex of an issue when fibromyalgia and TMJ are related in a patient.
Medications which may Help
Tegretol, also known as carbamazepine, or Trileptal, oxcarbazepine, are seizure medications that can provide significant relief for the symptoms of TMJ pain which is due to something called trigeminal neuralgia.
Though these medications can provide relief for fibromyalgia sufferers also, they are not approved for such use and they can have some serious side effects.
Narcotic painkillers are another options, however, these medications are best reserved for extreme cases, as they can cause serious dependence and tolerance and should generally be avoided unless all other possible treatment routes have been exhausted.
Honestly, one of the safest and most reasonable overall pain remedies for fibromyalgia and related pain syndromes with a reliable, safe history is cannabis.
Please do not be daunted by misinformation that people “self-medicate” and it is only useful for nausea. This is a myth. The varieties higher in CBD content are very useful for pain.
Fibromyalgia as it Relates to TMJ
Fibromyalgia is not always believed to be a direct cause of TMJ disorders. Interestingly, however, fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disorder and it can definitely affect muscles and tendons of the face and jaw and neck.
This does not necessarily mean that the temporomandibular joint is being affected. It may feel like it is, but it could be just the surrounding muscles that are sore and in pain without any radiculopathy or nerve impingement involved.
It will take physicians to determine this and they will need to appropriate scans and exams to determine exactly what is going on.
However, people who present with fibromyalgia syndrome, most frequently women, do also often present with vitamin B complex deficiencies and iron deficiencies, probably due to monthly menses and a diet lacking in sufficient nutrients.
This alone will cause bruxism, which is a persistent grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaws.
Chronic pain alone will cause someone to clench their jaws on a regular basis and this the trigeminal nerve, delicately cased in the TMJ area, to become compressed, producing trigeminal neuralgia and hence, TMJ syndrome pain.
You see, there are many factors to consider before proceeding to an effective treatment route for fibromyalgia and TMJ related issues.
What you can do
One of the most important aspects of Fibromyalgia and TMJ treatment is learning what you can do yourself.
You can’t always be at the doctor’s office and they cannot always do everything you need to provide immediate relief for you.
When it comes to TMJ issues, there are a few things you can do to alleviate some of the symptoms.
One of the first things is a supplement which is a B vitamin and will also help with energy production in the body and thus help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia as well.
This supplement is Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic Acid, specifically Calcium pantothenate. No, it is not a calcium supplement.
It is simply the vitamin acid bonded to and buffered by calcium to make it more tolerable and absorbable.
Taken before bedtime, at a dose of 500mg to 1,000 mg can help improve sleep and reduce the grinding of the teeth significantly. It certainly cannot hurt. This is a water-soluble vitamin and has no toxicity.
You may discover its pain-relieving and energy-boosting properties the next day. It also helps support healthy blood lipid levels and heart health.
Also, you can begin learning to practice relaxing your jaw. Much like any other habit, clenching your teeth becomes a habit indeed and it becomes so by practice.
You may have to learn how to un-practice it in order to deal with and heal from fibromyalgia and TMJ pain issues.
Start to notice when you clench your teeth and start to practice separating your lips gently. This will help you to loosen your jaw.
No, it will not work perfectly every time, especially in the beginning, but it will begin to work better over time.
Good posture will go a long way too. Since you should be incorporating an exercise program into your fibromyalgia treatment protocol, walking is a great way to practice good posture.
Make sure your feet are planted in the ground and your hips are aligned above your feet. Then your shoulders are aligned above your hips and your ears and head are aligned above your shoulders and your jaw is relaxed.
Most importantly, relax your throat. You can do this by humming or singing or smiling. It is easy! Go ahead and try! Practice for progress, not perfection and now, walk a bit. You will get better.
Dental Examinations with Medical Examinations
If you are dealing with Fibromyalgia, chances are you have already had some extensive and expensive medical examinations.
When you are dealing with Fibromyalgia and TMJ pain, then you would do well to extend your exams into the dental realm as well.
There could be a situation where your teeth are not meeting correctly, you may need orthodontic treatment, or who knows what is really going on?
When you get a full evaluation, you will be able to get a full confirmative diagnosis of a TMJ disorder so you can get practical treatment.
Doctors and dentists will be able to find the tender points in your jaw which indicate TMJ nerve impingements and they can ask you about stresses and pains involved with your fibromyalgia and how they have progressed over time.
The muscle pain and tenderness you have been experiencing for how long you have been experiencing it could be the culprit in and of itself, so it might be the right time for a change in treatment protocol overall.
Once the professionals get to the root of the problem, new solutions can be quickly introduced and you will be on the way to less pain soon.