Dental / Arm Pain Connection
LW is a male in his early sixties who suffered right arm pain for the past two years. LW described his pain as that equal to the pain of gout. The pain would come on suddenly and leave as quickly. There was no pattern to the pain cycles. LW was examined and treated by chiropractors and a number of medical doctors with no resolution. His daughter referred him to our office two years ago but he was too skeptical of alternative therapy at that time. However during that two year period his pain heightened to a point of intolerability and no one was able to resolve it.
Clinically LW had full dentures that were 25 years-old and severely worn down. In addition, the dentures were constructed with the right side of the posterior teeth being shorter than the left. It was tantamount to building a house on a crooked foundation. Since the denture was crooked, the skull bones had also shifted out of position.
The Treatment Concept involves the scientifically documented fact that loss of vertical posterior tooth height will cause a compression of the upper cervical spine. Conversely increasing the posterior vertical tooth height will traction or open up the spaces between the upper cervical vertebrae. Since the nerves that supply the arm originate from the neck (brachial plexus of nerves C5, 6, 7, 8 and T1), they become entrapped between the two muscle through which they pass (scalenus anterior and scalenus medius).
Treatment consisted of cranial manipulation to reset the alignment of the skull bones and reline the upper denture to hold the reestablished position. The lower full denture was relined at each visit to gradually increase the vertical height. After seven visits the height was sufficiently increased to provide the correct support for these cervical muscles and thus take the pressure off the nerves and resolve the pain. The episodic arm pain resulted from the fact that the neck muscles through which the nerves traveled would go into spasm and entrap the nerves. When muscles lack the proper resting length, they will go into spasm to take up the slack. New dentures were fabricated at the position established by the relining process and the pain has been totally resolved.
The Treatment Concept involves the scientifically documented fact that loss of vertical posterior tooth height will cause a compression of the upper cervical spine.