Effectively Treating TMJ at Medicine Wheel Dental and Wellness CenterFeb 01, 2017 08:57PM ● By Steven A. Swidler
From the medical field of cranial osteopathy, we understand that all 29 cranial bones, not just the jaw, move in a slow, fluid rhythm, providing a balancing aspect to the central nervous system and surrounding connective tissue. With restrictions to this very important motion—such as clenching, grinding or other strain patterns from injuries and traumas—balance in the whole body can be compromised.
If the jaw and bite are “off”, even without noticeable temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) symptoms, a descending issue is created in the body which can compromise alignment from the head and base of the skull downward, throwing the level of the hips out of alignment. This can result in pain in the knees, hips, back, neck and shoulders and as a result, adjustments from a bodyworker or therapist will not “hold” as long—if at all.
After 40 years of treating TMJ dysfunction non-invasively, Medicine Wheel Dental (MWD), in Tucson, recently introduced its newest, most comprehensive and revolutionary whole-body approach to TMJ issues: Fluid Body Dynamics. This approach includes new concepts of pain management and functional movement therapeutics; cutting-edge therapeutic modalities, such as whole-body vibration and cranial osteopathic techniques; as well as much more.
Medicine Wheel’s Fluid Body Dynamics team will begin by assessing a client’s unique conditions and needs to determine if their condition qualifies for the use of this program. The team then helps create a customized treatment plan, which averages about five months in length.
When indicated, the program involves the use of specialized dental appliances to idealize and stabilize the jaw joint position—both at night and functionally during the day. These appliances are fully functional and not used only for sleep. They need to be adjusted as old traumas and injuries are released and the body alignment changes.
Release of each of these distortion patterns are like the layers of an onion; they can cause restrictions in the body’s soft tissue (fascia) and impair muscle function, blood flow, nerve signaling and normal physiology. As the body changes and improves with each bodywork session (with the optional use of Medicine Wheel’s patented Percussion Table), one’s appliances will be immediately readjusted to reflect this new stability and balance.
The MWD Fluid Body Dynamics system is client-driven, utilizing a case manager who works directly with them, communicating feedback and identifying needs between the members of one’s integrative team.
Clients are seen by the rest of MWD’s integrative team utilizing body/jaw alignment, cranial osteopathic techniques, Neuro Kinetic Therapeutics and myofascial release work. Meanwhile, a movement specialist guides them into whole-body balancing using a system of specific self-care exercises to retrain and stabilize their improving state of balance and body use patterns. To obtain whole-body balance and freedom from pain and discomfort, requires new awareness, positive postural relationships, letting go of old postural habits and compensations, developing positive breathing techniques and getting in touch with one’s own unique ways of dealing with stress.
Normally, within the first month of the program, while treating the primary underlying causes, one can see a positive effect on their symptoms by 50 percent. By the end of five months, the client can usually achieve relief of 70 to 80 percent of the symptoms they walked in with—all without medications or surgery.
Once stabilized and living a new life, either maintenance with the appliances or permanent dental approaches such as orthodontics or dental reconstruction can be discussed, if indicated. This approach is a must with children before turning to orthodontics if they are demonstrating a high hip or pre-scoliosis patterns.
Medicine Wheel Dental and Wellness Center takes the time to help clients step forward into relief and a positive lifestyle. Connect and set up an evaluation at 520-743-7101.
Dr. Steven A. Swidler, DDS practices at Medicine Wheel Dental, at 4650 W. Jojoba Dr., in Tucson. Connect at 520-743-7101 or MedicineWheelDental.com. See ad, back cover.