The line of research that this blog follows is based on the belief that:
The cause of Dystonia is strictly related to the biomechanical colapse of the cervical spine and cranial bones driven by the weight of the skull that sinks, falls, leans and gets twisted as it lacks proper support in the dental arches.
According to this theory, the skeletal, neurological, chemical and psycological symptoms that are described by the accademic, medical and scientific literature are consequences of the effort produced by the body to adjust to this mechanical colapse and the mechanical twisting strain on the brain stem caused by the collapsing skull.
As a consequence, we wish to document an experimental treatment directed at curing Dystonia (as opposed to merely managing the symptoms and cronifying the desease) starting from:
Reestablishing sound support and alignment of the skull on the dental arches that allows the proper function of the involuntary reflex that lifts and alligns the skull during the act of swallowing. This reflex uses a biomechanical lever centered on the molar teeth, which we call the Molar Lever
What is Dystonia?
Mainstream academic and clinical Neurology defines Dystonia as a neurological disorder with physical movement consequences.
We believe that Dystonia is a physical injury that has neurological consequences.
It is an impairment of the ability of the neck to support the skull.
It is similar to triple broken ligaments in the knee…. except the injury is at the level of the upper cervical and lower cranial areas (TMJ, dental occlusion and sphenoid bone).
Dystonia sits between Traumatology, Dentistry, TMD, Orthopedics and Neurology.
It is a physical injury of the upper cervical, lower cranial area.
This bio-mechanic approach has been around for decades with proven results. It is not mainstream because of the way medical academia organizes research and teaching in separate systems.
And it is not mainstream because there is no money from Big Pharma to fund bio-mechanic clinical studies and research.
The protocol we developed does not invent anything new. In the Resources section of this blog you can find 100 downloadable peer reviewed academic research papers, case studies and FDA approved clinical trials that deal with the biomechanics of neurological movement disorders.
Why we Wish to Test this Theory
For the study that we are carrying out, we are considering the case of a patient who developed extreme Dystonia (as diagnosed by a team of neurologists of the Fundación Jiménez Diaz Hospital in Madrid – Spain) within 24 hours following an extremely negligent dental treatment that vandalized his dental occlusion by drilling away central stop contacts on 16 teeth in one session. All molar teeth were left cuspless.
In the case that we present, it was evident from the onset that the dystonic symptoms that the patient developped were related to dental occlusion.
One day, he walked into a dentist’s clinic healthy (a true athlete running 10 kms. and swimming 1 km. several times per week) and, following a very negligent treatment, he woke up the following day with Cervical Dystonia and a collapsing skeletal structure.
The following pictures compare how the dental occlusion of the patient looked when he walked into the dentist’s clinic with the collapsed vandalized occlusion that he was left with after the treatment.
The next picture shows how the patient was left a few days later -dystonic- with a lateralized and twisted mandible. His head was turned and shifted to the left with involuntary muscle contractions and the barycentre of the weight of his kull was no longer on the central axis of the skeletal structure. His skull had started sinking and twisting.
In the following picture, you can appreciate the evolution of the skeletal sructure of the patient in the few months following the negligent dental treatment. It is a true collapse of the whole structure, which we have described in 4 different phases.
The MR scan of the cervical spine shows an important compression of the brain stem at the level of C5-C6-C7 on the left side of his neck. From an orthopedic postural analysis, we could establish that to be exactly the point where the whole weight of the skull had come to rest as it moved away from the central axis of the spine.
We consider that the brain stem compression is the origin of the dystonic and neurological symptoms that the patient developped within 24 hours following the negligent dental treatment.
Collapsed Cranial structure
One of the consequences of the negligent dental treatment was the collapse and twisting of the cranial structure.
The skull is comprised of 20+ different bones that are connected by joints called sutures that work as hinges.
When the strong forces that the mandible presses against the maxilla are missaligned and twisted, the result is cranial scoliosis and a collapsed skull that shrinks like a balloon loosing air.
When the maxillae becomes transversely canted it directly affects the position of the sphenoid. The sphenoid articulates directly with 14 other cranial bones (occiput, frontal, 2 parietals, 2 temporals, 2 malars, 2 ethmoids, palatine, vomer, and 2 maxillae).
In addition, between the sphenoid and the temporal bones, 92% of the cranial nerves pass either in close proximity or through these two bones.
TMJs and Neurological Symptoms
There is a huge body of literature, peer reviewed academic research papers, FDA approved clinical trials, case studies that have been developed over the past 40 years. We have gathered almost 100 papers that are available for download in the page of this blog dedicated to Resources.
One important issue has been constantly recorded in the scientific literarure: when torsion of the spine, scoliosis, neurological movement disorders (Dystonia, Tourette, Parkinson, blepharism, etc.) happen, carefully analysis shows that ONE CONDYLAR DISK IS ANTERIORLY DISPLACED and the OTHER IS POSTERIORLY DISPLACED.
Moreover, the upper cervical vertebrae present a subluxation that creates compression on the brain stem.
The Nuerologists that we consulted diagnosed Cervical Dystonia with degenerative affection of C5-C6-C7. In their opinion there is no cure and the only possible treatment to manage the symptoms consists in Bottox injections in the neck every 3 months to weaken the pulling muscles and, eventually, systemic anti-epileptic drugs if the situation evolved unfavourably towards Generalized Dystonia.
