“The benefit of jaw treatment seems to have been overlooked by modern medicine.”

The TMJ is the highest and most moveable joint in the body. Like all joints, the jaw has an impact upon brain function, which can change the motor response through descending spinal tracts. Its dysfunction can affect the performance of other joints, like the neck, shoulders, hips, and knees, etc. Changing jaw function can affect whole body muscle performance.

TMJ dysfunction affects cerebellar performance. Its subluxation can be responsible for a lack of stimulation to the cerebellum, which causes your sequencing and timing to be off so it can predispose you to injury because your muscles are not firing as fast as they are designed to fire. Any mistimed muscle function can lead to an increased risk of injury, loss of coordination, loss of strength, fatigue, and the realization of pain.

Research indicates that the TMJ can even be involved with complex regional pain syndrome, the signs and symptoms of which can last for from a few hours to several days at a time. It is often treated with medications to control the symptoms, but they do not always work as anticipated. It can also help with twitching, as in Tourette’s syndrome. Another issue involving a lack of muscle control after a nasty auto accident resolved with TMJ gapping. Blepharospasm, gait and balance issues, etc. will respond.

There seems to be a brain benefit to biting down on an object like a tongue blade or a bullet, as in the old west. The act of biting appears to cause an analgesic effect that can correct a lot of symptoms of motor syndromes that appear to be untreatable by modern medicine. Functional brain studies appear to indicate that biting down on a thicker mouth guards can alter brain networks, beginning in the cerebellum. Gapping the jaw joints opens the TMJ proper proportional to the size of the gap. The theory is that if previously abnormal reflexes normalize, then the jaw requires treatment.


Intro & Questions by Dr. Michael Allen

Author: What Your Brain Might Say if It Could Speak, and, Receptor Based
Solutions; Functional Neurology Every Doctor Should Know
President: Allen Chiropractic, PC
Founder: HealthBuilderS(r) Clinical Mastermind Group

Questions: Chiropractic Teaching Video – TMJ/TMD


  • Gapping the TMJ appears to change the symptoms of patients with:
  1. Dystonia
  2. Tourette’s syndrome
  3. Pelvic floor injury
  4. All the above
  5. Changing the TMJ function has no effect on a patient’s symptoms


  • An indicator to check the TMJ for dysfunction is
    1. Bilateral hip weakness
    2. Abnormal muscle timing
    3. A change in muscle strength after gapping TMJ
    4. All the above


  • Aberrant muscle function may be secondary to abnormal input to the
    1. Cerebellum
    2. Optic nerve
    3. Vagus nerve
    4. All the above
    5. None of the above


  • A breakdown of muscle sequencing and timing can predispose a person to
    1. Injury
    2. Digestive error
    3. Postural instability
    4. Joint instability
    5. All the above


  • Which is not a big problem in modern medicine?
    1. Over-dependence on pharmaceuticals
    2. Overall cost of care
    3. Inability to serve people in need
    4. Too many doctors
    5. Need to consider referrals outside their licensure


  • Complex regional pain syndrome is
    1. When an injury resolves quickly
    2. An injury resolves but local severe pain reappears after a short period
    3. Associated with increased blood flow to the affected area
    4. Associated with local shrinkage of the affected limb
    5. All the above
  • A person with complex regional pain syndrome has
    1. A paucity of cytokines
    2. A dearth of histamines
    3. Increased inflammatory products
    4. A loss of perception of pain in the affected limb
    5. All the above


  • A person with various kinds of pain can benefit from
    1. Medication to slow their autonomic system
    2. Working out beyond their heart rate
    3. Biting down on a stack of tongue depressors
    4. Eating more inflammatory foods
    5. Drinking large amounts of water


  • Biting an object at the time of surgery causes
    1. Breaks your teeth
    2. Causes analgesia
    3. Can create more motor syndromes
    4. Induces conditions that are more treatable
    5. Local TMJ pain syndromes


  • Gapping the TMJ can be associated with
    1. Dystonic movements
    2. Tourette’s syndrome
    3. Blepharospasms
    4. Postural instability
    5. All the above


  • The functional effects of oral orthotics
    1. Are ineffective when too large
    2. Are ineffective when too small
    3. Are effective when it changes an indicator muscle response
    4. Has been shown to have no effect on TMJ stability
    5. Has an iatrogenic effect on brain networks


  • Pelvic floor injuries are very common after
    1. Exercising the upper body
    2. Lateral bending exercise
    3. After childbirth
    4. Doing lower extremity exercises
    5. Exercising the lower back


  • Manual muscle testing should be part of a standard neurological examination because
    1. It indicates the state of joint stability
    2. It represents the level of motor control
    3. Mistimed muscle function is an injury risk
    4. It suggests a loss of coordination and strength
    5. All the above


  • The amplitude of a chiropractic adjustment
    1. Is relative to the depth of the thrust
    2. Is related to the speed of the adjustment
    3. Should only be delivered by a skilled professional
    4. Can exceed the involved joint’s capacity to respond
    5. All the above


  • A TMJ dysfunction can be related to
    1. Mild depression
    2. Joint instability
    3. Mental fogginess
    4. Decline in cognitive ability
    5. All the above


  • Rib adjustments are important for proper neurological performance because it increases
    1. Cortical afferentation
    2. Cerebellar stimulation
    3. Oxygenation
    4. Core stability
    5. All the above


  • Examine jaw motion by
    1. Using a tuning fork over the jaw joint proper
    2. Observing jaw motion when opening and closing
    3. Listening for varying jaw sounds from side to side
    4. Palpating the jaws simultaneously
    5. All the above


  • The rectus femoris is part of the
    1. Quadriceps group
    2. Hamstring group
    3. Abdominal group
    4. Biceps group
    5. Gluteal group


  • With the head turned right, the tonic neck reflex should cause facilitation of the
    1. Right gluteus medius
    2. Left latissimus dorsi
    3. Right rectus femoris
    4. Right hamstrings
    5. Left rectus femoris


  • Which of the following is not related to the three muscle groups related to jaw treatment
    1. Internal pterygoideus
    2. External pterygoideus
    3. Hyoid muscles
    4. Sternocleidomastoideus
    5. None of the above


  • Jaw muscle function is related to
    1. The quality of the descending spinal tracts
    2. The condition of cortical input
    3. Cerebellar stability
    4. Cranial bone motion
    5. All the above


  • Using an optokinetic tape down and to the patient’s right mimics stimulation to the
    1. Left posterior semicircular canal
    2. Right posterior semicircular canal
    3. Right anterior semicircular canal
    4. Left anterior semicircular canal
    5. Right lateral semicircular canal


  • The jaw can be treated with trigger point therapy to the
    1. Muscles of mastication
    2. Internal pterygoid muscles
    3. Temporalis muscles
    4. Masseter muscles
    5. All the above


  • The sense of smell – using aroma therapy – is the only sensory system that
    1. Displays contralaterally
    2. Remains ipsilateral
    3. Affects lower back function
    4. Affects upper extremity function
    5. None of the above
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