About half of all Americans, no matter how healthy
they are, are more likely to develop oral health
Women need to be aware that they are at
higher risk for periodontal disease and gum
disease during puberty, pregnancy, their menstrual cycle each
month, and then menopause—let’s face it, we’re at risk most
of our lives. We now also know there is a correlation between
high hormone levels in the body and inflammation in the gums
surrounding the teeth as well as in the epidemic numbers of
the disorder fibromyalgia—which afflicts mostly women.
When hormone levels are very high, women can be more
sensitive to a small amount of plaque or bacteria. For example,
if you weren’t pregnant, and you forgot to floss for a couple of
days, it probably wouldn’t be an issue. But if you’re pregnant
and forget to floss, and plaque collects, you can develop
swollen, painful growths in your gums that otherwise probably
wouldn’t manifest as quickly.
Being pregnant and having periodontal disease may also
put your baby at risk. Studies show that pregnant women
with periodontal disease have higher risk of premature labor
and low birth weight. Scientists believe this occurs due to the
inflammation and bacteria in the mouth that makes its way
into the bloodstream. Author’s Note: A myth voiced by most
dentists in years past is that pregnancy does not create more
cavities; given the above data, that is not a correct assumption.
A Timely Connection
A few years ago I was honored to be invited to experience and
consult with a globally-respected integrative medical hospital,
medical and dental clinic and spa, located on the Pacific coast
in Baja California.
Having worked in the clinical and research dental field for
eleven years myself, with my investigative “eye” continually
searching to find a link between soft and connective tissue
disorders like fibromyalgia and dental health, I was introduced
to the director of the dental clinic, Walter De La O, DDS. The
following are notes taken during discussions with Dr. De La O and
his clinical experiences and methodologies for the potential
connection of the oral cavity (mouth) to fibromyalgia, as
discussed during my investigative visit and later validated
in my clients’ experiences when their oral health issues were
Fibromyalgia and Mercury…
Dr. De LA O and I both agree that we have observed a strong
relationship between fibromyalgia and the health and alignment
of the oral cavity—as evidenced by clinical observation and
research. There are many dental factors in play in disorders
like fibromyalgia. This summary represents only a few “clues”
as underlying contributing causes that my investigative work
We KNOW the health-depleting effects of mercury amalgam
fillings (silver fillings), which can be very toxic for the body—
releasing mercury in the form of toxic vapors. This vapor
release from mercury occurs every time the teeth make
contact with one another (occlusion), when the pH of the
saliva is altered, when friction is created on the teeth, or when
the temperature inside the mouth is raised. This means that
every time we are eating, swallowing (saliva or food), chewing,
clenching/grinding, brushing our teeth or even smoking, we
are potentially exposed to mercury vapors from our amalgam
filling—which is most of the time.
Toxic levels of mercury can cause or exacerbate the following,
but definitely not limited to:
- autoimmune diseases (i.e., lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, cancer etc.)
- infections (i.e., chronic vaginal yeast in women, jock itch in men, sinus infection, swollen glands, thrush, etc.)
- unexplained chronic fatigue
- nerve impairment
- memory problems, decreased mental clarity, brain-fog
- bowel disorders (chronic constipation, IBS, Crohn’s, etc.)
- anxiety, panic disorders, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome
- emotional outbursts and instability
- soft and connective tissue pain (fibromyalgia, arthritis, rheumatism, etc.)
- migraine headaches
- insomnia and sleep disorders
- autoimmune autoimmune disorders
- sluggish lymphatic system and swollen/tender lymph nodes and;
- many other disorders that are seemingly unrelated.
When the mercury vapors enter our body, they get deposited
in various organs. Once they are stored, they begin generating
free-radicals—the accumulations of both have been known
contributing factors in disorders like fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia and TMJS…
In addition, there is another contributing factor to consider if
you have fibromyalgia—temporo-mandibular joint syndrome
The following is a summary by Dr. Wesley Shankland,
author of over 65 publications on TMJS and facial pain, and
president of the American Academy of Head, Neck, and Facial
Pain. His statement and methodologies about TMJS and
fibromyalgia are important to consider:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful muscle and nerve
condition characterized by pain in the skeletal muscles,
tendons (which attach muscles to bone), ligaments (which
attach bones to bones) and bursa (sac-like structures which
are filled with synovial fluid and provide lubrication and
nutrition to joints).
Symptoms of fibromyalgia are characterized by generalized
muscle soreness and stiffness lasting more than three months, poor sleep with morning fatigue and stiffness, tenderness at 11 of 18 specific sites and ‘normal’ blood test results. The
more common painful areas include the low cervical spine,
the shoulders, the second rib, the arms, the buttocks and the
Many other physical conditions are also found frequently
with fibromyalgia. Each of these can, and does occur
separately; however, they are also quite commonly associated
Many patients suffering with TMJS also suffer with
fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t recognize
either TMJS or fibromyalgia or fail to see the connection of these
two pain syndromes. Fibromyalgia almost always intensifies
the painful symptoms of TMJS and when one or both temporo-mandibular
joints are dislocated, the pain of fibromyalgia in
the neck and upper back is greatly magnified. Both TMJS and
fibromyalgia produce similar painful symptoms in the muscles
of the neck, shoulders, back, face and head as well as often
Fibromyalgia and Oral Health—The Biting Reality
Body Balance and Alignment
We are now aware that proper balancing of the body starts at
your feet and how you actually take steps. Body balance and
alignment will also depend on the length of your legs, position
of your hips, deviation of the
vertical spine and the balance of
This balance doesn’t end
in the shoulders; it ends in your
head. Your head is supported and
balanced by the vertical spine.
