TMJ and Brain Blood Flow

A new case that presented about two months ago illustrates the profound impact that the bite can have on brain blood flow.  This relationship is often referred to as the trigeminal vascular system.

Case history:  male in his mid sixties with history of fainting when he walked up hill.  He had been examined by mulitple physicians and undergone xrays, MRI, and EKG with no abnormal findings.  In a phone interview he mentioned that before the passed out he would develop pain in his ankles, knees, and hips- a sign that there was possible a trigeminal nerve component to his fainting (trigeminal nerve modulates pain perception in the brain).  An examination was recommended.  When he presented to the office, observation showed a very large jaw malalignment caused by orthodontic extraction therapy when he was a teenager.  A 4 mm tall mouthpiece was made for him which gave him immediate relief.  He reported a significant improvement in memory within about 1 week.

This has major implication to many types of disorders that have impaired brain blood flow (mood disorders, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADD, autism, etc.).  But few are aware of this relationship.


This entry was posted in cerebral vascular blood flow, headaches, parkinson's, seizures. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to TMJ and Brain Blood Flow

  1. Steven says:

    I’m a 20 year old male. I have a class 3 underbite. Recently when I chew hard foods i get a sort of pressure feeling in the head immediately accompanied by light headedness and later weakness. It may last for a few days. I initially thought it may be related to me smoking. I smoke tobacco occasionally.
    Can you please tell me if something is cut off in my blood supply of trigaminal nerve? Or it has nothing to do with it.

    P.S. When I get dizzy I don’t have headache.

    Thank you.

    • Dr. Jennings says:

      Having a Cl III underbite increases your chances of have a misaligned jaw. Eating hard foods can stress a misaligned jaw even further thus creating a wide spectrum of symptoms. The trigeminal nerve modulates brain blood flow (trigeminal vascular system), hence stressing the bite can cause brain blood flow problems. Likely related. Dr. J

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