One reason to love your dentist AND see your PT after dental work

I had thought of writing this piece before. Many patients (with headaches, neck pain and other diagnoses) would be in an episode of care with me and then have their biannual dentist appointment.  Some even had intense dental work scheduled. Many times a physical therapy session 2 days after dental work would eliminate the pain and discomfort, as well as prevent headaches. My intention was to share this "Within a week of dental work see your PT for a tune up to prevent headaches and jaw pain." 

NOW I have a personal journey to share with you. Examples of how symptoms develop over time, of how excuses for pain are made, and of how a single treatment can eliminate pain. 

My experience started with a chipped tooth. I gave myself the freedom to feel all of the emotions and pain in the moment. I have learned enough with Primal Reflex Release Technique to know that holding emotions back wasn't a long term solution. I had emergency dental work done (Thank you Dr. Merrell!) and was treated by Dr. Steve of Focal Point Chiropractic for the my jaw and neck. Things were going well and I felt I had recovered. 

About 3 weeks later I had a follow up which included a bite block. I felt alright after this dentist appointment and didn't think much about it. Then my teeth became very sensitive and mouth breathing in air conditioning was unpleasant. The next week I noticed my jaw getting tight, ears feeling full and I attributed it to stress and lack of sleep. Now about 6 weeks after the initial injury, the headaches began. I had the dull ache on my forehead. I had the pressure behind my eyes. I had neck tension I knew was part of the issue. Each time, Dr. Steve alleviated my headache du jour. 

After 3 days of different headache presentations I went migraine status. Light sensitivity, noise irritation, nausea. I cried. Fortunately, I still made it to the dentist for my biannual appointment. I mentioned my intense sensitivity, the headaches and neck pain (not things we all think to tell our dentist!). My dentist listened and checked my bite. Sure enough, after the dental work settled a small contact area was occurring between my front teeth. With pain free, good mechanics only the molars should really touch. Within 2 hours of the correction my jaw muscles softened and my head felt light and clear. I am still doing self treatments, but the discomfort is minimal. 

Bottom line:

  • See your dentist and share what your feel in your teeth, jaw, head and neck!
  • If you have dental work (especially a bite block) get treatment within a week
  • Prevention is a key part of dentistry, it should be with Chiropractic and Physical Therapy care too!