This is a true story folks, and it all happened within the course of only two weeks. For one of our dear patients I called her neurologist to discuss her case- I tried to explain the displaced discs in the jaw joints and the distortions to the cranial bones and how this can certainly affect the entire body. Heck, I even offered to bring x-rays to the doctor to show him my cases and how I am able to make the cranial bones go level over time. But, alas, he wanted nothing to do with me. He told me he was going to ‘treat’ the patient with Botox. I then told him that this was not really a ‘treatment’- it was more like ‘masking’ the pain without getting down to the real cause of the problem. Total strike out with this guy. He told me he did not believe in what I was doing and had never heard of such a thing -slipped discs- and that was that!
Literally that same day I spoke to another neurosurgeon about another patient. Once again, I tried to explain that the slipped discs in the jaw joints were wreaking havoc with her entire body. The neuro calmly told me that although she did not understand any of this, what I was doing was simply using a ‘sensory trick’ as she called it, in order change the proprioception (how things were sensed) so the body did not feel the same way. In my mind I was losing it! In just two days I was shot down by two neuros! This one thought my appliance therapy was just a magic trick into getting the patient’s body to think things were different. She had no understanding that the displaced discs would cause all these problems with head and neck pain. There was nothing left to say when she explained the patient would be ‘treated’ with Botox. End of that conversation.
Now, it was a week or so later when this new patient showed up and was referred to me by, of all doctors, a psychiatrist- go figure! I called the doctor and asked him what I could do to help and he literally told me that he had sent this guy to many different doctors and no one could figure out the pain. The patient had been told he was crazy and it was all in his head (well, that part was sort of right). When I met the patient, it was really obvious what was going on- his left ear/eye/eyebrow were all very high relative to his right side. My dear readers already know what this means- the cranial bones are distorted! This was a true structural problem. I called the psychiatrist back and told him all this- he thanked me profusely because he really thought the problem was structural, and I told him how very right he was. Of course, there is more to the case and we need an MRI to diagnose the whole picture, but I was really impressed with this doctor- he opened his eyes to something that was not taught in medical school.
So as I close this blog an old song by the artist ‘Meatloaf’ comes to mind: “Baby, two out of three ain’t bad” – well, in my case it’s more like one out of three ain’t bad, but the way I look at it is that I can now help another one who would have been put on drugs for the rest of his life. I can work with one more doctor who has opened their eyes just a little bit more in the effort to take better care of their patient. So in this very poorly understood world of TMJ disorders, maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning and a few doctors out there are listening.