Botox, Topamax,Pain meds,Chiropractic failed..while NFOO resolved years of Migraine

Carla started having really severe daily headaches when she was 22 years of age. She was taking pain medications every day. Her condition was diagnosed as Migraines by her neurologist who prescribed Topamax, Imitrex and pain medications for it. She was still getting daily migraines which led her to try Botox injections by a neurologist, Chiropractic adjustments 3 times a week for 2 years & injections by a Pain management specialist.

Carla was married around this time but did NOT want to start a family while she was on all these daily medications. She was concerned about the possible effects of these medications on the fetal development & would not risk the health of the baby. She was getting depressed and losing hope. She did not see any ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. She just could not accept that this will be her condition, the rest of her life with daily headaches and migraines.

Carla’s husband noticed her grinding & clenching her teeth in sleep. This led to her dentist referring her to a TMJ specialist in Tula, Oklahoma where she lives. The TMD splint that was made for her actually worsened her headaches. She reports that she was asked to protrude her jaw and that is where the bite was taken for the splint. After 2 years of treatment with that specialist with worsening symptoms, she sought out another.

This time she found a neuromuscular dentist that made her a removable neuromuscular orthotic that gave her a lot of relief. She still needed to take medications, but at least she was feeling better for the first time in years. For long term stabilization, this NM dentist was only able to offer Full Mouth reconstruction. He did tell her that if she were his 27 year old daughter, he would send her to Raman Center to do Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics Orthopedics (NFOO) since very few doctors in the country do NFOO.

Carla was willing to travel anywhere in the world if she could have a pain free and drug free life so that she can start her family and enjoy quality of life. Driving 4 hours one way to Kansas City every month for over 2 years did not faze her at all to get her life back.

So Carla was referred by her NM dentist to us for a TMD evaluation and Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics Orthopedics (NFOO). Once the precise Neuromuscular alignment of the jaw / head and neck was diagnosed, a fixed orthotic was constructed on her lower teeth to correct the alignment. This showed immediate relief of Carla’s symptoms. She was able to stop taking all medications within weeks. Further improvement of her jaw alignment was achieved during Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics Orthopedics (NFOO). Shortly after that, she got pregnant and now has a handsome one year old young boy, Joseph. All of her braces and orthotic have been removed now. Her own natural teeth are coming together now to maintain her ideal jaw / neck alignment for the rest of her life. Carla is enjoying her improved quality of life through Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics Orthopedics (NFOO).

Don’t readily accept taking neurologists prescribed medications for the rest of your life as the final word. No need to keep suffering with migraine and headaches when the underlying cause is a “bad bite”. It is not just teeth, but a poor jaw, head and neck alignment. It may be hard to believe. But neuromuscular dentistry can actually solve these problems in most cases. So if you are tired of the pain and hate taking medications with no end in sight, there is hope.

Watch this video of an actual patient who was helped through Neuromuscular orthotic and Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). She is pain free and completely off ALL medications.

Traditional orthodontics improves the smile cosmetically by straightening the teeth. 4 out of 5 patients we treat for TMD had previously had traditional orthodontics. So they often have ‘nice smiles’ but their jaws are poorly aligned. Once the optimal bite was diagnosed through advanced Neuromuscular protocols, moving the teeth along with bone support and gum tissue to this position is called Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). Objective electronic measurements of jaw / neck muscle activity and CT scans of the TM Joints guide the entire treatment. That is the big difference between NFOO and traditional orthodontics

It is hard to measure the life impact of this treatment in this young person’s life compared to how it would have been in her family life, social life, work life and general happiness if the unrelenting daily ‘migraines’ had continued.. No wonder Carla believes that it was “definitely worth” the cost & travel time it took for her NFOO.

Jaw surgery avoided through NeuroMuscular Functional Orthodontics / Orthopedics (NFOO)

If regular orthodontists & oral surgeons say that jaw surgery is the ONLY option to correct TMJ pain, joint / ear pain when chewing, DON’T accept that too quickly. NFOO has proven to be an EFFECTIVE and non-surgical resolution of such symptoms many, many times. Here is one case history.

Laramie started having really severe pain when chewing and ear pain when she was in grade school. Her mother thought that she was a finicky eater. But Laramie did not know what it is like to eat without pain in the ears and jaws. Her dentist referred her to an orthodontist even though her teeth looked straight, which is the usual reason for getting braces. After 3 ½ years of braces, she continued to have ear and jaw pain. The pain skyrocketed after her wisdom teeth were removed, which evidently aggravated her existing chronic pain.

