Whenever I was flaring or “too high” my teeth would hurt, especially my upper ones. During my March 2010 Cipro flare, the periodontal ligaments around my upper teeth hurt, and they are still waxing and waning painful today, almost five years later. I actually had a root canal done on one tooth about 5 months post Cipro, because I assumed the pain was due to that. The root canal did nothing though to ease the pain, and it took me a while to figure out the pain was coming from the periodontal ligaments. I don’t have pain when biting down, but instead will feel pain if I grab a tooth and try to wiggle it back and forth. It also can be quite painful flossing, when getting the floss in between some of the teeth. I never had this type of pain while flossing prior to the Cipro. When I had the root canal done, I took some Ibuprofen for the first time since the Cipro, which actually helped quite a bit with the overall tooth pain – but never touched the periodontal ligament pain – or my overall tendon pain, which I thought was very interesting. Over the past four years, I’ve had several amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composites or had crowns done, and the periodontal ligaments were always more painful after that.
Interestingly enough, several months after the Nov 2010 flare, I went to the dentist and was told that my teeth were wearing down really fast, that I must be grinding them, that my teeth had aged 20 years ahead of me, and that I needed to wear a mouth guard or all my teeth were going to wear away. I had been to the dentist a couple of months prior to Nov 2010 for the root canal, and nothing was ever said about my teeth wearing down. So the wearing absolutely must have occurred within a six month period after that flare. Whatever was going on with the flares, which brought on the severely dry eyes, dry skin, and sometimes dry mouth, I think really made a difference in my oral health. The big flares that I experienced post Cipro – the Nov 2010 and the Dec 2012 ones – really seemed to accelerate my teeth deteriorating. After the massive 2012 flare I had, my teeth deteriorated even more, and I developed a cavity right in the middle of the lateral side of one of my teeth – the first cavity I’d gotten in over 25 years.
As with thyroid gland follicular cells, salivary gland epithelial cells and lacrimal gland epithelial cells concentrate and secrete iodide well above plasma levels. My hypothesis is that this secreted iodine is very important for oral health for its antibacterial properties, and probably for dentin/enamel integrity as well. It was amazing how fast my teeth and oral health deteriorated after the major flares. I felt like I was experiencing an iodine toxicosis – but none of it was getting into or secreted from my salivary and lacrimal glands. I take excellent care of my teeth, flossing, scaling, and scraping daily in addition to brushing to remove the slightest bit of calculus starting. My teeth were always super clean, and the dental hygienist had nothing to clean as a result when I went in. But that didn’t stop my teeth from deteriorating after these flares. I also question if iodide is really what is needed for overall tooth integrity – not fluoride.
Having said that, a serious contender for tooth pain, deterioration, and loss that can actually be tested for would be calcium homeostasis disruption in the form of hyperparathyroidism. I wish I had known during my acute reaction and during those big post Cipro flares to check my Calcium/PTH levels, and how easy it would have been to do so back then. I really wonder if I was having some sort of “parathyroid hormone” flare going on as well. As it is, it took me a couple years to start making this connection of elevated PTH to tendon ruptures, and possibly severe dental problems, as well as numerous other flox symptoms. A significant number of flox victims experience severe dental problems post flox, as described in “Can Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Cause Dental Problems?” I think every flox victim should regularly test and monitor for Ca/PTH levels, as I describe in “Thyroid and Parathyroid Related Testing”.
When I was on an appropriate dose of TH, most of my symptoms cleared up quite a bit, including this teeth pain and deterioration. It was only during and after the flares that the absolute worst pain and deterioration occurred with my teeth. I routinely got calcium results with my other testing, but did not start testing for PTH until the last couple of years. In my case, my calcium levels and PTH have always been normal. However, there are flox victims who have been diagnosed with parathyroid problems right after and longer term after being floxed. If more people tested for this routinely, we might find more cases of it than is presently recognized.
Update: For a very plausible mechanism to account for the teeth deterioration that some flox victims experience, see the page: Lead Toxicity: Secondary to Hyperthyroidism, Hyperparathyroidism . . . and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity? Here, I relate teeth pain and deterioration secondary to calcium and phosphorus loss around alveolar bone and within teeth themselves due to the activity of an enzyme called “V-ATPase” which FQs may interact with. This enzyme is most likely more active during during bouts of hyperthyroidism and hyperparathyroidism as well. For anyone who has experienced severe tooth wearing, loose teeth, or actual tooth loss, I strongly recommend reading that webpage and providing the information to your dentist as well.