US 2257329 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 30, 1941. v E BR|TT 2,257,329
THERAPEUTIC APPARATUS Filed May 19, 1938- INVENTOR. Ver/7o t".
Patented Sept. 30, 1941 THERAPEUTIC APPARATUS Vernon E. Britt, Oakland, Calif., `assignor of onefourth to Andrew F. Edwards, San Leandro, and one-fourth to Robert W. Claire, Berkeley,
`Application May 19, 1938, Serial No. 208,798
(Cl. 12S-401) 2 Claims.
The invention relates to therapeutic apparatus and particularly to such apparatus as is designed for use in the oral cavity of a human head.
The present apparatus has` been particularly designed for treatment of sinusitis, coryza, and catarrh and other diseases and inflammations occurring in the head of a human and which have not heretofore been conveniently available for treatment by thermal means. The present apparatus has been devised for producing an artificial active hyperemia in the area of the head directly overlying the hard palate for transmission to such surrounding area. I have found that such an application of heat transmitted through the hard palate to the sinuses and nasal cavities is very beneficial in relieving congestion and reducing inflammation in these cavities and in dilating the associated drainage passages to immediately relieve a congested condition. I have further found that the hard palate of the mouth may withstand a very much higher temperature than the other interior portions of the mouth and the present device utilizes this fact by confining the heat interchange substantially to the portion of the device in thermal contact with the hard palate. In this manner the heat interchange with the palate is most efficiently effected and at the same time the other interior portions of the mouth are shielded and insulated from temperatures higher than such parts may normally withstand.
Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the character above wherein the portion of the apparatus in thermal contact with thehard palate of the mouth will be so formed as to closely fit and conform to the shape of the palate, so as to provide a `maximum `area in thermal contact.
A further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the character described which will be absolutely safe in its use and operation in a human mouth.
Still `another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of the character abovewhich may be used to alternately heat and chill the hard palate of the mouth and provide for a very rapid change in temperature of the palate, to most effectively thermally treat the tissue surrounding and adjacent to the hard palate.
The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawing accompanying and forming part of the specification. It is to be ing made by the said drawing and description may be adopted within the scope o f the invention as set forth in the claims.
Referring to said drawing:
Figure l is a vertical sectional view of a therapeutic apparatus constructed inaccordance Vwith the present invention and illustrated in position in the mouth.
Figure 2 is a perspective view of the apparatus illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a plan view of the therapeutic apparatus illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.
Figure 4 is a perspective View of a modified form of the apparatus.
Figure 5 is a cross-sectional View of a further modied form of the invention. l
The therapeutic apparatus of the present invention and fas illustrated in the accompanying drawing consists of a body 8 which is adapted for insertion into the mouth of the user and is.`
provided with a means of support within the mouth and with a heat transfer means 9 which is arranged for thermal contact with the hard palate Il of the mouth.v In Figure 1 I have illustrated a portion of the anatomy` of the head to indicate the positions of the maxillary sinuses I2 and I3, and the nasal cavities I 4 and I6 above the hard palate, to show the close proximity of these cavities and surrounding tissue with the hard palate, and the heat transfer means 9 of the present apparatus. As will be noted from Figure 1, the thermal treatment of the sinuses and nasal cavities and passages may be effectively accomplished by the application of heat to the hard palate, and I have found that .by heating the palate or alternately heating and cooling the palate, I may bring about the successful relieving of congestion in the sinuses and nasal cavities.
The body B is preferably arranged to be held in the mouth of the user by the provision of a laterally extending rim portion Il which may be gripped between the upper and lower jaws I8 and I9 of the user. Preferably, the body 8 is cast for the mouth of the individual user as by molding from an impression of the mouth so that the teeth of the upper and lower jaws or in an edentulous mouth, the maxilla and mandibular ridges will be snugly ttedby theY portions of the body at and adjacent to the edge portion l1.
