First bite syndrome question

Hi everyone!

I’ve read several posts on here from users who mentioned FSB as a post surgery problem. I wanted to ask what exactly the symptoms were like.

Reason for my question is that I developed a very strange pain ca 6 days after my surgery (I had surgery on september 15th. That pain emerges as soon as I take something in my mouth and it radiates to my parotid, cheek and ear-region. It is heavy but fades out after 1-2 seconds. It gets better with every bite and after 5-10 seconds goes away and i can enjoy the meal. I have the suspiccion that acidy food is worse and that it has a connection to the production of salivary as it even emerges when I cut onions and only smell them (without taking them in my mouth). What is really strange is that the pain comes back far worse and sharp just 1 minute AFTER every meal. I stop eating, wait for a moment and then it shoots into my cheeck and ear so bad. It stays like that and subsides within 1-2 minutes and then everything is fine again.

I can definately say that this is not from ES and i never had this before surgery. Besides that my recovery is going well. Can anyone tell me what this might be? Did anyone experience something similar after surgery?

Best regards from Germany

The first part of your description sounds exactly like my first-bite syndrome. I didn’t get it after I ate, but I did feel it at random times and I always surmised that I somehow moved in a way to irritate those nerves. In fact, I just felt if yesterday (very mild) when I was just walking around. I don’t know how to explain the after eating pain - it sounds just like first-bite syndrome, only after eating. Are you on any nerve-type medications like amitriptyline? That may help somewhat until it fades.

No right now im off every medication. I will mention it at my next check-up.

I catched a cold recently and was all slimy and peeved for a few days. Coughing up, clearing throat or nose would trigger it as well but not as bad as eating. The pain I get after eating is worse than the one I have with the first bite. Its a much sharper, needle like stitching pain, it lasts longer and radiates through my whole lower jaw, cheeck and up to my ear on the operated side. It seems to be heavier when I ate more solid foods, yesterday after eating a toast with salami it was well a 8, maybe even 9 out of 10, it almost made me pass out. Tonight i had mashed potatoes with very soft cooked cauliflower and fish and it wasnt nearly as bad.
But it starts at the exact spot as the first bite pain and im sure there is a connection between the two pains. Very strange.

Apart from the eating problem I start to feel a lot better. Today was almost painfree between meals :slight_smile:

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I’m glad you’re feeling better. That’s good progress. Yes, I agree - I think you’re after-eating pain is most likely first-bite syndrome and for some reason you’re also getting it after you eat too. I guess keep to a softer foods diet for a while until the nerves can heal somewhat.

I get a sort of whoosh of pain, in the area you describe- usually at the first mouthful, but I have had it part way through meals at times. It’s worse with foods like berries, tomatoes and chocolate (?!)… From what I’ve read online it seems to be impairment of the nerves following surgery, and seems to be quite a common result of surgeries around the jaw, neck or salivary glands.
Pain after eating can often be a sign of problems with a salivary gland, like if there’s a blockage caused by a stone. Depending which salivary gland is affected, you can massage it to help shift it if it is a stone, or I was advised to suck on a sharp lemon sweet (I made lots of lemonade with fresh lemons) as it stimulates saliva and flushes out any stones. It could be a stone but might be an idea to get it checked out especially if you have any swelling…

Yes, the symptoms are very similar to the ones you have with a salivary gland stone. Exept there is no visible swelling nor does it get red. What I found out is I can fool and skip the after eating colic-like pain when I take a chewing gum right after the last bite. So for now I have to make sure I always have chewing gum around when I take a meal.

First bite syndrome seems to get a little better. The after eating pain too…But especially when I eat very tasty or spiced food it still hurts a lot. Especially the pain after eating confuses me. The bigger the meals the worse the pain. It shoots into my nerves 2-3 minutes after eating…probably trigeminal or glossopharyngeal nerves or both. I dont get it. I will suggest to name this strange syndrome after me at the next post surgery check-up as I cant find any Information about this in the Internet :smile:

Apart from that my recovery is good. Some aches here and there and my ear and cheek are still numb but when the first bite and after eating pain would be gone i would say my surgery was a success. ES symptoms have pretty much completely dissapeared on my operated side.

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Glad that you’re seeing some improvements! Hope that the eating pain improves soon. Thanks for the update!

As a fellow first bite syndrome sufferer, I feel for you!! The good news is that your symptoms may completely disappear in a few months to a year. The bad news is that they may not. The good news is that even if they don’t go completely away, the intensity will become much less over time.

I’m almost 2 years out from my first ES surgery. My first bite syndrome symptoms started on the 5th day post op. I absolutely couldn’t eat solid food for several weeks & gradually began adding them back into my diet. One of my favorite foods - fresh pineapple - is the very most torturous thing for me. It used to nearly make me drop to my knees when I’d eat it. Fortunately, the pain isn’t that intense anymore. You are correct in noticing that spicy & acidic foods create a more painful responses. Other things that I have noticed that make my symptoms worse are not drinking enough during the day & stress. I now try to drink at least 100 oz (3 liters) of water,herb tea (no caffeine)/day. Keeping my saliva dilute seems to help. Also, as Heidemt noted with her FBS, mine will fire up ocassionally even when I’m not eating, but again, it seems to be when I’m stressed &/or not drinking enough.

I have been going to a cranial chiropractor who is using cold laser & massage on my jaw muscles & parotid area. This therapy does give me relief from FBS for hours & sometimes days but it hasn’t proven to be a cure yet.

Hope some of this info is helpful for you!

I’m a FBS sufferer too! I’m 10 months out and it still hits me at the first thought of putting food in my mouth. I’m actually getting used to it and prepare for it now LOL.

I am 2.5 weeks post 1st surgery.

I need to mention, that I have had first bite syndrome for approx 4.5 years…well before surgery. I don’t really understand what it is but would be interested to know if anyone else had it before surgery?