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Fixing TMJ Pain

Fixing TMJ Pain

Can you explain your condition a little?

It’s weird, the way I came to see Dr. Stanley. See, I have a hypermobility syndrome that affects chronic pain throughout my body. I was searching for years and years and spent tens of thousands of dollars on different techniques to try and get this pain syndrome under control. Part of hypermobility, and controlling it, is having control over your structure because when you have hypermobility, your ligaments don’t hold you together very well. So, having structure, and strength in that structure, is very important. Dr. Stanley understands the relationship between the bite and the tongue and how it impacts the neck. Not only the physical structure but the neuromuscular structure functioning in that area.

What made you want to come to Stanley Dentistry?

I went to a neuromuscular dentist prior to Dr. Stanley and went into braces and it failed. I was actually in more pain than I was prior to, so I was very disappointed. I reached out to fifteen or twenty national experts across the country and no one really had an answer for me — but Dr. Stanley did. She said ‘I think I have something that will really help you.’

She expanded my upper palette and I have a frenectomy — a release of the tissue underneath your tongue — and then went back into braces the last time. And she helped me with the finances for that because she understood that this has been a long journey for me. It was one of those things that I can honestly say was a game-changer. There’s no magic bullet but having her as a part of my team is one of the best things to ever happen to me. I can’t talk more highly of Dr. Stanley — not jut as a dentist but as a clinician. 

How was Stanley Dentistry different from the other offices you went to?

One of the biggest frustrations [going into previous treatment] was monetary. Everyone was selling me the magic bullet that was going to fix everything. It was a complex interrelationship of how my body was interacting with myself. She looked at me as a whole person — everything together. She seemed to have a mastery of the understanding of that. It put me at ease, immediately when I walked in.

This is something that I’ve been going through for ten years so my vocabulary and understanding of it is extremely in-depth. So, when I hear someone who can explain to me my symptoms and why this might be happening — when I finally have someone who can communicate with me in a way that I understand, and be compassionate towards me, and work with me…Not just in the sense that “in this alternate reality,” but to actually put something into practice, and plan for a successful outcome. To realize that, it’s just amazing. It’s wonderful. 

How much did this treatment change your life?

When I say “game-changer,” it’s one of those things where, in my life, I was in a lot of pain and after that experience…getting my palette expanded, the braces, and everything moving into place — it really was a structural component. After I got out of braces, the tension was 70% less. When you have that relaxation of the tension and the muscles can contract and relax in a way that is neuromuscular-ly correct…I was able to incorporate exercises and do things that would reduce pain on down the kinetic chain. It was a game-changer from the top-down. I mean, I know a lot of times (I coach baseball), everything happens from the ground up! But, sometimes and in this case, it’s from the top down. She was really able to help me there. 

How was the office environment?

So, primarily I worked with Brenda and she was just great, always in a wonderful mood, and they recognized my positive energy and they basically added to it. It’s a synergistic environment. That’s what I’m always looking for in a team — for people who can support who I am. So, that was, for me, the biggest thing. The office supported me personally. 

Would you recommend Dr. Stanley’s TMJ treatment?

TMJ is not always a strictly teeth thing. But, if it is related to your bite and it’s related to your upper cervical spine, then…in my personal experience and having seen seven or eight experts, I would [recommend] seeing Dr. Stanley first. I would not go to an upper-cervical specialist. I would rule this out first. If it’s a teeth problem that’s affecting your cervical spine and the relationships there that cascade down your body, I would go here before I went to any neuromuscular dentist in the state of North Carolina.” 

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