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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Unnatural feelings in mouth

Customer Question

The feelings that I have in my mouth are wire, plastic nails, springs, strings,things that you would think that a dentist would use in your mouth. I know in my mind that there is nothing there, but my tongue goes to work trying to fix what is wrong. Suggestions on what I need to do and what medications are good for these symptoms. I have been on several different types of medication but some I can not take. Which medications are good for these problems? What type of disorder is this? Is this a compulsive disorder? Could nerve damage cause these types of problems? All of the medications have not done away with the activity that I feel are in my mouth. Please help. Is this a compulsive disorder? If so, what can be done about it to make it go away. I have been under a lot of stress for the past 5yrs. My husband was diagnoised with stage 4 cancer at 55 yrs of age and passed away when he was 56 years of age. I have had a lot to deal with.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 5 years ago.

Several things I would want to know first:

#1 - have you been checked out medically? Is there anything medically/dentally that could impact this?

#2 - are the movements that you make with your tongue to find the irritants voluntary? Can you stop if you want to?

#3 - is there any shaking or trembling or just strange oral feelings?

Dr-A-Greene and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Did you receive my reply?
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 5 years ago.
I didn't actually. Could you repeat the information you sent?
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 5 years ago.

Again, I'd really like to help, but answers to the questions I asked above would really assist me.

Thank you!

Dr. G.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have been checked by the dentist and my family physician. My family doctor referred me to a psychiatist and also to a therapist. I know that these things that I have described to you are not really there. But the feeling is so real that my tongue is feeling out what is wrong and trying to fix it. The wires for example, I can actually feel them sticking into my gums. I have been treated for this since August 2011 and to no avail it has not went away. I try to stay busy to keep my mind off of it but it has not worked. I am open to any suggestions of what to do. The medications seem to make the activity worse. I had the dental work (bridgework)done on the left upper area that involved two teeth and that is where all of the problems come from. It is only in that area that bothers me. I want to know what can be done if any different from medications. What type of disorder is this? What else can be done?
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 5 years ago.

Well, the reason I asked the prior questions about your medication and whether you feel the activity is voluntary or not is because certain medications like Geodon and Seroquel (generally meds in the anti-psychotic category) can cause a disorder called Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). It usually manifests itself in an involuntary lip-smacking or tic type behavior involving the mouth. A person usually has to be on these meds for a while before developing TD, however. That being said, taking medications in that category could possibly be exacerbating your symptoms a bit and you might want to talk to your psychiatrist about it.

As for the phantom feelings of wires or other foreign bodies in your mouth, I can't say that there is a specific disorder that captures that particular symptom. My guess is that your psychiatrist is treating you as though the symptom is psychotic (like patients who believe that metallic bugs have been implanted under their skin, for example). However, the latter example demonstrates delusional thinking - where the patient believes these objects to be there, despite information to the contrary. The way you describe your symptoms, you know that the wires aren't there. It isn't a delusional belief. You just have a phantom physical feeling that they are there and you're acting on that feeling. This is much more consistent with an anxiety disorder, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The obsession is the feeling of the wires and the compulsive behavior is using your tongue to try to feel or dislodge them.

OCD is generally treated with regular SSRIs (antidepressants) like Paxil, Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, etc and possibly an anti-anxiety medication like klonopin or xanax. People with OCD respond to higher doses of SSRIs than depressed people usually need (for example, 80mg of Prozac, as opposed to 20mg). OCD also responds very well to cognitive behavioral therapy.

You listed a lot of meds previously that I don't know that you need to be on. You might want to consider researching OCD a little and seeing if this fits. If you feel it does, talk to your psychiatrist about it or find a new one!