This article is as it appeared in The Lindsay Daily Post


LINDSAY – Suffering from migraines, head pains, vertigo, tinnitis, shoulder pain or gastric distress? It could be all in your head. Literally.

For over 50 years, dentist Dr. Charles Brodie-Brockwell has been investigating and helping people overcome these potentially debilitating problems as a specialist in Myo-fascial problems.

Dr. Brodie-Brockwell, now retired, recently received a 50-year pin from the Ontario Dental Association for his service to dentistry.

During that time, Dr. Brodie-Brockwell – who moved to the area with his wife, Ruth in 1971 – has assisted over 4,000 patients live happier lives, knowing they were not going crazy.

The four key areas of problems which could be associated to dental problem include headaches (the most common), loss of balance or equilibrium, gastric upsets and bi-lateral or uni-lateral shoulder and neck pain.

“A lot of people who experience these wouldn’t even think about going to a dentist,” said Dr. Brodie-Brockwell. “But these are symptoms which can be very disturbing to the patient.”

Not to mention frustrating.

In most cases, people would approach their physician looking for relief of their pain. However, because it is a dental problem not necessarily a medical one – for example, gastric upset could indicate an ulcer; migraines may be pointing out allergies or the worst case scenario, a tumor – x-rays would not be helpful as a diagnostic tool.

According to Dr. Brodie-Brockwell, something as simple as a missing tooth or an over-bite, could be the cause of these conditions.

The simple process of eating, could cause the muscles in the jaw to spasm. Like with any muscle spasm, circulation is interrupted and pain is usually the result. With the jaw, the spasms and resulting pain can manifest itself into a headache or even affect the labyrinth in the ear - which the jaw joint is close to - causing a problem with balance.

One client of Dr. Brodie-Brockwell was forced to stop eating in restaurants because her jaw used to “click” fairly loudly when she ate, drawing stares from neighboring diners.

Other clients have created speech impediments or even facial distortions from holding their jaw a certain way to avoid the pain.

Dr. Brodie-Brockwell began investigating myo-fascial problems while attending McGill University. After graduating as a recipient of the Lieut. Governor’s Medal and the Montreal Dental Club Prize, he practiced on the Lakeshore, in the Dorval area, for more than 20 years.

During this time, Dr. Brodie-Brockwell began noticing a relationship between his patients dental problems and their health problems. One patient was fitted with an apparatus for several months, but it had to be removed. The individual couldn’t afford a permanent one, and opted to go without. Within a very short time he contacted Dr. Brodie-Brockwell complaining of headaches which, had essentially disappeared, but were back with a vengeance. The client was fitted with a permanent apparatus and the headaches were gone.

It was at this point, Dr. Brodie-Brockwell began concentrating more on these symptoms and their prevention.

“You can adjust a person’s teeth,” said Dr. Brodie-Brockwell. “But you have to ensure it is done correctly.”
“And it depends on the circumstances. Some people can’t be helped.”

Dr. Brodie-Brockwell has seen many successes, having treated people both locally and as far away as California. To help other professionals use the knowledge he has gained from his extensive research and expertise on the subject, Dr. Brodie-Brockwell has published a small text which contains some of his discoveries called The Myofascial Syndrome: Its Causes and Treatment.

The text has been distributed to all of Canada’s 11 dental colleges and Dr. Brodie-Brockwell has received positive responses.

He also lectured on the process this year, but said “one lay lecture is not enough for this.”

“A lecture cannot possible train a person on how to do this sort of thing. They need hands-on, practical training. It’s not something a person can learn in a couple of hours.”

Dr. Brodie-Brockwell said there are four rules to follow when dealing with symptoms of myo-fascial syndrome – interference, recognition, treatment options and ending treatment successfully.