Clinic News Aug/Sept 2013

Jaw Pain  and Chiropractic

Does it hurt when you chew, open wide to yawn or use your jaw? Do you have pain or soreness in front of the ear or cheek? Do you have pain or soreness in your teeth? Does your jaw make noises loud enough to bother you or those around you?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Signs may include:
• Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders;
• Limited movement or locking of the jaw;
• Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth;
• A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;
• Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing.
For most people, pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles or joints is temporary and it may occur in cycles which will resolve once you stop moving the area. However, some people can develop chronic symptoms called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders). In our office, we will help to determine the cause of you pain and provide conservative treatment if needed.
What Causes TMD?
Researchers agree that TMD falls into three categories:
• Myofascial pain—discomfort or pain in the muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders;
• A dislocated jaw or displaced disc- usually from a trauma: such as motor vehicle accidents, slip or fall, sports injury;
• Degenerative joint disease—rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint.
In most cases, we can help relieve the symptoms with conservative treatment and we find that the following home care instructions are helpful.
1. Apply ice to the jaw to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain.
2. Avoid harmful joint movements; such as biting on an apple or hard candy.

All Sweeteners Are Not Created Equal
By Dawn Fichter, DC

Many people have been asking about Nectresse, the new monkfruit Sweetener! Is it really healthier than table sugar or Sucralose? Let’s find out.Nectresse is made by the makers of Splenda in response to the success of Stevia sweeteners on the market. It is said to be 100% natural and made from Monk Fruit. The problem is in the manufacturing. We can take even natural products like honey, maple syrup and molasses and move them from the natural state to a highly refined product by the way we process them and sell them in stores.
Monk fruit, like stevia, is 300 times sweeter than refined sugar. Lo Han sweetener and monk fruit sweetener have long been used in China and contain beneficial antioxidants. However, Nectresse, isn’t simply monk fruit. It also contains molasses, sugar and erythritol.
You might be wondering, how can this sugar substitute have 0 calories if it contains sugar? First of all, food producers can say something has 0 calories if it contains less than 5 calories per half teaspoon. Secondly, the sugar alcohol erythritol interferes with your body’s absorption of sugar, further lowering caloric intake. The problem with erythritol is that your body can’t completely absorb it and it can ferment in your digestive tract, causing bloating, diarrhea and gas. This kind of fermentation also raises acidity in your body.
Because foods are considered safe until proven otherwise, many food derivatives are put on the market without research beforehand. There just hasn’t been enough long-term and credible studies of many sugar substitutes. Of the studies that do exist, the FDA doesn’t consider those because they aren’t controlled and the results have not been validated by other researchers. Yale scientist Qing Yang conducted a mini-review of artificial sweeteners in 2010. He found that most of these were discovered when scientists violated laboratory protocol by tasting these substances and that most were never intended to be food products. Saccharin, for instance, came from research on coal tar derivatives. A scientist studying ulcer drugs produced aspartame and sucralose, and Splenda, was generated from a search for new pesticides.
While very direct physical effects may not yet be proven, there have been several substantiated studies that link the use of sugar substitutes to unhealthy eating and obesity. If you choose to use artificial sweeteners, please use them on a limited basis as much as possible. Also, make sure you read the ingredients of your favorite beverages; you may be surprised at what you find lurking inside.
Remember, we’re wired to crave sweet so you shouldn’t suppress that craving. Instead, discover the ways you can fulfill it as you’re meant to: eat real food. If you need to use a sweetener, consider minimally processed applesauce for baking, authentic Lo Han (monk fruit), raw honey or minimally processed maple syrup.