Laramie’s mother was alarmed to see her continue to lose weight, down to 100 pounds. She realized that her daughter is not just a finicky eater, but it was painful for her to even chew any food. She only ate what she could swallow without chewing. Laramie was in constant ear pain and jaw pain. She became depressed but did not realize that the pain was causing it.

They consulted with the orthodontist that had previously treated her. He felt that it was beyond orthodontics and referred her to an oral surgeon. The surgeon believed that the only option was jaw surgery. They consulted with another orthodontist who also thought that it was beyond orthodontics at that point.

One of Laramie’s mother’s colleagues is Deb Waylon whom we treated for and resolved chronic migraines and jaw pain. She referred Laramie to us for a NMD consultation.

Traditional orthodontics improves the smile cosmetically by straightening the teeth. 4 out of 5 patients we treat for TMD had previously had traditional orthodontics. So they often have ‘nice smiles’ but their jaws were poorly aligned. Once the optimal bite was diagnosed through advanced Neuromuscular protocols, moving the teeth along with bone support and gum tissue to this position is called Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). Objective electronic measurements of jaw / neck muscle activity and CT scans of the TM Joints guide the entire treatment.
THAT is the difference between NFOO and traditional orthodontics.
Laramie remains pain free, happy, able to eat anything she wants to and got married during her treatment. Just because regular orthodontic braces therapy has not worked to correct TMD problems you don’t have to accept surgery as the only other option.

It may be hard to believe. But neuromuscular functional orthodontics / orthopedics (NFOO) can actually solve these problems in most cases without surgery. So if you are tired of the jaw pain and hate taking medications with no end in sight, there is hope.

Watch this video of Laramie, an actual patient who was helped through Neuromuscular orthotic and Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). She is pain free and able to chew any food she wants without pain.

It is hard to measure the life impact of this treatment in this young person’s life compared to how it would have been in her social life and general happiness if the unrelenting ear pain and painful chewing had continued. No wonder both Laramie and her mother believe that it was “definitely worth” the cost of NFOO.

Botox for TMJ / TMD treatment?

Botox – botulinum toxin type A – has been touted for lots of problems that ail us.

It started off being used for facial cosmetics – to ‘relax’ wrinkles such as ‘crow’s feet’ on the side of forehead by paralyzing the tiny muscles under the wrinkles. But more and more uses of this drug is promoted all the time.

Recently there is a big push to use Botox injections in the jaw muscles “to treat TMJ”. Pharamceutical companies are experts in marketing & have the big money to give grants, sponsor research and sponsor speakers to promote its use. I have seen many patients that had this done repeatedly with less and less effectiveness. They are more difficult to treat – not impossible – since these muscles have been damaged. This is not just my opinion based clinical experience. There are scientific studies that prove this. These jaw muscles are NOT like the tiny facial muscles that cause ‘crow’s feet’ wrinkles on the face that are paralyzed by Botox for cosmetic results. The jaw muscles are important functional muscles! Does paralyzing them with a neurotoxin make a lot of sense to anyone?

Why then do doctors do this to treat TMD & patients go through these injections? Are they just looking for a quick fix? Or are these doctors that push this ‘treatment’ for TMD just clueless?

What are your thoughts on Botox for TMD treatment? Any of you have personal experience with Botox for TMD? Are you thrilled with the results?

Fibromyalgia cured!

It is probably hard to believe that Fibromyalgia can be resolved – dare I say ‘cured’ – without medications. Especially so, if that Fibromyalgia diagnosis came from Mayo Clinic specialists. Surely, they are the final word, right? Is it possible that they are NOT the final answer?

Deana was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 13 years ago in her 30’s. She had debilitating fatigue, constant headaches, generalized tenderness all over the body. Her right hand had a tremor that no one could find a reason for it. MRI and other tests were done to diagnose the cause. She went to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for a detailed work up.

At Mayo, she was seen by specialists in Neurology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Opthalmology, physical medicine and Fibromyalgia. Their Fibromyalgia specialist diagnosed her as suffering with Fibromyalgia. Bob and Deana attended two day long ‘clinic’ that educated them on coping with FM for the rest of her life. She was also prescribed medications to ‘manage’ her FM. One of the side effects of the medicine affected her gall bladder which needed to be surgically removed.

Deana was helping with the family business and being a home maker raising three children. It took sheer will power to get through her days. She said that it felt like driving a car that had one foot on the brake the whole time. It was just a drag to get through the day.

