Three years constant facial pain: Dental Whole Body Connection
The head bone is connected to the foot bone. Thanks to twenty years of incredible research, Dr. Brian Rothbart has uncovered a direct connection between pronation of the feet, scoliosis in the spine and torsions in the skull. Dr. Rothbart’s clinical research has substantiated this interrelationship. In my quest to piece the dental whole body connection, I recently visited Dr. Rothbart’s clinic in Italy to learn more about his discovery. I examined his patient’s cranially and every one of Dr. Rothbart’s patients who had a primary foot pronation exhibited a posterior rotation, torsion, of the skull on the opposite side of the caved in arch. This information was instrumental in resolving Theresa’s three years of constant facial pain.
Theresa’s journey started a little over three years a go when she had the remaining upper teeth extracted and an immediate full denture placed. Immediately following the procedure, Theresa’s unrelenting facial, neck and gut pain started. She could not eat without pain, smile without pain, talk without pain or even just rest without pain. Three years of physician and dental visits, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers Theresa was still in severe pain. Even chiropractic adjustments would not hold. Numerous types of dental appliances were tried but nothing worked. With no more options remaining, Theresa was referred to our office for evaluation.
Clinical examination revealed multi-factorial structural problems: Theresa’s skull was literally twisted as if her head went through a wringer. Jaw closure made the twist pattern even worse. A common problem with patients who loose posterior bite support is that their palate caves in. Imagine a piano hinge down the center of the roof of your mouth. When the molar and bicuspid teeth are lost, the hinge (mid-line or palatal suture) allows the two halves of the maxillae (palate) to drop down. This shifting of the bones causes the facial muscles to loose support and go into spasm. Another major factor was Theresa’s flat and pronated feet. Pronation of the feet causes a scoliosis or twisting of the spine, twisting of the shoulders and twisting of the skull. Theresa had two severe structural abnormalities: a cranial distortion causing twisting down the spine and pronated feet causing twisting up the spine. The location where the two twisting patterns met was the thoracic spine. This area directly affects the breathing diaphragm and stomach. This structural distortion provided the basis for her burning, “hiatal hernia” or “heart burn” pain.
Treatment involved re-establishing balance to the two major foundations of the human body: The maxillae (anterior two-thirds of the cranial base) and feet. Dental correction involved releasing the cranial distortions and resetting the cranial bone alignment. Next her existing denture had to be relined to hold the cranial bone corrections. Myofascial release techniques were used to ease the extreme tension at the base of the skull. The upper denture then had to be “shimmed” up to stabilize the skull bones just like a carpenter shims up a floor, window or door frame to make these structures level. A podiatrist was consulted and support in the form of proprioceptive stimulators were placed to help overcome the pronated feet.
The result was just short of a miracle. Theresa’s pain of three-year duration totally disappeared immediately after total body correction was made. The facial, neck, shoulder and hiatal hernia pain all vanished. Needless to say Theresa was a happy camper and her smile proved that a total body approach is required to solve chronic pain problems.
Theresa’s journey started a little over three years a go when she had the remaining upper teeth extracted and an immediate full denture placed.