Dystonia and other forms of movement dysfunction

Many case histories have shown that jaw malalignment can cause a wide spectrum of movement disorders: trigger finger, blink reflex, torticollis, scoliosis, poor gait, weak limbs, etc.  Some of these case histories have also shown that dystonia is but another form of movement dysfunction often caused by jaw malalignment.  That came to light this week when I examined a new patient with a Parkinson’s diagnosis.  Her primary symptom was not tremor, but moderately severe dystonia.  She could not sit in the exam chair without considerable twisting, turning, and head movement.  When I propped her jaw open with bite material her dystonia immediately ceased by over 90%.  Hence, once again the traditional Parkinson’s model based on neurotransmitter imbalances has failed to explain another aspect of the disease.

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2 Responses to Dystonia and other forms of movement dysfunction

  1. Jennifer Norton says:

    It is so good to read your post about dystonia being related to jaw misalignment. I have a misaligned bite, cervical and generalized dystonia that started when in braces in 2008.
    I came across your site doing research for bite correcting appliances. I’m hoping the A.L.F. wire will work.

    • dwight says:

      The ALF is an excellent appliance but it has to be used in conjunction with an orthopedic repositioning process- typically a splint on the lower jaw. The acrylic splint allows the jaw to be repositioned to find the proper physiologic bite height, proper anterior/posterior position (on relaxed trajectory), and TMJ decompression through molar pivoting mechanics. Dystonia will respond primarily to bite height which can not be changed with an ALF. The problem with your original orthodontic treatment (if it was a typical process) is that orthodontics does not do do the necessary dental orthopedic repositioning When doing the dental orthopedics, it is critical to understand the controlling biomechanical principles of occlusion (see my article on Biomechanical Principles of occlusion). Dr. J

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