The Maxilofacial Surgeons that we consulted insisted that the only possible treatment consists in surgically removing part of the mandible and surgically changing the inclination and rotation of the maxilla to reallign the plane of dental occlusion with the axis of the skull.
Many Dentists and experts in Dental Occlusion and Oromandibular Pain that we consulted insisted that there is no cure. Most of them were completely ignorant of the symptoms and characteristics of Cervical Dystonia. Many went as far as displaying great personal and epistemic arrogance and ignorance by declaring that it was a psychological issue.
Nevertheless, it was evident from the case we are studying that this case Cervical Dystonia could be treated and sent into remission using intra-oral appliances – dental splints.
The patient had a set of two orthodontic invisalign retainers that reproduced his occlusion at the end of an orthodontic treatment that he had endured 10 years before.
When he slept with the invisaligns, all the symptoms of Cervical Dystonia went into remission and, within the first few weeks after the iatrogenic dental trauma, even disappeared compeletly. Closing the mandible with the invisaligns in place caused the Atlas (the first cervical vertebra – C1) and the Axis (second cervical vertebra -C2) and pelvis to move and re-align themselves with the skull and spine.
An Experimental Treatment Based on Bio-mechanics
And that is how we decided to create a team of researchers to try an new experimental treatment based on Bio-mechanics to cure Cervical Dystonia.
While medicine treats the body from the point of view of biochemistry, biomechanics looks at the human body with the eyes and mind of an engineer. According to biomechanics, using simple applications of Newtonian mechanics and of material science it is possible to explain correctly various mechanical functions of many biological systems.
From Postural Collapse to Dystonia
According to our theory, when dental support is not adequate the skull tends to collapse. Thus the top cervical vertebrae get miss-alligned and the skull tilts and moves away from a stable, centered, symmetrical and balanced position on top of the shoulders.
In the event that the skull comes to fall, the spine undergoes changes proportional to the extent of the collapse of the skull. As a result there are musculoskeletal compensatory measures of a descending kind.
When postural colapse affects, strains, compresses and twists the brain stem, the body reacts with neurological symptoms. They are automatic unconcious reflexes that do not make it past the brain stem to the conscious brain.
They are the same kind of unconcoius, automatic nervouse impulses that occur when your fingers get burned and your hand and arm moves away from fire or the closing of the eye lids when an object approaches. Those reflexes activate muscles to ease the pressure and torsion of the brain stem and move the head away.
That is what in medical terms is called Dystonia: involuntary asimmetric muscle contractions.
Navigate Through this Blog
Please be advised that this blog is a “work in progress” that is only a few weeks old and manifestly and evidently needs constant improvement to achieve the accuracy, validity and scientific standards that we wish to maintain.
We are using this blog to report on the progress of the research and experimental treatment that we are carrying out, as we develop it in real time and within the limits of time and resources that bind us.
Your commentaries, peer review, corrections and even financial support are very wellcome.
To further understand our reasearch, approach and method, please read:
Principles of Splint Therapy
A description of the principles on which we base our protocol for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia and other occlusion realated movement disorders with varying degrees of neurological symptoms (from Tourette’s, to postural collapse, Parkinson’s and Generalized Dystonia).
Protocol for the Treatment of Cervical Dystonia
A step by step description of the 3 phases of the DIY protocol that we have developed for the treatment of Cervical Dystonia.
The Molar Lever
Our analysis of the bio-machinics of the Molar Lever and how dental occlusion is related to posture and skeletal allignment.
Phases of Lateral Postural Colapse
Our analysis of the descending skeletal and postural effects of a collapsing and twisting skull that does not find adequate support in the dental arches.
A description of the adaptive intra-oral aplliance -dental splint – that we use to treat Cervical Dystonia and the orthopedic forces that it produces by progressively pushing the mandible in retrusion, maxila in extrusion and elevating the skull by stretching and aligning the cervical vertebrae.
Bibliography and links to scientific research on the treatment of Dystonia and other neurological movement disorders with a bio-mechanical approach.
Postural Colapse and Dental Arches
A set of animations that present grafically the type of skeletal and postural effects that we intend to produce over a few months by modifying occlusion and the direction of forces between the skull and the mandible.
Beginning of Treatment
Postural analisys, MR evidence and description of the situation of our patient at the beginning of this experimental treatment.
First Rectifier: Cross-Bite Splint with Lateral Moral Lever Effect
Description of the dental splint that we are using for the first two weeks of treatment and the logic behind the selection of the direction and nature of the orthopedic forces that it produces.
Iatrogenic Damage: When the Dentist is a Butcher
Our review of how modern dental theories on occlusion oversimplify and misunderstand the biomechanics of the stomatognatic system, leading to a high potential of traumatic dental treatments.
What is Dystonia?
A short description of the symptoms and clinical definition of Dystonia for those who are not familiar with this desease.
Curricula of the team of professionals who are participating and contributing to this research project.
Please read this page if you are suffering from Cervical Dystonia and wish to try this experimental biomechanical treatment and be a part of this research project.
Please read this page if you wish to support this research project financially.