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Dental Problems with RSD

Posted Jan 26 2010 12:00am 3 Comments

Teeth of a model.Image via Wikipedia
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) has taken a toll on my teeth. Because of the impaired circulation, last summer they just started breaking off at the jawline. Only 3 bottom teeth survived, 9 teeth broke while eating. The last one to break didn't even happen on anything solid; I was eating pudding! That's how fragile they had become. I have had RSD for 5 yrs now. In that time, my dental problems had progressively gotten worse.

It has been suggested that the impaired circulation may be the culprit and I agree.  All my extremities have been effected by poor circulation. My hands and legs fall asleep frequently. The neurologist who conducted test after test to find out why my legs suddenly stopped working, calls RSD "The Mother of All Neuropathies"......that pretty much says it all.

When you suffer from RSD, the last thing you want to do it have any surgery. It can cause spreads of the condition to unaffected areas, the healing process takes longer and referred pain is a frequent problem. I kept putting off having my teeth fixed for months. Finally, Jan 21st, I had the nine remnants surgically removed. I could no longer  eat anything solid and the damage to my self image was damaging.

This is day 5. I still can't eat anything besides soup, jello and pudding. My jaw is still bruised and the pain has been unbelievable. But, it is getting better.  No spreads, as of yet. I was able to stop taking the strongest pain medication after 3 days and rely now on low pain meds to try and sleep. Talking is still a problem. The dentures went in the day of the surgery and act like a band-aide. It prevents any food from getting in the sockets and cold/hot fluids don't directly hit the open wounds.

My dentist took the normal precautions. He used long lasting Novocaine which didn't completely wear off for 2 days. I chose general anesthesia and had no problems with that either. He made himself familiar with my medical condition, RSD.

In closing, I just wanted people in my situation that dental work can be performed on us with good results. My fear of having the surgery could have caused medical problems if an infection had started. Before you have any surgery, take the normal precautions. Make sure the dentist and the surgeon are aware of your medical issues; and the medications you take.

If you are really concerned, print out documentation on RSD and Dental Procedures that can be found at

Once my mouth is healed and I can smile again, I'll post an updated picture of myself. I use an old pre-RSD picture that needs to be updated....

Comments (3)
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Great article it simply amazes me. As one of dental researcher I find you article have a great deal of information about RSD. I will take note you blog. Thanks.

Thanks for the RSD information..I had never heard about it before..I gained a good knowledge from your post..Just wondering to know what exactly you feel when the problem starts..Symptoms,your home remedies?And what can be the result if you don't visit dentist earlier..

The first sig was my teeth started snapping off at the gumline. All the teeth hurt rather than any specific one. With RSD our circulation is impaired. The reason many people with RSD do not go to the dentist sooner is fear of spreads and the exaggerated level of pain we experience because of the mis-firing of the sympathetic nervous system. Any dental procedure (even a cleaning) has been shown to cause spreads to other areas of the body. Extra novacaine needs to be adminstered at frequent intervals and the appts need to be broken up into several sessions. I did not find home remedies effective. Medications are also a contributing factor; narcotics, antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs all cause dry mouth which also breeds infections and bacteria.
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