Palmomental & Plantomental Reflexes

This reflex is very similar to the Babkin response and some sources claim the Palmomental reflex is synonymous with the Babkin response.  This reflex is where the hands move while the baby is suckling.  This relationship also creates contraction of muscles at the mouth when a portion of the hand is stimulated.  This reflex should integrate by the third month of life.

If retained, it may present in those children who bite others or have difficulty learning to use cutlery.  They may move their jaw and tongue to mimic the movements of their hands such as when the tongue protrudes and wiggles while the fingers are moving, or their jaw opens and closes as they use scissors.  Adults may clench the jaw whilst holding a steering wheel when driving and have extra tension in the muscles of their face, neck and upper body.

Due to the relationship between retention of this reflex and increased tension in the flexor muscles of the upper limbs, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and tension in the calf muscles can resolve after the correction related to the retained PMR.