Case Study #14
ALF / Whole Body Connection
Embryologically the teeth, with the exception of the enamel, develop from neural crest cells. This same group of "brain cells" gives rise to the autonomic nervous system. This developmental relationship is the underlying connection for the myriad of somatic symptoms that are directly and indirectly caused from malocclusions. Crooked teeth feed noxious impulses into the nervous system which cause responses from corresponding organs (liver, spleen, pancreas, heart, brain, etc.), muscles, endocrine (thyroid, pancreas, parathyroids, adrenals) system imbalances, lymphatic stasis, structural imbalances (scoliosis, herniated discs, sciatica, etc.) and dominance or hypofunction of sympathetic/parasympathetic nerves. Imbalance of the nervous system can have far reaching effects on the total health of the individual. One just has to look at the teeth of Olympic gold medal winners to see that most if not all have broad dental arches and straight teeth. High physical performance cannot be achieved with crooked teeth.
Jennifer was referred to my office for treatment of chronic headaches, neck and low back pain. These symptoms lingered despite regular chiropractic care. Clinically, any time chiropractic and or osteopathic manipulations do not hold, there is a dental component to the structural problem. Underlying dental abnormalities can range from a minor bite interference to a sever malocclusion. The former can easily be treated with a minor tooth adjustment while the later requires extensive dental orthopedics and orthodontics.
Jennifer's dental problem was complicated since it also involved strain patterns within the cranium. These strain patterns directly influence the dural tube, which extends down the spine and ends in the sacrum. The narrowed maxillae (upper palate) is really the base of the human skull. Any distortions in the foundation will manifest else where in the body. Treatment involved use of an upper ALF (Advanced Lightwire Functional) appliance. The treatment goals were first to release the strain patterns within the skull bones and second to level the maxillae or foundation of the skull. The last treatment objective was to use conventional braces to align the teeth to literally hold the skull bones in a balanced position. Unfortunately, conventional dental treatment totally ignores balancing the skull bones prior to doing the teeth straightening procedures. Often times the patient is left with "straight teeth" but a crooked head and chronic body symptoms.
The series of photographs depicts the various phases of treatment in this case. Completion resulted in a balanced cranial mechanism, stable spine and pelvis and a pretty smile. Comprehensive treatment of this nature insures a better quality of life for the patient as well as a beautiful cosmetic result.
Case treated by Dr. Gerald H. Smith