When we say dentistry every one thinks of filling decayed teeth, replacing the missing one and re-arranging the ones not aligned.
Well there is more to it.
If tackled properly many psychosomatic disorders manifest in the oral cavity as the first signals, or manifest as disturbances in the mouth physiology causing symptoms elsewhere which no amount of treatment or medication can solve. Migraines being a major one.
Face is the identity of a person so it is attended to. The muscles of the mouth and around it help in suckling as a baby, transient thumb-sucking, pencil biting in many adolescents and as erotic zones in adults, these therefore become zones of sensuous satisfaction and the target or platform for symptoms when not satisfactory.
Sunithi presented as a patient in the ENT as pain behind the ear, she was referred to dental section as the ENT did find anything wrong. By the time she appeared at the dental clinic her symptoms were classic, —
- pain behind the ear;
- clicking sound and tenderness when opening the mouth or eating
She was suffering from Myofacial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome. Studies by Dr.Bailoor and Dr.Kumaraswamy show that this predominantly in women in a ratio of 1:6, and associated with low back ache, mouth ulcers, irritable bowels, and asthma.
Adithi came to our clinic with burning tongue and mouth, but there were no lesions, interestingly she referred from the allergy dept. As she had been there assuming that it was an allergic condition. On taking detain history we found that this was the classic burning mouth syndrome that manifests predominantly in premenopausal and menopausal women. It was associated with depression and hot flushes.
With the over advertising of Diabetes, many executives and PR personals take a self prescribed diabetes test assuming that dryness of mouth is indicative of diabetes. It could be, but there is more to it. Dry mouth or Xerostomia could be due to anything starting from normal fear, physical exertion, medication, pathologic disorders like disturbance of the salivary gland. Dehydration, depression just to name a few.
The most popular presentation is the patient who has visited the physician, ENT, ophthalmologist homeopath, Ayurveda and has not found relief these patients talk of pain in the lower third or middle third of the face. The pain does not follow a logical anatomic path, or trigger. Each sitting the patient will talk of a new location. These patients suffer from Atypical Migrating Facial Pain seen in menopausal women, Geriatric cases, sometimes young individuals who are single and socially challenged. It is in reality a call for attention.
All these disorders are Psychosomatic and call for help. The patients have to be treated with corrections of bite, or minor physiological obstructions that are present, and counselling sometimes medications are required. Hypnotherapy goes a long way in treating these disorders.