About Dentomandibular Sensorimotor Dysfunction

Dentomandibular Sensorimotor Dysfunction is a medical condition involving the mandible (lower jaw), upper three cervical (neck) vertebrae, and the surrounding muscle and nerve areas. There is a concentrated nerve center in this area called the trigeminal nucleus. This major pathway of nerves controls pain signals from the teeth, face, head, and neck, and carries them to the brain. Dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction refers to a condition in which an individual experiences chronic pain or stiffness from these nerve inputs as a result of dental force imbalances.

Dental Foundation

The dental foundation consists of teeth, muscles, and joints in the dentofacial (head and neck) area. The dental foundation is considered to be out of balance when one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • Advanced aging or disability of the muscles which open the jaw.
  • Movement or noises in the jaw joints which indicate the disks in the neck are moving, deformed, or swollen.
  • Tooth wear or breakage.
  • Limited range of motion in the jaw and cervical (neck) spine.
  • Painful or sore head and/or neck muscles with very sensitive spots referred to as trigger points.
  • Pain that stems from the trigeminal cervical nucleus.
  • Any lifestyle limitation related to the teeth, muscles, or joints of the head and neck.[2]


There are many symptoms associated with DMSD conditions. The most commonly reported are:

  • Headache/Migraine
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Tension-type headache
  • Myofascial pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD)
  • Pulpitis
  • Poor airway control
  • Sleep/arousal disorder
  • Changes in brain chemistry and neurotransmitter balance
  • Bruxism
  • Abfraction
  • Tooth fracture/damage
  • Unstable dental arch form
  • Restricted range of motion and postural adaptations
  • Clenching with or without torus formation
  • Abnormal tooth wear patterns
  • Malocclusion
  • Parafunction
  • Degenerative joint disease

This condition affects all ages and both genders. However, females are more likely to suffer from DMSD. Individuals who have experienced chronic headaches and/or migraines without finding lasting relief through traditional medicine can be assessed for DMSD through a combination of objective tests, evaluations, and a comprehensive discussion of their symptoms, medical history, headache history, pharmacological background, and head health. Research used in sports medicine and rehabilitation allows dentists to address the population with DMSD symptoms.

Source: Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentomandibular_Sensorimotor_Dysfunction