The neuromuscular approach towards interdisciplinary cooperation in medicine

Int Dent J. 2014 Feb;64(1):12-9. doi: 10.1111/idj.12057. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


Background: The contemporary approach of dentistry towards interdisciplinary cooperation is based on the neuromuscular concept. In recent years many authors have pointed out a correlation between orthopaedic and dental findings. Furthermore, there is an intimate biomechanical interrelationship of occlusion with cerebral fluid circulation, left and right equilibrium, gaze stabilisation and headache. The influence of a dental occlusion and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) status on general health has been widely analysed in the current scientific literature.

Aim: The aim of this analytic study was to display the deep relationship between dentistry and other fields of medicine, and to show the necessity of wide cooperation between dentists and physicians.

Conclusions: This study was based on a review of 41 sources, including specialised articles and books. The significance of different anatomical and physiological preconditions (occlusion, muscles and TMJ status) was considered and evaluated separately. However, as a result of modern concepts of general body health, extending cooperation between different fields of medicine is essential. The practical application of the principles of neuromuscular dentistry enables one to increase greatly the treatment efficiency of aches in muscles, headaches, postural dysfunctions as well as of many other diseases. However, the dentist's contribution to the development of an interdisciplinary approach is underestimated. Many theoretical aspects of the interdisciplinary relationship have not been sufficiently examined, hence the practical consequences remain unclear. Further research in the field is urgently needed.

Keywords: Dentistry; masticatory muscles; occlusal plane; rehabilitation; temporomandibular joint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Occlusion*
  • Dentists
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology*
  • Physicians
  • Posture / physiology
  • Stomatognathic Diseases / therapy
  • Stomatognathic System / innervation
  • Stomatognathic System / physiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiology