Tension headaches, the most common of all headache types, afflicts 75% of all
headache sufferers. According to the American Council for Headaches, 90%
of all adults have had at least one tension headache. Tension headaches
are usually a steady ache rather than a throbbing pain and affect both sides of
the head. Many times people under stress will clench or grind their teeth,
which is frequently the result of a misaligned bite. So the tension
headache is almost always accompanied by spasms of the muscles which help to
open and close the jaw.
The jaw or temperomandibular joint (TMJ) is the most dynamic joint in the
entire body. The genius Dr. George Goodheart liked to teach doctors that a huge
percentage of the brain is dedicated solely to the maintenance of the TMJ. So if
the joint is not working properly, one can suffer from many and serious
problems, not the least of which is chronic pain. Some symptoms of
temperomandibular dysfunction (TMD) include dizziness,
facial pain, tooth pain, pain down the arms into the fingers, lack of jaw
opening, pain upon jaw movement, ringing in the ears, grinding of the teeth and
chronic neck and backache.
A bad TMJ can even cause problems with chewing and thinking. It can put you
into a chronic "fog," making it difficult to think or make decisions and, of
course, if the jaw joint is not properly hinged, the damage to the teeth can be
immense. Since the site of the temporomandibular joint is at the
intersection of three major energy meridians relating to the stomach, endocrine
system and small intestine, relief of TMD can spark a tremendous healing process
in the whole body, relieving symptoms like stomach problems, chest pains and
If you have head and neck pains that will not go away no matter what you do
and TMD plays a part in the cause of your problems, you could be faced with many
misdiagnoses and a lifetime of pain killers which eventually wreck your stomach
or kidneys. So how can you tell if TMD is the source of your problems?
The late Dr. W. B. May, a
brilliant dentist, used to say that you can diagnose your own TMJ for about 10
cents! All you need is a little red dental bite wax. Pick a time when a friend
can help you and you have at least half an hour to relax. Place the wax in hot
water until it softens. Then make two small 1/4" to 1/2" square pillows
out of the wax. Now sit down, relax, and have your partner place the wax pillows
directly on your lower right and lower left first molars.
Then bring your upper jaw down until it meets the wax and relax a second.
Next, swallow completely, allowing your jaw joint to press your teeth naturally
into the wax. Do not force anything. Simply allow your swallow to position your
jaw and teeth in the wax. The reason for this is simple -- the most
physiologically normal position of the jaw is achieved during swallowing. So you
are in effect finding your normal jaw position.
Allow a few minutes for the wax pillows to harden, then either leave them in
place, or replace them if you have carefully removed them. Allow your upper
teeth to rest on the pillows (this will almost always leave your bite more open
in the front). Finally sit back and relax for 10 to 30 minutes and see if your
pain symptoms are relieved or disappear. If any of them are improved or
eliminated you have just made the profound 10 cent diagnose of TMJ problems.
What to Do
If your diagnosis is positive,
you need to wear a splint or bite separator to reposition your bite toward
normal. Call around to dentists to see who does this in your area. Often a
dentist will work with a kinesiologist when doing this work. In this manner
muscles can be tested as the splint is designed, worn, and adjusted over time.
If TMJ is the cause of your problems, this treatment is aimed at the cause. It
is powerful and can be profound.
Some TMJ resists correction because of underlying osteoporosis. In all cases,
a protocol of raw bone supplements is indicated. The same is true of carpal
tunnel syndrome. For these, Dr. Bruce West of Health Alert always uses
Bio-Dent at a dose of six daily, and Biost at a dose of
three daily for a year. Both products are produced by
PS: According to Mark A. Breiner, DDS, author of
Whole-Body Dentistry, not all
TMD is remedied by correcting the bite and sometimes the improvement is limited.
He discovered that the "difficult" cases often occurred in patients who had
mercury amalgam fillings with high electrical readings. His hypothesis is that
these metals were emitting enough electricity in the oral cavity to interfere
with proper muscle functioning and with the local energy meridians.
Sure enough, when the fillings were removed, many patients experienced
tremendous relief. Remarkably, much of the time, removal of the metals in the
mouth was all that was required to alleviate the symptoms of TMD. However,
patients that had traditional orthodontics with extraction of teeth were often
more of a problem and frequently needed orthodontic re-treatment which he
discusses in his book. He also discusses trigeminal neuralgia (TN) being caused
by cavitations and proposes a simple test on page 127.
One of the things I like about Dr. Breiner's book is the short dental
detective stories he tells. One is of a woman with migraines so severe she was
sometimes bedridden for days. He found her bite was misaligned and all her
chewing muscles in extreme acute spasm. A simple appliance to correct the bite
and reshaping of the teeth were all that was needed. She has been fine for the
past 15 years.