TMJ 'dysfunction' - Health implications

This forum provides information relating to the role that a 'dysfunctional' jaw, dental arch anomalies and other consequential body asymmetries play in causing illness from a completely different perspective. It is meant to be your ONE stop to find out how to go about getting proper relief.
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PostPosted: Wed, 23 Mar 2022, 10:55 am 
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By: Dr. M Amir B.D.S., M.Sc. (U. of London), L.D.S., R.C.S. (England)
Dental Surgeon
Originally published in issue 87 Positive health Magazine - April 2003

Imagine you have just been informed that you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted or maybe you have already had them removed. These teeth may also be genetically absent. If this applies to you and especially if you suffer from any ill health, it is imperative that you read this article to discover if there is a possible connection between the missing wisdom teeth and your ill health.

Wisdom teeth, also called the third molars, are the last of the adult or permanent teeth to develop. They are often partially erupted with some of their surface covered by gum, which allows food to be trapped under the flap leading to decay in the wisdom tooth as well as the tooth in front in some cases. Infection under the gum flap (pericoronitis) itself, unless kept clean with an oral irrigator, can cause recurrent infections, pain and swelling.

Very occasionally, wisdom teeth can be associated with other pathology in the jaw, such as cysts, which need surgical attention immediately.

The extraction of wisdom teeth for the most trivial reason has been a common phenomenon in dentistry. These teeth are often extracted to prevent the supposed 'overcrowding of lower anterior teeth later in life'. Occasionally they are enucleated (removed) at age 14 before they have fully developed. Experience shows that wisdom teeth do not bring about crowding in the anterior teeth and extracting these teeth to avoid future potential problems is a grave misunderstanding.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in Great Britain issued the following guidelines to reduce the extraction of wisdom teeth saying that the teeth could be extracted for the following exceptional reasons:
    • Cellulitis, abscess & osteomyelitis (Severe bony infection);
    • Non-treatable pulpal and/or periapical pathology (nerve abscess);
    • Un-restorable caries (decay)
    • External internal resorption of the tooth or adjacent teeth
    • Fracture of tooth
    • Disease of follicle including cyst/tumour
    • Tooth within the field of tumour resection.
    • Tooth impeding reconstructive jaw surgery.

In all other cases, the wisdom teeth were to be largely left in place except for "recurrent pericoronitis". The above reasons for not extracting the teeth were circulated to dentists to additionally save the British National Health Service some five million pounds a year. However, the extractions under private contract continue inexorably.

The directive mentioned above, is largely welcome but misses some serious issues affecting patient health when the extraction of wisdom teeth is contemplated.

The relationship of the extraction of wisdom teeth or any other teeth and the effect this has on health is ill understood. It is imperative that in the light of new knowledge the extraction of these teeth be severely curtailed. It is both for the practitioner and the patient to note that our wisdom teeth (and in fact, all other teeth) play a huge role in our body's structural symmetry. When the body is not fully aligned, it requires a huge neurological input to keep the structure balanced. This inevitably puts a great demand on various muscles, which go into fatigue, and pain follows.

Our head when symmetrical with correct proportions in all aspects balances perfectly on the neck. Examples of good perfectly balanced heads are notable amongst professional athletes such as Mo Farah, the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners, and of course, Ussain Bolt. They also have beautiful smiles showing a perfect alignment of their teeth and a petrfectly formed head.

Now, just imagine their head balancing on a weight-bearing spike, which would have to be placed almost perfectly to achieve balance. Extracting a single tooth in the mouth would change the weight bearing on the spike so either the head will need to tilt to balance or the spike will have to be repositioned.

We do not have a spike but a neck which balances the head. The neck would have to distort to achieve balance by firing off different muscles around the head and neck to maintain balance.

A serious consequence of extracting the wisdom teeth is a recession of both jaws giving rise to severe retrognathism and a further imbalance of the head upon the neck. Please see the pictures a little further down this article.

The retrognathism also affects the jaw joint resulting in Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD) and the beginnings of serious ill health in some cases.

A minority of the population who show no evidence of wisdom teeth in radiographic scans are a freak evolutionary accident. It is not the consequence of the "more evolved upright Caucasian face". In fact, it is what I would term as 'retrograde evolution'. When the teeth are congenitally missing, there is no effect on the attainment of puberty and the ability to procreate. Hence, such a mutation has given rise to many people with genetically missing wisdom teeth. This is especially so amongst the northern European races who start developing symptoms in their early 20's.