It was only through chance – or divine plan according to her – she came to our office for a second opinion on a dental implant problem. She had absolutely accepted that she will live with FM the rest of her life. When I casually mentioned about my observations of her jaw alignment problem and how that can result in whole body musculo-skeletal problems such as Fibromyalgia, Deana reacted like a drowning person reaching for a ring buoy tossed to her.

Following a through neuromuscular testing with advanced protocols, we delivered a lower jaw fixed orthotic 6 weeks ago. It is only a trial change of her jaw / neck alignment to see if it is helpful in improving her conditions at all. The upper jaw has not been changed and so the orthotic has to fit against that. Yet, the change was dramatic.

After 90 days of this orthotic, they may choose to have me further improve the jaw alignment and stabilize for long term. This may be through moving the teeth orthodontically and possibly adding bonded porcelain restorations. Stabilizing options are up to Deana and Bob to choose. My role is to educate them of the options and have the expertise to provide those options.

Helping nice people like Deana and Bob reclaim their lives is the most rewarding part of practicing advanced Neuromuscular dentistry.

Daily migraines resolved through Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics

Unrelenting headaches and Migraine resolved through Neuromuscular orthopedics orthodontics (NFOO) when Topamax, Imitrex, chiropractic adjustments and pain medications did not help that much.

Kenra started having really severe daily headaches when she was 16 years of age. She was taking Excedrin every day. Her condition was diagnosed as Migraines by her neurologist who prescribed medications for it. She was still getting daily migraines which led her to missing school many days. But if she took the medication and laid down in a dark room, it will subside. That was not practical to do with Kenra’s academic load in college. She was also getting chiropractic treatments but nothing resolved the headaches. Kenra tried Walmart mouth guards that were uncomfortable to wear and did not help either. She felt that there is “no hope” of a resolution either.

Kenra was referred by her dentist to us for a TMD evaluation which revealed the connection between her headaches and her jaw position. Once the Neuromuscular alignment of the jaw / head and neck was diagnosed, an orthotic was constructed on her lower teeth to correct the alignment. This showed immediate relief of Kenra’s symptoms.

Don’t readily accept taking neurologists prescribed medications for the rest of your life as the final word. No need to keep suffering with migraine and headaches when the underlying cause is a “bad bite”. It is not just teeth, but a poor jaw, head and neck alignment. It may be hard to believe. But neuromuscular dentistry can actually solve these problems in most cases. So if you are tired of the pain and hate taking medications with no end in sight, there is hope.

Watch this video of an actual patient who was helped through Neuromuscular orthotic and Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). She is pain free and completely off ALL medications.

Traditional orthodontics improves the smile cosmetically by straightening the teeth. 4 out of 5 patients we treat for TMD had previously had traditional orthodontics. So they often have ‘nice smiles’ but their jaws are poorly aligned. Once the optimal bite was diagnosed through advanced Neuromuscular protocols, moving the teeth along with bone support and gum tissue to this position is called Neuromuscular Functional Orthopedics / Orthodontics (NFOO). Objective electronic measurements of jaw / neck muscle activity and CT scans of the TM Joints guide the entire treatment. That is the difference between NFOO and traditional orthodontics

It is hard to measure the life impact of this treatment in this young person’s life compared to how it would have been in her social life, academic life and general happiness if the unrelenting daily ‘migraines’ had continued. She was recently engaged to be married to a naval officer and looks forward to earning her degree soon. No wonder both Kenra and her mother believe that it was “definitely worth” the cost of NFOO.

Cervical Dystonia – Spasmodic Torticollis – Can NMD cure it?

Cervical dystonia, is a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn to one side. It can also cause the head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward. Another name for this condition is “spasmodic torticollis”.

Medical specialists do not know what causes Cervical dystonia. They believe that the uncontrolled movement is due to aberrant signals from the brain. They also believe that there is no known cure for Cervical dystonia. As such, the treatments are an attempt to reduce the symptoms. Botulinum toxin used for cosmetic wrinkle relaxing is injected into the neck muscles to paralyze them. Since this toxin’s effect wears off over time, it is repeated every three or four months. Many times the body produces more receptors to this toxin, resulting in lessening effect for the repeated use of this toxin.

Is it absolutely NOT possible that the spasms and tilting of the head are an attempt by the nervous system to accommodate for a misalignment of the jaws? Does it seem farfetched? Jaw alignment DOES affect the head and neck alignment. When the upper cervical vertebrae are misaligned the nervous system tightens the neck muscles as a protective reflect.

