EDS & Dental Pain

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome was tough on me yesterday.  The day began at physical therapy, which is a good thing.  I was excited for the PT to help me strengthen my body, especially the hip muscles.  My problem with dizziness was pretty terrible.  After bending over, we had to take a break, because the room was spinning.  After we finished the 30-minute therapy session, hubby drove me home to rest.

My next appointment was with the dentist…yuk.  Excuse me, but I really hate going to the dentist.  I had two small cavities that needed filling.  Cavities are a big problem for me and for many of us with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  Here are some dental facts found at the Ehlers Danlos National Foundation’s Website: 
·        Half of all EDS patients have a hypermobile tongue, and are able to touch at least the end of their nose with it easily. 

·        A high palate and crowded baby and adult teeth are common, even though many EDS patients have smaller than normal teeth. The high palate and smaller teeth can make fitting dentures very difficult even when explained to the dentist prior to the dentures being made. 

Pre-molar and molar teeth often have high cusps and deep fissures with root problems, and enamel hypoplasia can cause decay and possible early extractions. Sometimes teeth actually crumble when losing the enamel. 

·        Patients with Classical type offer suffer with juvenile periodontal disease. All EDSers are cavity prone, and have increased bleeding from anywhere in the oral cavity due to the fragility of tissues. Braces can cause problems as they can damage the gums and tongue while moving teeth quickly. 

·       TMJ (tempomandibular joint) pain and clicking occur in about 30% of the general population, and about the same incidence occurs in EDSers. Often if in a dental chair with your mouth open for an extended period of time, the joint will repeatedly sublux. Taking a pillow so you can prop your hand up to support your jaw during the procedure will prevent it from happening and also reduce your pain level from TMJ. 

·       Studies have proven that lidocaine (a local anesthetic used during dental procedures) often works poorly or not at all with EDS patients. 

·        Some people with EDS complain of always feeling like there is a lump in their throat when swallowing, and often have other swallowing and voice problems.  (http://www.ednf.org ©Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation, 2009 9

Since I was still having dizzy spells and my heart was racing, I explained it to the dentist.  He decided to use the numbing agent without epinephrine.  This worked well, but it does wear off much quicker. My teeth were hurting again within an hour and hurt all day and night.  Ouch!  

The other numbing shots that I usually get will last me about 8 hours.  (I really like that much better!)  I certainly have an EDS mouth.  I don’t even want to know how much money has been spent trying to hold my teeth together.  So many cavities… you would think I don’t take care of my teeth.  I’ve always brushed, flossed and visited my dentist.  Over the last ten years, my teeth have begun to just crumble.  

This morning I awoke with a terrible neck and headache.  It’s probably from the dental work or laying in the dentist chair.  It could be from the shot, or it could be from something else.  I’ve had more and more headaches lately.  This is not good, because it may mean that the increase in Topamax is not helping anymore.  That seems to be the pattern that I’ve experienced thus far.  I’ll need to start keeping a record and see.  

Whatever helps my pain or doesn’t work for me, I’ll have to accept and move on.  I hope and pray that these things that are provided can help me.  If they don’t, I’ll keep looking and ask God for His help and comfort in my pain.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert.  All information is my own opinion; if you need medical help consult your own personal physician. 
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman


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