Dental Treatment and Cranial Osteopathy

by Joanna Ruddick

Last Sunday I attended a dental workshop for cranial osteopaths. The speaker was Dr Helen Jones, a retired dentist and orthodontist. Her vision is to work with other health professionals to achieve the best possible outcome for patients. She believes that there is not enough emphasis in dentistry on structure and that’s where cranial osteopaths are very important!

When dental appliances are added to a cranium that has unresolved birth strains or compressions from injuries, the dental appliances do not have the desired effect. They inhibit the motion of the individual cranial bones and this can result in headaches, dizziness, irritability, sinusitis, neck and back pain and even bigger neurological disturbance disorders such as seizures, may result. As well as these highly undesirable side effects, in these cases the teeth may return to their previous strained pattern once the dental appliance is removed.

So if you’re about to start a course of orthodontic work, or are in the process of it, a visit to see a cranial osteopath is highly recommended (see information on Dentistry on the Sutherland Cranial College Website). By correcting underlying problems before the dental therapy starts, any changes to dental mechanics will occur with greater ease. Patients will then experience fewer side effects as the rest of the cranial mechanism adapts more easily to change, the corrected bite remains stable and there is less discomfort.

Cranial osteopaths understand the tiny movements that the face and skull bones must make to function healthily – for drainage and circulation of blood, lymph, nerves, sinuses as well as nourishment to the brain. The skull is a dynamic collection of bones with over 100 articulations through which micro-movements occur. Teeth are extensions of upper and lower jawbones and articulate directly (or with just one intervening bone) to every other bone in the head.

Also important to consider is the position of the jaw bone and its effect on the rest of the body. If your head is held forward, there is more weight going through your neck (arthritic change is more likely), and the jaw recedes. So treating the jaw, may improve posture.skull-cranial-bones-and-facial-bones

Some dental procedures are poorly tolerated by the body, for example, extraction of wisdom teeth, put very strong forces through some delicate bones, which can sometimes lead to sinus, ear problems, headaches, migraines, neck and back pain. This often occurs some time after the procedure, even years later.

Prevention is better than cure and the earlier the intervention, the less costly and more speedy it will be. Osteopathic treatment throughout the different stages of life – during pregnancy to increase the likelihood of a straightforward delivery, post-birth to ease birth strains, after growth spurts, accidents, eruption of teeth and so on – will make dental problems much less likely and less radical.

If you have any further questions or would like some more information about cranial osteopathy and dentistry, please email me at or book an appointment by ringing our friendly receptionists on 01865 558561.

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