A dentist is able to help his or her patients function better by improving their quality of life. Those patients who suffer chronic pain such as headaches, neckaches, and backaches and various other painful comorbidities such as Tourette’s and Parkinson’s need help and most certainly their quality of life can be improved through treating their jaw joint disorder.
By helping with the symptoms of pain, a cancer patient can more effectively deal with the pain they are experiencing from the actual cancer. This treatment has proven quite effective – by dealing with one aspect of a patient’s problems, the others are easier to handle.
One very important aspect of pain management is sleep. When treating TMJ disorders, the patients almost always sleep better. The Advanced Lightwire Functional™ (ALF) appliance has been very useful in improving sleep issues because it opens the nasal passages as the palate expands. Better nasal breathing means that the body will produce more nitric oxide which helps in healing. This is extremely useful for any cancer patient – both the improvement in sleep and the production of nitric oxide.
The other aspect of ALF appliance treatment is that it improves the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Cerebrospinal fluid provides mechanical and immunological protection for the brain. The way the ALF works is that it expands and “stretches” the cranial bones to increase the flow of CSF and blood. This means the body will be able to function better with this gentle expansion. Quite often patients feel the difference almost immediately – many feel a bit dizzy for a moment as pressure is released upon placement of the ALF.
Another aspect of ALF usage is that osteopathic doctors who work with ALF dentists believe that the research recently coming out of University of Virginia Hospital Center confirms the ALF may also be effective in helping the lymphatic system drain at night. The ALF promotes cranial motion, which is critical to good health, and the lymphatic system drains out the waste from the brain so this may also help the cancer patient cope with all their issues. The lymphatic system drains away the beta-amyloid particles which are directly correlative to autoimmune disorders, ADD, OCD, and even Parkinson’s disease. So it would make sense that if the lymphatic system can drain more effectively, this would be very helpful to a cancer patient.
Other aspects of dental treatment involve exercises to help a patient improve overall posture and proper tongue positioning. Proper posture reduces pain in the back and neck and increases blood flow to areas that might otherwise be sore and painful. This will reduce pain and help the cancer patient focus on other areas. The interesting thing about proper tongue posture is that it helps with nasal breathing which is always healthier.
So in a nutshell, a dentist can indeed help a patient with cancer by helping to manage their pain. It’s possible that the ALF appliance may one day be an important tool for managing cancer cases.