This balancing, or alignment,
also extends to the lower jaw, the
mandible, being the only bone
with mobility that is articulated/
hinged to the skull.
The mandible has 3 pairs
of muscles that elevate it: the
masseter, the medial pterygoid
and the temporalis. There are
also four muscles that depress
the mandible: the digastric, the
geniohyoid, the mylohyoid and
lateral pterygoid. In addition, there
are other muscles that are active
during the complex grinding
actions of chewing.
Important Muscles of the Head and Oral Cavity
A muscle in the cheek that moves
the jaws during chewing. If you
experience upper body pain and
inflammation, be sure to have
your biological dentist check your
bite (occlusion) to see if the pain
is originating from mal-aligned of
Masseter Muscle of the Jaw
In humans, the masseter is the
MOST powerful muscle of the
body, with a record bite of 990
pounds observed in a man who suffered an epileptic seizure,
which caused him to bite uncontrollably—shattering most
of his teeth. Were the teeth of a human able to withstand
the sufficient pressure, a human could bite a hole into an
automobile tire inflated to 65 psi, chew up a cinder block, or
bite through the rings or chain of a pair of handcuffs.
The Biting Pain
Muscles of the Head and Jaw
Your masseter muscle is your primary chewing muscle, and it
covers the sides of the jaw just behind the cheeks. It’s also the
muscle that makes you clench your jaw and grind your teeth,
unfortunately, and it may be the single most common location
for trigger points (muscle or fibro knots) in the entire human
body. It is an accomplice in pretty much every case of chronic
jaw clenching, bruxism (that’s Latin for “grinding your teeth”),
and temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (a painful condition
of the jaw joint).
The masseter muscle is often underestimated by the public
and health care professionals alike (although I’m pleased
to see a surprisingly strong interest in the subject among
biological dentists and holistic practitioners). When irritated,
the masseter’s muscle knots can cause and/or aggravate
several problems including, but certainly not limited to:
- Headaches, of course—this makes intuitive sense to most people.
- Pain/Inflammation—especially felt in the neck, face, shoulders and upper back.
- Earaches and Toothaches—which are much less obvious. A masseter trigger point can refer pain directly into a tooth, leading to disastrous results for an innocent tooth.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness—both can be serious and complex problems, and are not necessarily caused by masseter trigger points. There are many other potential contributing factors—but the masseter is always a likely suspect that should be considered.
- Bruxism—a grinding and cracking of molars.
- Temporo-mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)—a slow, painful failure of jaw joint function.
Romancing the Masseter
The therapy known as Perfect Spot No. 7 is extremely effective
massage therapy for most jaw problems including bruxism,
jaw clenching and TMJ syndrome. Fortunately, this procedure
is extremely easy for the practitioner and just as much for the
patient for self-therapy.
The masseter muscle “hangs” from the underside of the
cheekbone on the side of the face. The bottom of the muscle
attaches to a broad area on the side of the jawbone.
The Masseter Notch
Perfect Spot No. 7 is conveniently located in a notch in the
cheekbone, about one inch in front of your ears. The notch
is on the underside of the cheekbone, it’s easy to find, and
your thumb or fingertip will fit into it nicely, unless you have
extremely large hands and fingers.
If you press firmly inward and upwards with your thumb
in this particular notch you will be rewarded with a sweet ache.
The rest of the muscle, however, tends to feel like not much,
or unpleasantly tender. Although the entire muscle can and
should be rubbed gently, the Perfect Spot is definitely limited
to that upper edge of the muscle.
Note: The Perfect Spot Therapy is based primarily on the
research and writing of Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons—
pioneers of myofascial pain syndrome research. Dr. Travell
expired in 1997 after decades of tireless efforts to educate her
medical colleagues about trigger points and the benefit of
The existence and importance of trigger points is NOT
scientifically controversial, but it is obscure—the challenge
is to get the word out. Doctors and dentists are generally
uninformed about musculoskeletal health care—it simply isn’t
on their radar. According to Dr. Simons, “Muscle is an orphan
organ. No medical specialty claims it.”
Perfect Spot No. 7 is a sturdy piece of anatomy, so don’t
be afraid to work steadily up to hard pressure—if that’s what
it seems to want, listen to what it’s telling you! Either constant
pressure or small, kneading circles are both appropriate. Since
this spot is so tough, another good trick is to use a knuckle for
extra pressure, or even a small wooden ball with a handle like
the opposite end of a wood spiral honey-dipper.
Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome involving many
triggers—some of them currently being discovered. What
we do know in wholistic health is that when you begin to
understand the connection to oral and intestinal health and
overall body burden, we can then begin to solve the puzzle and
regain quality of life…I did and so have the thousands of clients
I’ve guided to wellness worldwide when everything else either
didn’t provide relief or made them worse from toxic side-effects.
Be informed; take charge of your health, Naturally.