Parkinson's disease is a neurological disease that affects motor skills. Usually those diagnosed with Parkinson’s experience debilitating tremors as well as stiff muscles. Many people also rely heavily on expensive medication that only mask some of the symptoms. While there is not a cure for Parkinson’s as of yet, there is treatment that can help bring back some of your motor skills, and it all starts with your mouth.

Oral Appliances Can Help

Many people associate oral appliances with TMJ or sleep apnea, but Dr. Kevin Berry has found that they are also a good solution for those dealing with Parkinson’s disease. The tremors and spasms associated with Parkinson’s are a result of a lack of dopamine due to the loss of dopamine producing cells in the brain. Dopamine acts as a messenger between different areas of the brain, and when there is no communication between these different spots in the brain the result is tremors and muscle spasms.

Illustration of Parkinson's Disease on the human brain
We’re not entirely certain about the mechanism by which oral appliances improve Parkinson’s symptoms. One theory is that oral appliances help treat the tremors and muscle stiffness by properly aligning the jaw which results in better blood flow to the brain. Dopamine can then travel through the blood and properly send messages through the brain that help restore some motor function to the patient.

Regain Motor Function

Until there is a cure for Parkinson’s disease the best thing that we can do is address any issues that arise from the illness and help make the patient’s life a little more comfortable and enjoyable.

Dr. Berry firmly stands by this practice as a great way to help Parkinson’s patients gain back some motor function. If you or a loved one have, or know someone that has Parkinson’s disease in Denver please call (303) 691-0307 . Dr. Berry at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado can help give guidance on oral appliances and can personally fit one to help improvement with symptoms.