Advanced Neuromuscular dentistry protocols align the mandible (lower jaw), neck and head are aligned in such a way that all the muscles of this area are unstrained. To diagnose such a position, all the muscles controlled by Trigeminal, Facial and Spinal accessory nerves are relaxed with Ultra Low Frequency electrical signals transmitted through these cranial nerves. This is akin to an hour long massage of all these muscles most of them are not accessible from the surface.

Mike has been suffering from Cervical Dystonia for over a decade. He was diagnosed by physicians at Mayo clinic in Minnesota who gave Botulinum toxin injection in his neck muscles. He had limited relief from it. Later it was repeated at Mayo clinic in Arizona. This time the relief was even less. Mike had accepted that nothing can be done.

Mike came to us for relief of jaw pain and headache. At the end of the visit to diagnose the optimal Neuromuscular jaw position that also optimizes neck and head posture a bite record is taken. This is called a ‘myobite’. His cervical dystonia was predictably aggravated when he turned his head to the left. However when the myobite was placed in his mouth and he turned his head to the left, the dystonia was completely absent. But once the myobite was removed and he put his natural teeth together, the spasms returned. It is exciting to be able turn the spasms off when the jaw, neck and head posture is optimized through advanced Neuromuscular dental protocols. Mike is starting orthotic therapy to help his jaw pain and headache. This orthotic is made to the myobite relation to maintain his jaw and neck in this alignment 24/7 as a diagnostic step for 90 days. It will be amazing if his Cervical Dystonia is also relieved. I am very confident that it will. The power of Advanced LVI Neuromuscular dentistry protocols continues to amaze us.

Dislocated jaw – “Open Lock” reduced

Zach is a high school athlete. His lower jaw – mandible – got dislocated and stuck open while in school. His grandfather got to the school first and took him to urgent care near our office. The physician called our office to ask if we can help this young man or if she should refer him to an Emergency room.
Since it is a lot simpler for a trained TMJ dentist to put the jaw back into place than being sedated at an ER, we saw Zach right away. The video shows his presentation with the jaw stuck in an “open lock” condition.

It is quite painful due to the stretched ligaments, especially the longer the jaw stays dislocated from the socket and stays stuck in the open position. The muscles near the jaw joint also go into painful spasm.

Zach had several open locks in 2 years with them occurring more easily and more frequently. It is relatively quick and painless to the patient for a trained “TMD dentist” to put the jaw back into the socket. The still images with teeth together are within 2 minutes of the video. The grandfather was still giving directions to the dad when the dislocation was reduced – much to the surprise and relief of Zach. He reported that this is the quickest and easiest reduction he had done.

Another case history where the jaw alignment problem that is the underlying cause of these open locks was corrected may be found here. While Natalie’s primary concern was migraines, she often had “open locks” that ended up in ER visits. http://www.midwestheadaches.com/successstories.detail.asp?id=19

Once the jaw alignment was corrected, not only her migraines were gone, the jaw never dislocated either.

A call for a truly comprehensive view – Part 2 of 2 – Case history

This is a patient case history to support my call for a truly comprehensive view of the entire musculo-skeletal system – the whole person! The hyper-focused view of a specialist is useful but risks a “tunnel vision”.

Moira was fighting severe fatigue for over 8 years. It gradually worsened so much that every 5 days she will “crash” for 2 or 3 days. Her Primary Care Physician (PCP) referred her to an endocrinologist who prescribed hormone supplements for deficient thyroid function.

Few years later, her general dentist noted exposed tooth roots and referred her to a periodontist for gum grafts. The gum tissue receded after bone around the teeth were lost.

The next year, she developed migraines which devolved into a chronic 24/7 migraine for 8 months. One neurologist ordered MRI and diagnosed it as a psychosomatic headache. Lyrica, prescribed by another neurologist, broke the headache but gave her a foggy feeling and weight gain.

In the mean time, her teeth were getting very loose. Her general dentist got concerned and sent her to her periodontist again. He could not see a reason for the looseness and sent her to an orthodontist. He made her a hard plastic mouth guard to prevent further looseness. But Moira could not wear it since it was uncomfortable.

Later, she had ear pain and was referred to an ENT specialist who did not find any problems with the ears.

She consulted with her children’s dentist who referred her to a ‘TMJ dentist’ who made her a soft mouth guard. This one was more comfortable to wear but all of her symptoms – fatigue, headaches, ear pain, neck pain and shoulder pain remained. After all the time and money spent with the various doctors, she had come to a place of acceptance. She will just have to learn to live with these symptoms.

For 18 months one of her colleagues was telling her about our practice & NMD. But Moira did not see any point in going to “another dentist” when she has already seen so many. Finally she saw Michelle’s video. She saw that a common denominator for her symptoms could be a poor jaw- head- neck alignment which can be improved through NMD.

