Do you dread going to the dentist? Let’s face it, many of us don’t like going to the dentist even for routine cleanings. We may struggle with anxiety, pain, headaches or TMJ related symptoms during or after a dental appointment.
Over the years we have heard stories from our clients of how they struggle. Some have had traumatic dental experiences in the past that brings about a sense of panic. For some, keeping their mouth open for prolonged periods creates tension leading to pain or discomfort. Keeping our mouth fully open for prolonged periods of time can cause muscle tension and be straining on the TMJ joint. This can cause jaw, face, teeth, head, and neck pain. How can Myofascial Release (MFR), Craniosacral Therapy (CST), and Lymphatic Drainage (LDT) help?
Before Dental Work:
If you know that a trip to the dentist will cause you discomfort, consider a treatment the day before your appointment. Our therapists can help balance and improve alignment in the cranial and jaw bones, as well as reduce muscular tension prior to your appointment. Less stress and better alignment of your body going into the dental appointment can lead to a reduction in symptoms after the appointment.
After Dental Work:
Many of our clients schedule a NBT treatment session within a day after their dental appointment, whether it be a routine cleaning or something more extensive including root canals, implants, or crowns. CST/MFR helps rebalance the alignment after the strain of holding our head and mouth positions for extended periods of time. LDT can be helpful after surgeries to reduce inflammation, eliminate swelling and promote healing.
We’ve helped many of our clients navigate the process during and their body’s reactions after dental appointments. Here are some of the tips we have shared with our clients over the years.
• Center, Center, Center. Take time to do breathwork and grounding exercises before and during the appointment. When you go into the dental appointment centered and not anxious or tense your body may have less post appointment symptoms.
• Visualizations. If you are scheduled for a lengthy procedure we encourage that a few days before you start visualizing the procedure going smoothly and the outcome that you are looking to receive. Our mind and thoughts are powerful. What we visualize and think helps control our actions and reactions.
• Take Breaks. Ask your hygienist for frequent breaks to close your mouth, even during general cleanings.
• Stretch Your Jaw. Take five minutes to do a TMJ stretch before and after the appointment to minimize jaw discomfort. Click here for technique.
• Sit Up. Whenever your dentist wants to check your teeth alignment make sure to ask to sit upright on the edge of the chair. When we eat and do all other functional activities we are in upright positions. Your teeth alignment will be different if you are lying back compared to seated. Always check it in the functional, seated position.
• Ask For What You Need. If you need extra support under your knees or behind your head and neck ask for it. If you start to feel discomfort or strain ask to take a break. If you are thirsty and need a drink, then ask for water.
• Get Treated. Schedule your NBT appointment before and or after your next dental session. It is also critical to go into the appointment with as balanced of a pelvis as possible. An imbalanced pelvis will also present with a similar misalignment at the jaw. Balance going into an appointment leads to a happier body post appointment.
You don’t have to suffer the next time you head to the dentist. In the past if you have suffered from jaw, head, or neck pain after seeing the dentist, consider scheduling an appointment with Amy (MFR and CST) or Kristin (MFR, CST, and LDT) at NBT before and/or after your dental. Both therapists have had extensive experience treating clients and providing them relief before and after dental appointments.