Thyroid/Dental Thermography: A Non-Invasive Infra-Red Physiologic Screening Approach by Liesha Getson
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland found inside your neck, right under your larynx or voice box. It’s responsible for producing hormones that control vital functions in your body. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone, a condition that is often linked to iodine deficiency. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite, when in your thyroid produces too many hormones.
Your thyroid, one of your most important endocrine glands, greatly influences almost every cell in your body. Aside from regulating your metabolism by releasing the necessary hormones, the thyroid is also important for the growth and development in children, as well as nearly every physiological process in your body.
Poor thyroid function has been linked to health conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disease, vitiligo, gum disease, infertility in women and autoimmune diseases which is why it’s imperative to learn how your thyroid works and what can cause it to go off-kilter.
Thyroid dysfunction accounts for many metabolic problems including weight gain or loss, fatigue, disorders of protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism and intolerance to heat or cold.
Conventional laboratory testing is often inaccurate due to various medical conditions that can falsely elevate or depress the thyroid function studies. Ultrasonography has a value in detecting anatomic lesions. Nuclear scans and X-rays involve injection of a radioactive dye which is less than desirable to most individuals.
Thermography offers a non-invasive, non-radiologic measurement of thyroid physiology. As such it will not detect nodules or tumors, but will provide a representation of physiologic dysfunction which when coupled with history, physical examination and aforementioned tests will provide a far greater picture of the thyroid function.
People with normal studies who are still experiencing symptoms will now have definitive medical evidence which will allow for a more comprehensive treatment program.
When performing thyroid thermography, we look for significant temperature asymmetry between the lobes or a temperature variation between the thyroid gland and its surrounding structures. When asymmetry is present the treating physician can use this information to assist in formulating a treatment plan that will lead to normalization.
Thyroid/dental thermography images and maps microcirculatory shunting associated with circulatory changes in the skin. It can play an important adjunctive role in the assessment of thyroid/dental and certain systemic health related illnesses, diseases, and in their clinical diagnosis. When performed and interpreted within the scope of the American Academy of Thermology’s Guidelines for Thyroid/ Dental/Systemic Health Thermography, it can also play a useful role in monitoring treatment effects of thyroid/dental and specified systemic health conditions. Other structural imaging technologies such as X-Ray, ultrasound, CTs and MRIs do not provide the information offered by thyroid/dental systemic health thermal imaging. The clinical application of thermography can help physicians both understand patho-physiology and improve patient outcomes. The American Academy of Thermology supports the incorporation of infrared thermal imaging into clinical medicine and its specific utility in the monitoring of thyroid/dental applicable systemic health conditions.
These images can be analyzed both qualitatively for thermovascular mapping and quantitatively for minute changes in skin heat emission. As with most physiologic studies, anatomic findings may not correlate and may not even be present.
Some of the common indications for performance of thyroid/dental thermograms include the evaluation of:
· Individuals with a clinical presentation of thyroid dysfunction.
· Patients with known or suspected temperomandibular joint dysfunction and other occlusive disorders.
· Patients with known or suspected oral-facial pain and myofascial conditions of the head and neck.
· Inflammatory and infectious conditions related to the teeth, gingiva and mouth.
· Dental caries and decay.
· Cerebrovascular disease in the distribution of the ophthalmic artery
· Inflammatory and obstructive lymphatic disorders
· Dermatologic and immunologic conditions, including superficial skin vascular responses to environmental impacts such as mold or other allergens
· Psychological manifestations that may impact skin surface temperature
· Patients for pre-procedure assessment for planning of interventional therapeutics.
· Technical result of medical or surgical interventions, such as corrective thyroid or dental procedures.
Contraindications of thyroid/dental/systemic health thermal imaging include recent injections or surgeries to the thyroid gland or recent dental work.
Dr. Philip Getson, a board-certified thermographer since 1982 and Liesha Getson a board-certified thermography technician since 2004, perform thyroid/dental/facial and breast thermograms at Thermographic Diagnostic Imaging throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Thermographic Diagnostic Imaging (TDI) is located at 100 Brick Rd., Ste. 206, Marlton. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 856-596-5834 or visit TDINJ.com.