The heat exchange means S as above indicated, is provided at the roof of the body for direct contact with the under surface of the hard palate, and is preferably also formed to closely fit and conform to the shape of the palate. In the Vform understood, however, that variations in the show- 55 of the invention illustrated in Figure 1, the means 9 is embodied in the form of a metal plate, which is preferably cast from a mouth impression so as to exactly conform to the shape of the hard palate and provide a maximum area of engagement with the palate. The remainder of the body 8 is preferably formed of a suitable plastic material such as hard rubber or the like, and the plate 9 is preferably set directly into the body so as to securely attach the metallic and nonmetallic portions of the apparatus. Any suitable means may be used for heating or cooling the plate, as may be desired, such as by electrical or mechanical or physical means. However,` I prefer in View of safety and convenience, to use a circulating fiuid such as hot or cold water, which may be passed into thermal contact with the plate by way of conduits 2| and 22. rI'hese conduits are preferably mounted directly to the under-side of the plate as by casting the conduits integrally with the plate or soldering the same to the plate or thelike, and preferably extend laterally through and from the forward part of the lateral edge AI1 for connection to inlet and discharge conduits which may be in the form of rubber tubing or the like, not shown. In order to facilitate the attachment of rubber tubing to the forward open ends of the conduits, I prefer to enclose such ends in suitable connection sleeves 23 and 24, whereby the conduits 2| and 22 may be connected in parallel for the circulation of fluid under the plate. The conduits are preferably arranged relative to the plate as to produce a substantially uniform heating or cooling of the plate and as here shown, the conduits are formed as two continuous loops approximately equally spaced across the bottom of the plate.
It is desirable in most instances to rmly pressV the plate 9 againstthe hard palate so as to increase the pressure of heat therebetween, and preferably the vertical distance between the plate 9 and the top surface 26 of the edge portion l1, is slightly larger than the normal equivalent distance between the palate and the lower surface of the teeth of the upper jaw, so that when the apparatus is retained between the jaws of the user, some pressure may be exerted against the palate.y Also, to assist in the firm seating of the plate 9 against the palate, I prefer to form the upper and lower surfaces of the edge portion l1 of relatively soft, compressible material such as rubber or the like, so as to enable the user to bite into the edge portion of the apparatus.
. In the form of the invention illustrated in Figure 4, the plate 9 has been deleted and a concavity 21 provided in the roof of the apparatus which is adapted to be sealed against the underside of the palate and to contain a heating or cooling medium therein to directly heat or cool the palate. In this form of the invention, the roof portion 28 of the device surrounding the concavity 21 is preferably formed of a compressible material such as relatively soft rubber, so that the same will snugly iit against the palate and seal the concavity 21 against the under-side of the palate. In this form of the invention I may either circulate a heating fluid through the concavity or place the same initially in the concavity, as by placing cotton or other absorbent material soaked in hot or cold water or other liquid in the concavity. One of the advantages of this form of the invention is that the heating mediuml may not only be used to transmit heat to the palate but also may be medicated as with spirits of peppermint, camphor or any of the essential oils, to assist in the treatment. Preferably, as in the first embodiment, I provide for a circulation of liquid or fluid through the concavity and for this purpose I may use a pair of conduits 29 and 3| formed in the body of the apparatus and opening into the concavity to provide inlet and discharge passages therefor.
In the form of the invention illustrated in Figure 5, I provide in the body of the apparatus a chamber 32 through which water or other liquid or uid may be circulated, and mount over the top of the chamber a iiexible cover or diaphragm 33, which is adapted to be pressed up into close fitting engagement with the hard palate to convey heat thereto. In this form of the invention, as in the form illustrated in Figure 4, the apparatus is more particularly designed for substan- Ytially universal use, that is, for use with the mouth of the user without being pre-cast from an impression of his mouth. In the form of the invention illustrated in Figure 5, I circulate water or other fluid through the chamber 32 byway of inlet and discharge conduits 34 and 36 and preferably, the inlet conduit 34 is larger than the discharge conduit 36, so as to produce suiiicient pressure in the chamber to raise the diaphragm into firm contactual engagement with the hard palate. Preferably, the side walls 31 of the chamber are formed of relatively thick and iniiexible material, so as to effectively shield the gums against severe heating and to also preferably position the inflated covering against the palate and to prevent the crowding of the device into the throat of the user.
In operation the device is placed in the mouth and the lowerjaw closed against the laterally extending rim portion, so as to force the device rmly against the hard palate. The source of circulating fluid may be the hot or cold water faucets conveniently available at a basin, and the inlet conduit of the device may be attached to such faucet by way of a rubber tubing or the like. yThe discharge conduit of the apparatus may be connected by way of a rubber tubing or the like to the sinkfor draining. If desired, the source of liquid maybe derived' from a bag of water or the like suspended at a suitable elevation, rather than the faucet. The luse of water as the circulating liquid is convenient and very effective for providing an effective pressure of heat to the palate and also for accurately and rapidly changing the temperature applied.
l. A therapeutic apparatus comprising, a body adapted for insertion into the mouth of a user and being molded from an impression of 'a users mouth to conform to the shape of the teeth and palate of the mouth and formed with a lateral flange for engagement between the teeth of the upper and lower jaws, and heating means provided at the roof of Vsaid body for engagement with the palate, said body being formed at said flange and portions other .than
at said heating means from a compressible heat hard material and provided with relatively soft compressible biting surfaces on said flange.
VERNON E. BRITT,