LAsting releife from TMJ treatment?Risto E. Hurme, DDS – San Antonio, TX
Could Parkinson’s disease be an advanced stage of TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder)? Last month’s “ULTIMATE QUALITY OF LIFE SYMPOSIUM” in Indian Wells, California, addressed that question. It was an amazing conference, bringing together members of the medical and dental professions, and patients, to share information that perhaps these two disorders are related. My hope is that the symposium will spur on more research, and whet the appetites of patients to learn more. The symposium covered the Parkinson’s/TMD connection extremely well, and all of the speakers were excellent! Dr. Brendan Stack presented case histories of patients with movement disorders whose symptoms greatly improved after treatment for TMD. I strongly suggest that anyone interested should buy the DVD set and study these lectures.

The questions I didn’t hear, however, were “Why is our ‘Quality of Life’ deteriorating?” and “What causes Parkinson’s Disease?” That subject is addressed in the books below, which are classics, written by doctors, geniuses all, who were way ahead of their time. Maybe the public is ready for them now. They may have been written quite a while ago, but they are favorites of mine and still relevant today and excellent sources of information:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1939 by Dr. Weston A. Price;
The Dental Physician, 1977, by Aelred C. Fonder, D.D.S.;
Killing Pain Without Prescription, 1980, by Harold Gelb, DMD.

For his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr. Weston A. Price spent nine years traveling 150,000 miles, studying isolated/primitive peoples and their diets, then documented their deterioration after adopting our modern diet. What he originally found were healthy, well-built people with no health problems, as long as natural laws were followed, anywhere in the world. Dr. Price found no one with degenerative diseases like TMD or Parkinson’s, or cancer, or even muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders. They had all 32 teeth, and their teeth were straight. They had wide orthodontic arches, wide noses, and no cavities. Their condition changed rapidly, in just one generation, after trading posts introduced them to white flour, sugar, and processed foods. Children were born with severe malocclusions and cranial distortions, and ill health followed.

Offering a modern update on Dr. Price’s important work, Dr. Dwight Jennings brought up these facts in his presentation:
Our brains are getting smaller due to vertical growth patterns, resulting in long and narrow faces. The native peoples had horizontal growth and wide faces.
Our upper jaws have moved back over the last 100,000 years by approximately 1 centimeter, deteriorating our airway.
Our mouths are getting smaller and more over-closed, thus not providing adequate space for our tongues, compromising our airways and exacerbating neck and shoulder tightness and tension.

The above changes are very detrimental to our airway, also the skeleton is negatively affected, and the pelvis narrows, resulting in more cranial distortions through birth trauma.

In his book, The Dental Physician, Dr. A.C. Fonder described the effects of malocclusion, what he referred to as ‘the bad bite’, as it relates to general health. He called it “The Dental Distress Syndrome” and showed how it affected the entire body and all its systems. With occlusal (relating to the biting surface of a molar or premolar tooth) correction, he could eliminate 80%–100% of all symptoms of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, CNS problems, headache, sinusitis/respiratory problems, bad posture, GI and gynecological problems. His results were presented at several international congresses—over thirty years ago.

The last of these geniuses, and the only one still living, lecturing, and treating patients for over 50 years, is Dr. Harold Gelb. His phrase, “If your jaw joint is off, you can kiss your body goodbye!” is well known, for good reason. In his book, Killing Pain Without Prescription, he clearly explains step by step what happens to people with misaligned jaws. He states that birth trauma is the #1 cause of malocclusion and the resulting TMD. “You can see it in their faces!” One eye is higher than the other, one eye is smaller, there is a higher ear, higher shoulder, higher pelvis on the same side of the body. Dr. Gelb is also the author of two textbooks, Head, Neck and TMJ Pain and Dysfunction, 1977 and New Concepts in Craniomandibular and Chronic Pain Management, 1994. All the above-mentioned books should be required reading for anyone in the healthcare field!

If your car was in an accident and its frame was bent, wouldn’t you straighten out that frame? If there were a flood that eroded part of your home’s foundation, wouldn’t you have that fixed to support the structure? If your child was born with severe cranial distortions resulting in severe malocclusion (due to our modern diet and lifestyle—a poor foundation!), wouldn’t you want to correct your child’s foundation?

Both TMD and Parkinson’s disease are treatable to a certain degree. Prevention is preferable for both and that starts even before birth with the parents’ health! For more information, see and Thanks to Jo Rosen for organizing this wonderful conference, and helping to bring this information to more people.

If you think you have TMJ reach out to anyone listed in the Wellness Village at and call for an evaluation.

About Editor