An anatomy lesson
The relationship between the way your skull sits on top of your spine and how your teeth mesh together when you bite is both well researched and documented. Unfortunately it is not as well known in the chiropractic and dental communities who do not treat TMJ Disorders.
Your skull sits upon the very first vertebrae, called the ATLAS. The Atlas refers to the mythical strongman that held the earth up in the heavens. Like this mythical man, the first vertebrae cradles your head, connecting it to the body.
The Atlas is unlike any other vertebrae in your body. Shaped like a butterfly with it’s wings spread out, the Atlas does not have a spine like every other of your 32 vertebrae.
This gives the Atlas great MOBILITY allowing the head to move in many directions. However the Atlas does not have great STABILITY. It is basically supported in place by muscles of the head and neck and by the position of the lower jaw which is determined by how your teeth mesh together.
This inter-relationship of the jaw and the spine means that changes in either your jaws development or changes in the way you bite together cause by tooth loss, dental treatment or orthodontic care can affect how your skull sits on your neck vertebrae. Your Atlas can very easily twist out of position. For some, this slippage of the Atlas will create little or no pain. For others, it is the source of their back, neck and head pain.
Go to the “Test Yourself Section” and look at the first Postural test. Here is where we often see our first signs of a problem with the orientation of the Atlas and the Skull. This means that any successful treatment of your bite relationship by a dentist requires co-operation with a qualified Chiropractor who can adjust the position of the Atlas in relationship to the skull.
We utilize the skills of a NUCCA chiropractor. (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) who through a massage like adjustment can properly align your spine and skull. This alignment, when accompanied with a neuromuscularly balance orthotic can bring balance back to your body and relief from many of the TMJ Disorder symptoms.
We also use the skills of an Atlas Orthagonist chiropractor. The Atlas Orthogonal system is a painless and safe spinal correction which restores body balance and increases the body’s natural healing ability. This precision form of upper cervical spinal correction painlessly restores body balance without forceful movements or twisting of the neck or back.
Looking for a trusted chiropractor? Contact Dr. Hill today!