It is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs. People who are very fearful of dental care often experience a “cycle of avoidance,” in which they avoid dental care due to fear until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which can reinforce their fear of dentistry.
Many dentists are turning to integrative, non-invasive solutions to assist patients with pain and to ease anxiety before and after surgery. Before surgery, integrative dentists offer several solutions to help patients relax including breathing techniques and a simple non-invasive relaxation therapy that balances the ANS and the cranial sacral system using the Tennant Biomodulator for 5 to 10 minutes prior to dental services.
After surgery, the Tennant Biomodulator® with the BioTransducer® attached is used on the recovering patient. Using a gentle dental approach, as well as these creditable Tennant devices, patients rarely experience any swelling, bruising or require any pain medications.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (sometimes abbreviated to TMD or TMJD and also termed temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, temporomandibular disorder or many other names), is an umbrella term covering pain and dysfunction of the muscles of mastication (the muscles that move the jaw) and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which connect the mandible to the skull). The most important feature is pain, followed by restricted mandibular movement, and noises from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw movement. Although TMD is not life threatening, it can detriment quality of life, because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage. TMD is thought to be very common. About 20-30% of the adult population is affected to some degree. Usually people affected by TMD are between 20 and 40 years of age, and it is more common in females than males. TMD is the second most frequent cause of orofacial pain after dental pain (e.g. toothache).
Symptoms of TMD
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when chewing , speaking or opening the mouth wide
- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain) or chewing
- A tired feeling in the face
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of the face
- May occur on one or both sides of the face
Other common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).
Integrative, non-invasive treatments include: Physiotherapy, facial massage, yoga and ultrasound. Physiotherapy for TMD using the Tennant Biomodulator® devices can override pain by stimulation of superficial nerve fibers, as well as the release of endorphins to reduce pain naturally.
Craniosacral therapy (CST), or cranial-sacral therapy, is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy focused primarily on the concept of “primary respiration” Craniosacral therapy is generally used to improve the movement of cerebrospinal fluid and reduce tension through gentle manipulation of the head and spine—”cranio” refers to the bony part of the head known as the cranium, and “sacral” refers to the sacrum, or the bottom of the spine.
Craniosacral therapy is used to treat a range of ailments, from the physical to the neurological to the psychological. It has proven particularly effective in treating headaches, jaw problems such as TMJ, eye and ear ailments, and neck and back pain.