Some years ago, after decades of serving the public as a general dentist, I became concerned about some of the patients we were seeing who seemed to be living with chronic pain they couldn’t resolve. At the time there was really nothing we could do to help, and yet they were not getting help elsewhere. For many of the patients we were treating dentally, we were hearing about persistent headaches and migraines a lot, as well as recurring TMJ pain. Over time I began to notice these patients — ones who had reported persistent chronic pain in their head, neck, teeth, face, etc. — also seemed to have issues with their bite alignment. Specifically, those with visually detectable bite force imbalances seemed to be reporting headaches and migraines and other pain conditions at a much higher rate. I thought there might be a correlation.
It was at that time that I decided to carefully research the relationship between dentomandibular force problems and pain manifestation in an effort to determine if there were known links between dental force imbalances and and any common chronic pain conditions. I wanted to provide my patients with sound advice on how to address their pain, even if I could not help them myself. As it turned out, there was a mountain of evidence to suggest that problematic dental forces could easily result in chronic pain. Perhaps that was the first time I said to myself, “Isn’t there something a dentist could do to help these patients solve their pain if there is indeed a dental link?”
The painful conditions patients were reporting to us were all conditions that medical doctors traditionally provide diagnosis and treatment for. Still, those dental patients kept coming back year after year reporting the same pain. Many had sought treatment for their condition through multiple providers with no relief but were heavily medicated. The painkillers and muscle relaxers they had been prescribed clearly weren’t solving the problem. They were temporary measures at best, with patients experiencing uncomfortable side effects at worst.
You could say this was an “aha” moment for me as a health care provider. The more I studied the science the more I realized that, if there actually WERE neuromuscular force problems within a patient’s dentomandibular complex, uncovering them might explain the persistence of pain. Precisely directed neuromuscular rehabilitation might even resolve the pain.
It turns out that chronic conditions such as headache and migraine pain, TMJ pain, chronic tension and even tinnitus can all be exacerbated by, or directly caused by neuromuscular dysfunctions in the Stomatognathic System (all soft and hard tissues connected to the jaw). The Stomatognathic System has everything to do with one’s dental forces and dentists know a lot about this part of the body. It seemed so obvious that severe bite force imbalances could indeed cause neuromuscular damage and create a state of dysfunction that contributes to a chronic pain condition.
There was a problem, though. We simply didn’t know enough about how the forces interacted to create effective treatment protocols. Specifically, we couldn’t detect and precisely measure neuromuscular forces in the Stomatognathic System because the diagnostic tools just didn’t exist.
Now things have changed. The tools to detect and measure neuromuscular force problems are now available and a few pioneering dentists are beginning to use them. Neuromuscular dentistry can now solve complex pain conditions for many people — all without drugs, needles, or invasive surgical procedures. It is my great honor and pleasure to be one of the first dental practitioners in Western Pennsylvania to offer patients access to the latest diagnostic and treatment protocols.
If you’re suffering, let Cranberry Headache & Migraine Relief Center diagnose you for neuromuscular force problems. We may be able to help you resolve your chronic headaches and migraines, severe head and neck tension, TMJ pain or tinnitus. You could break free from your pain through neuromuscular dentistry, and sooner than you think!
Over the years I have had many professional interests. The most recent has been the study and incorporation of advanced Neuromuscular Dentistry techniques for long-term pain resolution into my practice.
In addition to my number one passion — Cranberry Headache & Migraine Relief Center — I also enjoy continuing education through the Academy of General Dentistry and the Pittsburgh Dental Network.
My Professional Timeline
Graduated - Bachelor of Arts in Biology, UCLA - 1977
Graduated - Doctor of Dental Surgery, Georgetown University School of Dentistry - 1980
General Dentist, National Health Service Corps - 1980-83
Opened my dental practice, Cranberry Advanced Dental Care - 1983
Founded Cranberry Headache & Migraine Relief Center - 2016
My Life Outside the Office
Outside the office I love spending time with my wife of 12 years, Diane. I have three children, two grandchildren, and two Maltese dogs that won’t stay off my furniture.