Moira saw that while I am a dentist, our NMD approach takes a comprehensive view of the musculoskeletal postural chain of the entire body. If jaw relation is poor AND it is shown to be the primary source of postural compensation, then correcting that it through NMD would be beneficial. Then the seemingly unrelated symptoms – debilitating fatigue, severe ‘migraine’ headaches, constant neck pain and ear pain would improve as well. While these are “medical symptoms”, the postural chain does not care what kind of doctor corrects the imbalances or through what methods.

After a lower fixed Neuromuscular orthotic, Moira started noticing improvement. She had the option to have that orthotic removed, if it did not help her significantly. The fatigue improved almost immediately. So after 90 days she chose NM orthodontics to move her teeth to an optimal position. Within few weeks, ALL of her symptoms have completely resolved. For the last two months, she remains 100% symptom and medication free. We are far from achieving the most optimal end results from my perspective. It will be another 2 years to complete the NM orthodontics. Her progress will be tracked with K7 jaw computer scans to measure her muscles and CT scans to check her TM joints. Moira is fine with that since she has no further
symptoms. She has not had a single “crash” since the beginning of NM orthotic, while the longest she had gone without a “crash” in the last 8 years was only 6 consecutive days.

Does this case illustrate a need for a truly comprehensive view of he entire postural chain? Moira will answer that question with a resounding “YES”.

A call for a truly comprehensive view Part 1 of 2

When someone has a tooth – dental – problem or symptom they go to their dentist.  If it is more than a routine tooth problem, then she may be referred to a dental specialist.  If it is a gum / bone support issue to a periodontist, if is a surgery issue to an oral surgeon, if it is a tooth alignment issue to an orthodontist and so on.

If the same patient has medical symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, ear pain or general fatigue, then she will go to her primary care physician.  PCP may, in turn, refer her to a neurologist, orthopedist, ENT or an endocrinologist for these symptoms respectively.

Specialized knowledge in one area is useful. But does it also lead to a “tunnel vision” view?  Human body, after all, developed from a single cell.  The various parts are very much connected.  This is especially true of the musculoskeletal system.  A human on two feet is constantly resisting gravitational forces.  So any imbalance in one area affects the entire postural chain from feet to head.

It truly is a chain – both in the left/right and front/back planes.  The spine with its alternating front to back curves from the head to tail connects these sections and allows flexibility in compensating for the imbalances, especially when the body is in motion.  These are the lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar regions and the kyphotic curves of the thoracic and sacro-coccygeal regions.

This compensating system is challenged even more when walking and running in a gravitational field than when standing still.  When DOES this person really gets looked at as a “whole person”?  Let me share a case history to support my call for a truly comprehensive view of the entire musculo-skeletal system.

Neurologists’ diagnoses don’t have to be the “final word”

Don’t readily accept confusing diagnoses from neurologists as the final word. If an oral surgeon says that your jaw joints are “fine” and yet you have facial pain and headaches, don’t accept that as the final word on “TMJ”. These are not the final words, if it means living a life of pain and heavy medications.
No need to keep suffering with migraine, headache, neck pain, back pain, jaw pain, ear pain, TMJ disorder and TMD when the underlying cause is a “bad bite”. It is not just teeth, but a poor jaw, head and neck alignment. It may be hard to believe. But neuromuscular dentistry can actually solve these problems in most cases. So if you are tired of the pain and hate taking medications with no end in sight, there is hope.

Watch this video of an actual patient who is a speech pathologist and a medical patient. It is in 2 parts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzvrMpVj9BA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDSMjjabyTo&feature=related

 She had been treated by several neurologists who diagnosed her, at different times, with Migraine, Headache, Trigeminal neuralgia, atypical dystonia, SUNCT and Tourette’s syndrome. They tried various medications: Tegretol, Prednisone, Neurontin, Lyrica, Topamax and other anti-seizure and anti-depressant medications without any improvement. There were steroid injections into the back of the neck as well.

She was told that since nothing they tried worked, it must be a psychological issue. She needs to learn to accept it.

Through Neuromuscular orthotic and neuromuscular orthodontics she is 90% pain free and completely off ALL medications. Once the optimal bite was diagnosed through advanced Neuromuscular protocols, moving the teeth along with bone support and gum tissue to this position is called Neuromuscular Functional Orthodontics. This is different from traditional orthodontics where are teeth are moved to give a nice smile. 4 out of 5 patients we treat for TMD had previously had traditional orthodontics.