Blum C, A Chiropractic Perspective of Dental Occlusion’s Affect on Posture,  Poster Presentation: Proceedings of the ACC Conference XI, Journal of Chiropractic Education Spr 2004;18(1): 38.

Introduction: For years, chiropractors have used the term “Lovett Brothers” to describe the relationship between specific vertebra in the lumbar and cervical spine.  Chiropractic procedures have also been proposed to be effective in treating conditions affecting the pelvis and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  In fact, the whole nature of the chiropractic technique, Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT) was that its developer, Major B. DeJarnette, found relationships between the sacrum and occiput, which he used in diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractic techniques need to be able to identify and treat conditions secondary to TMJ and dental occlusion dysfunction as well as develop understanding of the dental profession’s perspective for proper referral and co-treatment. 

Methods:  SOT methods of treatment have been found effective for treatment of cranial and TMJ related conditions. Various rationales for the relationship between the spine or pelvis and TMJ or Lovett Brothers have been found. These theories include fascial, myological interrelationships, referred pain patterns and facilitating tonic neck reflexes involving intersegmental spinal pathways.  A review of the literature has found a relationship between dental occlusion and orthodontic procedures and their affect on posture and the spine.

Discussion:  If chiropractors and dentists are going to be working together to treat conditions affecting the spine and posture as well as dentofacial orthopedics and/or temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) a common language will need to be developed. SOT has methods of TMJ, cranial bone and whole body evaluation and therapy that facilitate the treatment of TMD, which are primary to occlusion (ascending disorder).  In addition, SOT has methods of diagnosis, which can evaluate when the TMD is primary to conditions affecting the spine and posture (descending disorder), which necessitate referral to the dental practitioner skilled in TMD treatment.

Conclusions::  Chiropractic and dental co-treatment of TMD, occlusion and dentofacial orthopedics with its relationship to the spine, pelvis, and posture offer a valuable opportunity for multidisciplinary growth. This growth and intercommunication will enable patients suffering from long-term disorders to be offered the possibility of relief that alone, chiropractic or dentistry, cannot offer.  Future studies are needed to evaluate this complementary relationship between dentistry and chiropractic to determine the effectiveness of this care and its benefit for patients with prior intractable chronic conditions.