Patients With Fibromyalgia
Dental Care for the Patient with Fibromyalgia
The fibromyalgia patient faces many daily challenges in accomplishing seemingly ordinary activities. Going to the dentist can be among the routine ventures that can pose a special difficulty for the fibromyalgia patient. Patients may have limitations in their ability to open their mouth sufficiently for the dentist to provide treatment. Jaw muscles can quickly fatigue in the open position resulting in temporomandibular joint pain. This struggle can complicate the ability of the dentist to perform quality dentistry, not to mention the comfort of the patient in the dental chair. Other patients have the sense that they have suffered enough from the fibromyalgia, and want their dental treatment rendered as comfortably as possible. Dentists, sometimes unfamiliar with the needs of fibromyalgia patients, may prescribe insufficient post-operative pain relievers.
Fortunately, there are ways to increase the comfort of the fibromyalgia patient in the dental chair. Intravenous sedation can render the delivery of dental care as comfortable as possible for patients with fibromyalgia. The entire body and mind can be relaxed. There is less strain for the patient in keeping their mouth open. Special “tooth pillows” allow the patient to hold their mouth open without undo strain. Dental pain, temporomandibular joint pain, and general body discomfort can be relieved to a great degree, by use of conscious sedation during dental care. Cervical pillows can be used to support the neck more comfortably than a conventional headrest. Oral premedication can be used for relaxation during minor procedures when the patient feels they do not require intravenous sedation. All phases of routine dental care are accomplished with the least possible discomfort. Cosmetic dental care and all that modern dentistry has to offer, is more comfortably available now to fibromyalgia patients.