Your mouth, jaws and indeed the entire head are served by the Trigeminal nerve, which provides 60% of the sensory input to the brain. It is most sensitive to the slightest change in the symmetry of the dental complex. Gross interferences like the extraction of wisdom teeth cause a severe imbalance of the head on the neck and an absolute havoc with the neurological, muscular and skeletal balance of the whole body.

The jaw recession gives rise to to an inability to breathe effectively giving rise to breathing problems and fatigue. The patients get branded into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, (CFS) Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis. Please read the article at this link.

Tens of thousands are ill with numerous symptoms almost entirely caused bty the extraction of their wisdom teeth.

The distortion of the neck vertebrae causes neck pain. This distortion is compensated by an opposite compensatory distortion of the lower back, which next results in a forward rotation of the pelvis on the affected side. Hip asymmetry resulting in lower back pains or sciatic nerve pains will not be uncommon. A clinical short leg is the consequence of hip asymmetry as you might have heard your chiropractor or osteopath mention.

Over the last 50 or so years dentists have attributed various illnesses as directly linked to the ill health of the jaw joint. Numerous references can be found on the Internet. We have found a link in the following conditions which are listed alphabetically and there is a very high likelihood that cranio-dental and skeletal asymmetry are the sole cause of most of these symptoms.

A patient writes:
“I have been passed the article about you in the Evening Standard and have read it with great interest. I too have MS which started 13 years ago after having all of my wisdom teeth extracted under general anaesthetic. Straight after the operation I could not walk properly on my left side, dragging my leg. The doctor advised it was weak muscles and to go to the gym - which I tried and failed. I simply could not move the machines with my legs. After a year I sought complementary therapy and continue to do so, to varying degrees of help. (Over the years my condition has deteriorated and I have been formerly diagnosed since Dec. ‘05.) Along the way it has been suggested that my jaws are not in alignment which is why the article on your approach was so interesting.” S.G.

Many patients have some or many of the symptoms. Conventionally you could go to a whole range of medical consultants and have an exhaustive array of pathological tests and at the end of it you may be as perplexed about your condition as your medical practitioner.

In the normal course of events you will be finally referred to the psychiatrist for perhaps “hypochondriasis”.

You obviously challenge this and weane yourself out of the healthsystem into the “alternative world” which again is just as illusory as allopathic medicine.

Many in the dental and medical field will question what is hypothesized here. However in the light of my experience I feel it incumbent upon me to bring to their attention as well as to the patient who is on the receiving end some important issues.

Extreme caution is better than blatant interference with no turning back.

The whole of the dental profession has to re-evaluate the necessity of extracting wisdom teeth. It is incumbent upon the profession to take the following points into consideration during their donsultation:
    • Where the patient already suffers from any of the related disease processes listed above, as it would often not only exacerbate those conditions but also potentially bring on additional symptoms.
    • Where a patient has had any extraction orthodontics, worn a headgear, elastics or any appliance to retract the upper jaw backwards. This also includes the use of twin block appliances, Bionator type appliances and bite raising appliances worn for longer than a couple of months.
    • Where a patient has genetically inherited small teeth or has some missing teeth. This includes 2nd incisors, second premolars or any other teeth. It also includes teeth which remain unerupted like canines and a space must be left open or created for them for future implantation.
    • Where a patient has jaw size discrepancies, e.g. lower jaw smaller than the upper jaw. These are not genetic traits but caused by environmental factors Please read the article on Myofunctional therapy.
Please study the illustration below.The deterioration of her profile is evidence enough of what a dramatic change in the appearance and health of the patient can take place after the extraction of wisdom teeth.

The extraction of these teeth must be avoided even if all the above criteria are not applicable. Often the jaws do not fully develop and this will be evidenced by the concomitant existence of ill health. At this point orthodontic intervention becomes necessary.

The teeth and jaws play a major part when any patient experiences almost any health problem. In their differential diagnosis all health care practitioners should make a Jaw evaluation their primary concern - not extensive blood tests, virology, Scans etc. which all invariable turn out to be a futile exercise and end up drowning socialized medicine into oblivion and into the hands of those less concerned with social purpose and patient care. Patients treated under privatised medicine get bankrupted using modalities of care which have nothing to do with the cause of their illness.

The interventions required to correct the jaw abnormalities require a sea change in the dental philosophies, which have been put forth over decades. The concept of “too many teeth and not enough bone to house them” (Standard text book orthodontics in most universities) has to be passed to the history books where it belongs. This concept over-rode the observations of Dr. Weston Price some 70 years ago who noted the marked change in the shape of the European face and dentition following the introduction of processed foods. The face became more upright, lost its natural prognathism and this was construed as the norm from which the dangerous concept of ‘dentoalveolar disproportion’ came about and hence the abundant practice of removing “excess teeth” and surgically reducing jaw sizes.

