Balanced Alignment Structural Therapy
A balanced bite is very important, because if it is off, it usually results in pain and discomfort.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the only double sided joint in the body, the fulcrum with which the mouth is opened and closed. The chewing force exerted by adults on the back teeth (the molars) is over 100 lbs per square inch, and some have registered even more.
So an imbalanced bite can result in jaw pain as well as tooth pain. Temporomandibular joint problems can have any of the following causes:
- crowded teeth
- worn or missing teeth
- periodontal or gum problems/disease
- clenching and grinding teeth – It is more common than you think, because most of the time it happens at night when you aren’t aware you are doing it
Most dentists try to help with grinding, clenching and jaw pain by making a ‘splint’ or night guard. This simple appliance is meant to relieve stress on the teeth and reposition the jaw joint to a more comfortable position. The idea is to keep the teeth from doing further damage to themselves and keep the condyles of the jaw from compressing onto delicate tissue and nerves in front of the ear.
Splints usually help initially, but a plateau is reached beyond which a splint does not help and other treatment will most likely be necessary. This approach tends to be one dimensional, leading to only partial relief of symptoms because jaw pain is usually multifaceted. Patients are often labeled “non-compliant” for not wearing their splints, but really the approach has not resolved their issues. Associated cranial distortions and dysfunction of the joint disc must be addressed in order to fully resolve all the issues involved.
Other causes for bite imbalance are:
- Improperly adjusted or integrated dental work
- Crooked teeth that cause instability in the bite
- Sensitivity to dental materials that cause stress in the mouth
Cosmetic dentists fix clenching and grinding by placing crowns and veneers. The human body is very adaptive and is constantly compensating for a myriad of imbalances, however unless the underlying issues are addressed more dentistry is usually not the answer.
Cosmetic dental work can crack, chip, break, and eventually fail as did the natural teeth before them because the bite was not corrected effectively. The bite needs to be balanced and teeth repositioned so that the entire musculoskeletal system is more aligned, and this is where BAST is invaluable.
The Balanced Alignment Structural Therapy (BAST) provides a simple and direct diagnosis of jaw balance as it relates to the rest of the body. This with the aid of other diagnostic modalities allows the best diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient. Some other important diagnostic tools may be:
- Analysis of tooth to tooth contact
- A cone beam or 3D Xray scan
- Degree of emotional stress
- Galvanic testing
- Microscope evaluation
- Diet and other lifestyle factors
- EMF sensitivity
- Analysis of the cranial bones.
Do you have unexplained pains in your head, neck or shoulders? When you look in the mirror, are your eyes level? Is one shoulder higher that the other? Do you stand with feet parallel or are your feet turned out? Ever have the sense that you should be able to breathe more deeply? Do you have ‘head forward’ posture? Do you snore?
A thorough analysis will determine whether you are a candidate for BAST. Treatment can take from six months to a year or more, depending on the severity of the case. Sign up to discover whether this is an approach that will help you. Once you have downloaded the form, filled it out and submitted it, someone will contact you.