Concussions: Everyone Should Know the Missing Link
Newly discovered fractured bones in the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) will produce the same symptoms that are used to diagnose concussions.
by Dr. Edward D. Williams

Concussions have become a public health crisis. At the Jaw Joint Science Institute (JJSI), we may have discovered a viable solution to the crisis.
 
JJSI has introduced a scientific breakthrough in concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and temporal mandibular joint disorders (TMJD) that we believe will profoundly impact the future of sports, military operations and the general population. These developments collectively will improve the healthcare, well-being, and quality of life for the populations identified.
 
Concussions, considered to be a soft-tissue injury, and their diagnosis have generally been defined by the temporal lobe manifestations produced (the cognitive symptoms). Newly discovered fractured bone in the temporal mandibular joint will pierce the base of the temporal lobe (the fractured injury component of the concussions) resulting from the head impact forces of the concussive events. These jaw joint fractures have been overlooked in the studies of concussions. These fractures can now be diagnosed and healed, thereby alleviating the cognitive symptoms of the concussion. Hence, the jaw joint structure must be considered in the management of concussions and other head impact injuries.
 
With this story, I hope to promote the following: a better appreciation of this overlooked vital anatomical structure that has direct access to the brain never previously considered which can no longer be denied; the recognition that the jaw joint structure is a vital component of life, and up until now we have chosen to ignore it—and, in doing so, we have opened the floodgates to its physical abuses, and the brain’s punishment that is both ongoing and in real time; and, perhaps most importantly, the eradication of the pain, suffering, and dreadful symptoms of concussions.

Ruling Out Jaw Joint Fractures
A technology known as 3D Cone Beam CT Scanning reveals detailed imaging of the acute and chronic fractured bones in the jaw joint space. Ruling out these newly discovered fractures is essential and cost effective in the treatment and management of headaches and other cognitive symptoms suffered by the brain-concussed individuals. With the utilization of this advanced imaging technology, fractures of the jaw joint will be clearly identified in a large percentage of those experiencing the concussive events. Temporal bone fractures associated with the jaw joint/TMJ are widespread and pervasive in sports, military, and civilian populations. These fractured temporal bones will directly pierce the dura (the brain’s outer covering) and temporal lobe of the brain itself. These devastating jaw joint injury patterns are the medical link to concussions and concussive events that will significantly contribute to brain disease or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) with aging.
 
Upon the diagnosis of these fractures the primary focus is on healing, rehabilitation, and supportive methodologies that promote cognitive recovery (routinely without invasive surgery or the use of drugs). These fractures patterns, which have not been seen or considered previously, can be healed once diagnosed and treated, in the process alleviating the symptoms and the cognitive decline of the concussed individual with a greater margin of success, in a smaller window of time, at a fraction of the cost.

A Devastating Impact
A head impact can fracture delicate bones in the temporal mandibular joint, concussing the brain. The seriousness of these fractures can have an adverse effect on the quality of life for the participant and their families. The link between concussions and jaw joint fractures has never before been considered, even though the jaw joint directly borders the base of the skull. The fractures at this site have direct access to the floor of the temporal brain subject to the impact, movement or motion of the lower jaw, heightening brain injury issues. 
 
The loss of this temporal bone plate results in several outcomes: 
• It enables the condyle direct access to traumatize and irritate the temporal lobe of the brain. 
• It can alter the position and seating of the brain at the open hole fracture of the temporal bone plate. 
• It can produce bone splinters or spurs that will pierce the dura or even the brain itself and perpetually traumatize the temporal lobe. 
• It will cause the more painful, crippling, and debilitating cognitive symptoms of concussions and brain disease with aging. 
 
Cleary there are two simultaneously traumatic head impact occurrences associated with brain concussions; the brain concussion itself is the soft-tissue brain injury, the concurrent occurrence of newly discovered fractures, which then become the perpetual brain-injuring issue against the base of the brain. These temporal bone fractures are the basal skull injury component of the concussion. 
 
Law enforcement and military training and their fields of operations produce a target-rich environment for blowout fractures in the jaw joint circle. Many of the recruits undergoing the intake process for the military will present with undiagnosed jaw joint fractures. As the result of hand-to-hand combat encounters, the rigorous training exercises with high-impact pupil sticks and the like, many military personnel experience the cognitive symptoms of concussions relating to the undiagnosed and unconsidered jaw joint fractures.
 
When a warfighter sustains the forces of a concussion from head trauma, blast exposure, G-force impacts, or the recoil of rifle firing, these forces enables the lower jaw to act, as a projectile, slamming its condyle into the base of the skull, fracturing the fragile temporal bones supporting the brain. This fracture on the floor of the temporal lobe produces an array of the cognitive symptoms of concussions.

Treatment and Rehabilitation
Recognition of a mechanism of inflicted head injury is valuable. Healing fractures in the jaw joint circle will increase the career expectance of the athlete, enhance the quality of life for the athlete, and will have a positive impact on the economics of concussions, the future of sports, and heightening our commitment to safety.
 
Athletes who have sustained concussions in the past are most often suffering from the lingering neuro-cognitive consequences of consecutive concussions, or later-life cognitive decline. They can also be rehabilitated to a more symptom-free baseline with a concerted effort toward healing these newly discovered temporal bone fractures.
 
The jaw joint circle must be considered in the management of concussions and other head injuries. Reducing/healing fractures that support the floor of the temporal brain eliminates this source of a perpetual temporal brain injury. 
 
The jaw joint structure must be considered in the management of concussions, temporal mandibular joint disorders, and other head injuries. Reducing these TMJ fractures at the base of the brain associated with concussions will eliminate the symptoms described herein, giving back the quality of life. Here at Jaw Joint Science Institute, we take a noninvasive approach to rehabilitate and reduce the suffering associated with concussions and TMJ disorders. This includes bone-stimulation therapy, a rehabilitation appliance, without the use of medication.

Concussions & Jaw Joint Fractures: Shared Symptoms
TMD, TMJ fractures, and the lower jaw concussion will produce these symptoms:

Irritability
Depression
Mood swings
Hearing loss
Poor sleep habits
Mental confusion
Behavioral changes
Living in a mental haze
Personality variations
Loss in concentration
Facial and joint pains
Intellectual difficulties
Sinus-like headaches
Nausea and/or vomiting
Visional disturbances
Impaired sense of balance
Grinding, clicking, or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth
Migraine-like headaches
Pulsating pains behind the eyes
Attention/perception problems
Reduced problem-solving ability
Posttraumatic stress disorders
Severe headaches and dizziness
Increased sensitivity to light and noise
Memory loss; more forgetful than usual
More hostile and intense than usual
Raspy voice and tongue-tied speaking
Rotator cuff and frequent stiff neck
Unrealized physical loss of strength
Higher propensity for strokes
Decreased ability to cope with stress
Tinnitus and internal carotid artery disease
Substance use and abuse disorders
A possible etiology for suicides

This exposed vital area must be safeguarded in all physical training operations in order to drastically reduce the onset of these debilitating symptoms of sports and military signature injuries (concussion and temporal mandibular disorders).

Please call and make an appointment if you suffer from more than 2 of the above symptoms. For more information and treatment, call 215-242-3141, or visit jawjointscience.com.

Photograph courtesy of JJSI

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, January 2020.