The adoration of the upright face against the prognathic African face has also come to haunt the many eugenicists of the last century!

The effects of pollution, the artificial ingredients in our diet, processed foods containing Mono sodium Glutamate, low calorie drinks containing aspartame and other artificial sugars which kill off brain cells, the lack of trace elements in our vegetables, chemtrail poisoning of the environment with Aluminium and other carcinogenic materials, radiation from excessive Depleted Uranium explosions around the middle east, dioxin poison, the oestrogen like chemicals in the plastic bottles that we drink from are all having a devastating effect on the development of the face, teeth, jaws and the cranium and subsequently or concomitantly the rest of the body.

Other calamities to hit mankind are GM foods. These are Genetically poisoned - not modified foods. They take in weed killers which are present in their seeds and will cause cancer and sterility.

In fact evolution is being forced into a downward retrograde path. The incidence of abnormalities and illnesses like fatigue, Multiple Sclerosis, asthma and autism are having an exponential leap in reported statistics in western society. This has been calculated after allowing for improvements in diagnosis. In these circumstances one can do very little without prolonged intervention. This is the subject of another article but suffice it to say that it is very important that we err towards caution and non-extraction rather than blatant and gross interference with what nature has provided for us. Taking great care with what we eat is also absolutely necessary to avoid the pitfalls and ill health which await just round the corner.

The relationship of wisdom teeth to the evolving field of Craniomandibular and Skeletal Symmetry and its relationship to health is a very small aspect of this challenging field. It offers prospects beyond anyone's imagination. Dentists are in a unique position to bring about a great deal of relief where medicine has been nothing more than palliative care to the millions of sufferers with chronic ailments. It calls for them to rise up to the challenges that lie ahead. It gives you as the patient a hope and an answer that may have been elusive until now.

Since the article was written I have received many reports confirming my suspicions. Here is another one:

“I came across an article that you wrote about all of the problems that can arise from wisdom tooth extraction. I have had a series of strange problems since my wisdom teeth were taken out a few years ago. The most troubling is that my coordination, balance and range of motion throughout my body has diminished. I have neck and shoulder pain and discomfort. At times it is difficult to hold my head above my body.” S.E. Los Angeles April 2014.

Not everyone who has had their wisdom teeth extracted will suffer in the way mentioned. However it is always wise to be careful rather than regret after the event.

"In 2014 I extracted both of my bottom wisdom teeth within a few month of each other. Soon after that I began experiencing sudden excruciating sharp pains in my right hip, which happened randomly when walking. I couldn't comfortably walk for more than about an hour or so, my hips were getting very tired and painful quickly, and I had to take a long rest to recover. I also started experiencing pain in my knees. Sometime it is difficult for me using the stairs and getting into/out of sitting position. I always instinctively favour my right leg, often putting all my weight on the left leg. My hips always feel the strain at the end of the day.

I also noticed that at about the same time, after extraction of my wisdom teeth, my eye sight deteriorated and I started using reading glasses".........Y. B.

"Thank you for your time and care with my jaw problems. Your unique orthodontic approaches have given me my life back. My problems began when all four of my wisdom teeth were mistakenly removed in St.. Thomas’s Hospital, London.

My health deteriorated rapidly starting with a frozen shoulder and progressing to extreme dizziness, head-over-the-hammer headaches, tinnitus, numbness in limbs and tiredness. At first, I didn't put the two things together and I thought maybe I had a brain tumour, the symptoms seemed to match. After a brain scan, I was told everything was fine. I remember feeling really upset that I still didn't know what was wrong with me"......M Gorman.

The public interest is best served by informing them about the risks of the extraction of these teeth. Thousands of patients are ill because of this very reason. If this article helped you in any way and for us to continue to produce evidentiary articles which question the existing paradigms of medical care on this forum, we request a little help from you.
You may contribute through a window that comes up after about 10 seconds at (Please note I am in the process of revising that website.)

Please remember there are at least 50 illnesses where millions of patients can be helped through dental interventions.

The improvement or benefits identified in the testimonials and articles on this site are based on individual experiences which are dependent upon the patient’s unique health condition, jaw condition, occlusal position, medical history, and other individualised factors, and should not be considered representative of all treatment outcomes.

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