Gnathology

Gnathology is that branch of dentistry aimed at the prevention, diagnosis, treatment plan and rehabilitation of paraphysiological or pathological conditions that can compromise the stability and proper functioning of the stomatognathic apparatus.

The purpose of gnathology is the restoration of a correct occlusion, that is to say a correct static (in resting position) and dynamic (during oral functions) interaction between the dental arches.

There is a close link between the correct contact between the two dental arches, the mandibular muscles and the cranio-mandibular bones. Gnathology precisely deals with studying and restoring the correct balance between these two areas.

A gnathological examination can highlight malocclusions, temporomandibular joint or cranio-cervical-mandibular joint disorders.

The tests available to gnathologists are many: 3D RX, mandibular kinesiography, surface electromyography.

After a thorough medical history and diagnosis, the therapy used in gnathology is the “bite”, a resin plate that improves the closure of the dental arches and restores their correct position. When a patient suffers from frequent headaches, joint pains and tinnitus it is always advisable to consult a specialist in clinical gnathology.

 

Who is the gnathologist?

The gnathologist is a dentist specialized in gnathology who has specific skills in identifying and solving several gnathological problems such as malocclusions, cranio-cervical-mandibular disorders, bruxism and alterations of the temporomandibular joint.

BRUXISM, HEADACHE AND GNATHOLOGY

More and more often we hear of people suffering from bruxism, that is the involuntary grinding of the teeth that occurs in most cases at night during the first stages of sleep but which can also occur during the day,  especially when the patient suffer from a psycho-physical stress condition.

Teeth grinding can have different duration and intensity. In clinical gnathology, bruxism is called a parafunction or a movement that is not aimed at any purpose. Numerous studies are underway to identify a certain cause of bruxism: on one hand there is most probably a psychological factor but on the other hand the main cause seems to be surely an incorrect alignment of the dental arches.

Normally, in resting conditions, the two dental arches do not come into contact with each other, there is a small space of a few millimeters that divides them. In cases of malocclusion, however, this space is missing and during sleep the dental arches are always in contact with each other triggering the grinding of the teeth. The bruxist patient will report fatigue to the jaw especially when waking up, along with other typical symptoms of gnathological problems (headache, earache, clicking of the jaw).

Bruxism is not a problem to be underestimated: teeth grinding can have important consequences leading to a leveling of the teeth with possible exposure of the dentin, damage gingiva and pyorrhea.