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Exercises for face and mouth


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#1 KarenL

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:54 AM

Hi all,

I am starting to feel the swallowing trouble and also my jaw and face and mouth seem to hurt when I eat something repetitive, like popcorn at the movies. All that chewing! It just feels like I'm all of a sudden very conscious of the act of eating. The chewing, the tongue pushing the food to the back of my mouth, the throat trying to open to accommodate the food, and then dry throat, where the food sort of sticks for a second and little pieces seem to get left behind on the walls of my throat. yuck. Sorry to be so graphic.

Plus I have this urge to open my mouth really wide, to stretch it. I have always had that 'tic', but it's getting worse.

Anyway, is this a new progression? something to be concerned about or to tell doctor? Is there anything to do for it? I tried finding the facial exercises on this site, but the link did not take me to anything helpful. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance,
Karen

#2 Purr

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 04:38 AM

Hi Karen,

I asked for exercises on June 20th. The title of the post is "small mouth". Just click on the link. The exercises that were recommended work really well.

Christy
Love makes the world go around!

#3 Gidget

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:00 AM

Yes, you probably are seeing a new progression, but you'd really have to ask your doctor about it. You probably are having a hard time drinking a cup of coffee without some of it drooling down the side of the cup or food is probably starting to get caught in weird places in your mouth ie. roof of your mouth; in between your gum and teeth, etc.. If you think you are getting small mouth, then you should think about getting into the dentist and getting a full mouth Xray and a complete dental check-up as you may reach the point where it will be hard for the dentist to get into your mouth. Like anything else, the mouth exercises help although I am not that consistent about doing them. Good Luck. Gidget

#4 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 06:56 AM

Hi Karen,

It's impossible for us to tell, of course, as we aren't doctors and can't examine you.

When my mouth was becoming smaller, I had a lot of numbness/tingling/burning sensations in my mouth/face/tongue, followed by sequential tooth losses (from the back of my mouth, forward) over several years, until it seemed to stabilize. My physical therapist also gave me mouth exercises to do (along with hand exercises) during that time.

Now my mouth is smaller, but the progression appears to have halted. They need to use child-size equipment (molds, tooth rests) but they are still able to do complete dental work on me. For some people, the microstomia advances quickly or keeps on progressing -- but everyone is different and many people with scleroderma are not affected by it at all.

Just being hyperaware of it could possibly be due to the dryness you are experiencing. I also have Sjogren's, and if I eat dry foods alone (like a piece of bread), it glues to my teeth and even the roof of my mouth like little pieces of concrete, that have to be picked or scraped off. The dryness also affects swallowing (in the absence of liquids) and can lead to that feeling of being hyperaware of the whole process -- and chewing definitely takes more effort in the absence of sufficient saliva.

So, as being merely a patient and having no medical training at all, I'd venture to say it is possible that you might be experiencing more dryness than shrinkage, necessarily. But this is something for you to review with your medical team. Also see:

Sjogren's Syndrome (dryness syndrome)
Dental Involvement: Microstomia (Small Mouth)
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#5 KarenL

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 01:19 PM

Thanks so much ladies. Saying my ABC's now. Sigh, one more thing to do...trying not to feel down,
Karen

#6 smac0719

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 03:02 PM

KarenL,

I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing such problems. I don't have much problem with my mouth or swallowing (only on occasion). The only thing I experience is what feels like tiredness or muscle strain and pain at my temple and jaw area when I chew sometimes. That's annoying to me so I'm sure your dicomfort is much worse. I hope you find some exercises that help and comfort soon.
I may have Scleroderma, but Scleroderma doesn't have me!

#7 Karenlee

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 11:03 AM

Karen,

Sorry you are experiencing the mouth problems. Keep doing those exersizes to keep things pliable.

I have what smac described, if I'm eating something particularly chewy (ie: chewy granola bar) my jaw gets fatigued. I think that's from the tendons.

Karen