Scott Hogan's second-half hat-trick put Rochdale a point away from an automatic promotion spot in League Two.
Wimbledon goalkeeper Ross Worner misjudged Matt Done's wind-assisted cross and striker Hogan tapped in to put Keith Hill's Dale ahead.
He rounded Worner for number two and the 21-year-old's lobbed finish took his goal tally for the season to 15.
Charlie Wyke wasted the Dons' best chance, running into team-mate Danny Hylton with the goal at his mercy.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley told BBC London 94.9:
"I apologise for the performance. I felt sick watching it as the game wore on.
"I felt very let down by the lack of tempo when we went 1-0 down, and the lack of desire from the team to get back in the game. It was a severe lack of character throughout the team.
"Losing some players early on had a massive impact, as everything we worked on during the week went out the window, but it's not an excuse I'm going to hide behind."
Rochdale manager Keith Hill told BBC Radio Manchester:
"I knew we could grow into the game once we took the sting out of the opposition.
"We didn't allow them really to get any momentum and I knew we could go on and win the game.
"I thought we were excellent in our pursuit of making sure that we didn't give the opportunity to the opposition. I thought we defended absolutely superbly.
"We're happy with the success we've already achieved over the last 12 months. If we can continue that success then I'm sure we'll at least be in a play-off place.
"We're a good side and who's to say we can't rival the money teams of this league and the supposed favourites of this league."
AFC Wimbledon 01 Worner 02 Fuller (Fenlon - 69' ) 19 Arthur 06 Bennett 28 Jones 27 Morris 12 Pell Booked 07 Francomb 09 Hylton (Sheringham - 76' ) 26 Wyke 08 Moore (Sainte-Luce - 28' ) Substitutes 10 Midson 11 Moore 15 Fenlon 16 Sainte-Luce 18 Sheringham 22 Brown Rochdale 01 Lillis 02 Rafferty 16 Done 24 Allen (Vincenti - 74' ) 05 Eastham 22 O'Connell 40 Henderson (Bunney - 86' ) 12 Lund 11 Hogan (Donnelly - 92' ) 08 Kennedy 25 Rose Substitutes 03 Bennett 07 Vincenti 09 Donnelly 15 Porter 21 Thomson 28 Camps 39 Bunney
Ref: Oliver Langford