The Impact of Orthodontia on the Skull, and How NCR and Dental Orthotics Can Help
I have had to undergo orthodontia not once but TWICE in my life. Unfortunately, most orthodontists are not trained to consider the effects of their treatment on the entire skull and the rest of the body. I have spent most of my adult life trying to UNDO the effects of orthodontia.
Our bite is very crucial to the overall balance and proprioception of our entire body. I am privileged to have met a brilliant dentist from London, Dr. Mohammed Amir (who simply goes by "Amir"), who explained this to me in detail. His motto is: "All human beings are literally hanging by the skin of their teeth." What he means by this, is: if a dentist decides to shave off even a 10th of a millimeter of a tooth, or pull a tooth altogether, depending on the person's overall health and structural balance at that point in time, it may push that person off the edge of the cliff. They may start having neck problems, back problems, and suffer greatly in their overall health. In severe cases they may even start having balance problems and have an inability to walk, due to their proprioception being effected by the imbalance in their bite and jaws. But no one would ever suspect that it was because they had a millimeter of their teeth shaved off! Dr. Amir sees patients with M.S. and other debilitating conditions that come to him in wheel chairs, and after he designs a dental brace (a plate that fits onto their upper palate and secures to the back molars) for them that palliatively corrects their bite and encourages their jaw to be in the proper position, they have been known to leave his office walking to their car! Click hereto read an article written recently about Dr. Amir.
Dr. Amir explained to me how orthodontia as a youngster can stunt the growth of both the upper and lower jaws. The lower jaw actually keeps growing until age 22, and the upper jaw sometime in the late teens. When an adolescent is in braces, they are in a state he calls "negative growth." This means their jaws are not growing at all due to being locked by the braces; bone cannot grow against this resistance. The average child is in braces for 2 years. Then they wear a retainer for 2 years and are again in negative growth (the retainer holds back growth also). When you add these two together, you now have 4 years of negative growth! No wonder people are walking around with recessed lower jaws nowadays. In addition, if a child has teeth pulled BEFORE their jaws reach the mature size (this is never a good idea and I do not recommend it), as an adult they will have a "sunken in" appearance, and again, it will inhibit the full potential growth of their jaws, which has ramifications on the balance and proprioception of the entire body.
The lower jaw is very crucial to the overall balance of the skull. Dr. Amir explained it to me this way: If you imagine a very well-balanced skull with a large, well-developed jaw and dental arches, and picture it balancing on a metal spike, it should have a fulcrum in the center and be able to sit there perfectly balanced. Now if you imagine moving the lower jaw slightly backward, the whole head will tip forward. If you move it from side to side also, it will cause the head to balance differently on the spike, tipped slightly toward the opposite side. In reality, our vertebra do the work of this spike in balancing our skulls so that our eyes stay level with the horizon (otherwise we'd be walking askew!). If our jaw is not positioned properly, it will cause the head to balance differently, and put strain on the vertebra which must now compensate by rotating in various directions to balance it.
Not only does orthodontia and tooth extraction interfere with the growth capacity of the jaws, but it also changes the appearance and functionality of the face and head, leading to a more elongated facial pattern and narrowed head and face, sunken in and collapsed cheekbones, and locked or partially locked cranial sutures...all with dire health consequences as a result. Depending on the skill of the orthodontist, he/she may have caused even more rotations in your head and face in an attempt to get your teeth straight, which is not only harmful to the roots of your teeth but could lead to headaches and migraines as a result. Not to mention, it does nothing for your level of attractiveness (it is well accepted that a rounded, symmetrical head and face is more attractive than a narrowed, asymmetrical head and face), and instead it has terrible health ramifications. A narrowed head shape impairs the head's ability to adequately pump cerebrospinal fluid, the life-giving fluid to the brain and spinal cord. A narrowed head is not as good of a pump as a rounded head; this has to do with simple laws of physics. This head shape leads to non-optimal brain function and overall health. The cranial sutures must be open and functional to maintain proper balance and proprioception in the body and proper functioning of the entire body. If they are locked, one's brain cannot expand to full capacity (the "brain box" is squishing it!) and this can lead to all sorts of problems, such as fatigue, memory problems, brain fog, mental inefficiency, and a whole slew of health problems since all organ systems are impacted by the brain which governs the entire body.
