Jaw Alignment / Bite Problems
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Another guest that did not mention ear symptoms to us... because it is something she is used to having all the time and she did not see the connection between ear symptoms and jaw alignment / bite problems, is Colette.
Colette comes from Wichita, KS area to correct her TMD condition. She has been in treatment for four months at our office. She is in Phase 2 treatment getting ready for Full Mouth Rejuvenation.
We had a visitor to our office on the day Colette was in for her follow up appointment. It was an ENT physician, Dr. Ed Stivers, M.D. Dr. Stivers had communicated by phone and e-mail about the treatment of one of his patients. He wanted to come and see what we do and how we do it. When I explained to him the details, I felt that it would be easier to show a case than to talk in abstracts. Since Colette just arrived for her appointment, I obtained her permission for this doctor to see her fixed orthotic.
While Dr. Stivers was in the treatment room, Colette said, "I can hear better now. How could that be related to your bite correction treatment?" As I was explaining to her that the Eustachian tube was kept open due to a spastic Tensor Veli Palatini muscle. Since that muscle is controlled by the same Trigeminal Nerve branch that controls the Medial Pterygoid muscle, restoring her bite position to an unstrained muscular state, relieved the spasm of the Tensor Veli Palatini. It is not at all uncommon for us to get such a result with neuromuscular therapy.
Dr. Stivers could not believe it! The ENT term for a 'stuck-open Eustachian tube' is "patulous Eustachian tube" which is considered "incurable". My explanation made perfect sense to him. It was just that the ENT physicians were unaware of a neuromuscular solution to it. Since then, my web search for "patulous Eustachian tube" brought up many medical articles that said such a condition is due to an 'unknown cause' and that it is 'incurable'.
Colete wrote this nice e-mail afterwards.
I've noticed my hearing improve since my bite has been re-aligned. Over the years I had lots of allergy related congestion and felt that something was wrong with my hearing. My hearing tested normal every time I had it checked.
My ears were plugged up a lot and I could not get them to "pop." My ears have not been plugged for months and my hearing seems to be better.
Thanks again for all of your help. I truly feel that the treatment I am getting from your center is an investment in my future.
September 20, 2006