Question re Masseter Muscle Trigger Points

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I think I have trigger points in my masseter muscle, but I'm not sure. As I've written before, I have been having pain in my lower right molars. The x-rays show no indication of dental problems, and my teeth are *not* temperature-sensitive to either cold or hot. However, the teeth (one in particular) is *very* sensitive to the touch, which makes it hard, if not impossible, for me to chew on that side.

    I have noticed a few times that when my teeth are touching on the right side, they are *not* touching on the left. Furthermore, it's hard for me to position my mouth so that the molars on the left touch. (I'm able to chew on that side, however.)

    I was wondering whether trigger points in the masseter muscle (or maybe some other muscle affecting the jaw) might be pulling my jaw/teeth out of alignment. I also wonder whether that misalignment might be responsible for or perpetuating my teeth pain. I have a call in to my dentist, but the people on this list often have had experience that dentists and doctors (even the best of them) don't know about. I would appreciate any information you can share.

    Thank you.

    --Laura R.M.

  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I think I have trigger points in my masseter muscle, but I'm not sure. As I've written before, I have been having pain in my lower right molars. The x-rays show no indication of dental problems, and my teeth are *not* temperature-sensitive to either cold or hot. However, the teeth (one in particular) is *very* sensitive to the touch, which makes it hard, if not impossible, for me to chew on that side.

    I have noticed a few times that when my teeth are touching on the right side, they are *not* touching on the left. Furthermore, it's hard for me to position my mouth so that the molars on the left touch. (I'm able to chew on that side, however.)

    I was wondering whether trigger points in the masseter muscle (or maybe some other muscle affecting the jaw) might be pulling my jaw/teeth out of alignment. I also wonder whether that misalignment might be responsible for or perpetuating my teeth pain. I have a call in to my dentist, but the people on this list often have had experience that dentists and doctors (even the best of them) don't know about. I would appreciate any information you can share.

    Thank you.

    --Laura R.M.

  3. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I have the exact same thing you have on the same side. I was dx'd with TMJ and given a hard, custom splint to wear at night to stop grinding my teeth so much. You have a malocclusion, or bad bite. The teeth that are always hitting first can get unbearably sore to the touch, esp. if you are clenching them in your sleep unknowingly. I'd see a good Orthodontist who knows about TMJ splints. If you don't want to go that route, try a cranial-sacral therapist to help adjust your jaw closer to normal. Physical therapy helped me also, to the point that I don't have to wear the splint all the time, but I still have pain. Some dentists will actually crown the teeth that hit first, reshaping them so they don't hit first, but ruining good teeth to do this is frowned upon by most dentists.
    Good luck whatever you decide to do,
    Klutzo
  4. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    You're right--I *do* have TMJ dysfunction. I've had it for years and already wear an NTI device. Fortunately, I have a dentist who is very knowldedgeable about this (he's on the board of directors of the TMJ Society and has the condition himself), plus he's a longtime friend. I spoke with him around 5 p.m. today, and he agreed that the problem sounds like something muscular, and that my jaw might have been pulled out of alignment as a result of muscle tightness. He recommended physical therapy, which I'm going to pursue with my health plan. The plan has one *very* good PT who knows both TMJ and FM problems. She worked on me once before for TMJ problems and realigned my jaw. The biggest problem is that she's so good, there's a waiting list to see her, and I don't really trust any of the other PTs.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    --Laura R.M.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/09/2002]
  5. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Yes, I'm the person you've previously sent info about masseter TrPs. I'm not entirely sure I've been massaging the right place, though. I tried lightly massaging the area where the illustrations in the Starlanyl book show the masseter trigger points from the outside. (I can't really figure out how to access them from inside my mouth, as you described in one of your messages, though I did try it.) I think you may have something about the sternocleidomastoid muscles, too. I have a big problem trying to find the right sleeping position for my head. It's very possible that I'm stressing the muscles in my neck while I sleep, which in turn could be at least contributing to the problem.

    Anyway, I definitely appreciate your continuing to look into this!

    --Laura R.M.
  6. Bkay

    Bkay New Member

    I don't have senstive teeth, I just have muscles in my jaws.
    That hurt. Not all the time just everyonce in awhile....
  7. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Joellen, what is the exact name of the trigger point book that you said costs $18? I tried to look up what I *thought* was that book online and found a 2-volume set that costs something like $189! That's a bit much for me right now, especially since I'm not really sure I will be able to use it properly to get relief. At $18, though, it sounds as though it would be a worthwhile expense!


    --Laura R.M.

  8. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    First, thanks to Joellen for the info about the less-expensive trigger-point therapy book. At this point, though, I'm afraid to try anything on myself lest I make things worse. I thought yesterday was bad, but today I'm in really bad pain in my teeth and jaw. For the first time, the pain actually seems to be at the point of my jaw on the right, in addition to the lower right molars and the jaw below that, all the way to my chin. The teeth seems to be spreading a little, too, and the gums around my lower right molars hurt.

    It now seems to me that my jaw is definitely shifting. When my teeth touch on the right (which hurts), I can put my tongue between my teeth on the left side. I talked to my dentist, who recommended physical therapy, and left a message for my PCP, who had somebody call to set up an appointment with somebody elst, though she didn't tell me what that was for. When I said I'd already seen my dentist, who had been treating my TMJ, she just said she'd tell the doctor.

    The pain gets worse after I've slept, though I've tried to adjust my sleep position as recommended in my fibro class. This morning, it's just terrible. I called both my PCP and the one physical therapist at Kaiser I trust to work on me for this.

    Because of the jaw shift, I also keep biting the inside of my cheek, which creates new canker sores, adding even more to the pain.

    Does anybody have some stop-gap measure I can try to at least temporarily ease the pain until I can get some more help from the pros?

    Please! At the moment, I'm really feeling desperate!

    --Laura R.M.

  9. Rain122865

    Rain122865 New Member

    I don't have the problems that you are having. I do on occasion have toothaches that move around. I don't know if it will help you any or not but I use ora-jel or ambesol to numb the area lucky for me my pain goes away in that area after a day or so. I know your pain is alot worse but maybe ora-jel or ambesol will help you a little, at least temporaily.
    Hope you feel better soon.Mouth pain is a horrble thing in my book.
    Rain
  10. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Hi, Joellen. I've been trying to massage the muscle (inside my mouth as well as along the lower edge of the jaw on the right side), but I'm still not sure this is right. It sometimes hurts a little when I first touch the muscle, but it doesn't really hurt while I'm massaging it. (Maybe I'm a masochist!) I don't seem to feel any less tenderness or achiness in the affected teeth after massage, though. And now, the pain seems to be in the gums around the affected teeth, too. Could that still be referred pain from TrPs, or does that suggest this really *is* a dental problem? (I have yet another call in to my dentist about this, too, so I'm not asking you to diagnose by e-mail. I was just wondering whether pain that seems to be in the gums also could be from the masseter or other TrPs.)

    By the way, I also have a sore throat, which for years I've assumed was due to acid reflux but now think may also be affected by TrPs somehow.

    Another thing I noticed this morning while massaging my jaw is that sometimes if I touch my tongue to the affected teet or gums, I get a metallic taste. Does that suggest anything to anybody?

    Thanks to all for helping me through this!

    --Laura R.M.

  11. jesfms

    jesfms New Member

    i was having such bad jaw pain taht i went through braces to corrrect bite and even had a couple of root canals..still unbearable pain...finally dr gave me lorazepam for sleeping....no more jaw pain...still have to watch not to chew gum, hard bread, tough meat etc.