Understandably, there are of course times when orthodontia is necessary to perform in adolescents due to impairment in function (as was the case with me) and to improve poor self esteem when an improper bite leads to an unattractive or awkward appearance. This is where NeuroCranial Restructuring comes in as an adjunctive treatment. NCR can dramatically shorten the time needed for braces, even in adults also. This is because it allows the rest of the skull to move along with the movement in the teeth, maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw). For adolescents, concurrent NCR treatment is crucial for maintaining proper growth and keeping the cranial sutures unlocked. Orthodontia is only working with a small part of the skull, whereas NCR works with the entire skull. It doesn't makes sense to align teeth to a malpositioned skull and crooked face, and it is very dangerous to try to give the appearance of straight teeth if the facial bones are rotated or skewed (it is important for the roots of the teeth to be straight, so if the maxilla is tilted the teeth must be tilted in accordance with it, so the roots of the teeth are perpendicular to the bone). If the rotations in the head and face are corrected through NCR, this can lead to a much straighter alignment of the mandible and teeth, and a more successful outcome for the orthodontia without the ramifications it would otherwise create in the rest of the body.
When a person suffers TMJ, neck, or back problems, we must always first look to the bite as well as the rotation in the sphenoid to see what is causing it. The bite and the sphenoid are so centrally located in the head that their malrotations and imbalances will cause ramifications to the entire body!! If a person seeks surgery for a neck or back problem, they are seeking a solution for a secondary (neck) or tertiary (back) problem, when in fact the bite/jaw and sphenoid imbalances are the primary causes. We must detect and treat the primary imbalance. Many TMJ, neck and back problems can be solved by a combination of proper orthodontia or dental orthotic devices along with NCR. Even NCR alone will help to move the jaws into correct position and dramatically improve bite and spinal issues.
Wisdom tooth removal is another controversial issue. Dr. Amir's advice is, "If a wisdom tooth is not causing a problem, leave it alone." All my major health problems began after I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed at once. Many of my patients have had significant problems beginning after wisdom teeth removal also.
I am now most interested in collaborating with dentists trained in the use of Dr. Dave Singh's DNA Appliance. I have taken special training in the use of this form of orthodontia so that I may understand how it works when I have patients using it. This I feel is the most cutting edge and revolutionary form of orthodontia available today, as well as the most in line with the body. The DNA appliance alone can correct posture and cranial bone rotation. Coupled with NCR, this could be the most dynamic combination for rapidly changing cranial and musculoskeletal asymmetry and imbalance!
I am excited to offer NCR as a conjunctive treatment with orthodontia or as a stand-alone treatment for bite problems whether you are an adult or an adolescent. I would argue that in fact, it is imperative that you see me for NCR while you are undergoing orthodontia. Due to my own personal experience in this arena and unique knowledge and training, I am well-suited to this task, and you or your child with bite problems will be much better off for having worked with me!
Please view this video below of a lecture that Dr. Howell did on 'dental mutilation.' Dr. Simonson is one of a handful of doctors in the world trained in the use of Dr. Howell's new FaceMax helmet device, but it is still in its early stages of being implemented. Please stay tuned for more info as treatment results are collected among trained NCR practitioners.
Below are dental molds of my palate. The one on the left was taken before I had braces at age 21. My palate did not really change from standard orthodontia. The one on the right was taken when I was age 31, after 15+ series of NCR treatment spanning 7 years. As you can see, my palate used to be a lot shallower and my tongue did not have a lot of room for speaking. The mold on the right shows some longitudinal maxillary bone growth.
In the picture below, I am holding my thumb in each dental mold, to demonstrate the difference in depth. You can easily see that the bone grew from just NCR alone! Now, I just need to get my palate expanded with a DNA appliance or similar, and my tongue will have much more room for speaking! I can't imagine how much more clearer my speaking will be then!