Gnathology to treat temporomandibular disorders
Do you feel pain during mandibular movements and chewing? Do you often have persistent headaches, especially when you wake up? Did you notice articular movements similar to “clicks” when you open and close the jaw?
An evaluation carried out by a specialised GNATHOLOGIST could help you solve the problem, in some cases together with other figures such as the ear, nose and throat specialist, the neurologist and the physiotherapist.
What does GNATHOLOGY examine?
Gnathology is a branch of Orthodontics which deals with physiology and pathology of the stomatognathic system, meaning: mouth, articulation of the jaw with the skull and chewing mechanisms which can cause painful muscular and/or joint conditions, the so called temporomandibular disorders.
These painful disorders usually occur with a localized pain at chewing muscles level or in the pre-ear zone. They can limit the mouth opening and sometimes give rise to joint noises. They are often linked to pain in the jaw structures, headache and earache.
Factors associated to such temporomandibular disorders are emotional stress and parafunctional activities such as bruxism or dental fixture, sometimes a wrong occlusion or a trauma.
How to deal with a gnathological problem. With gnathology!
During the gnathological visit, the specialist – often a dentist or an orthodontist – will examine in depth the patient’s medical history and will carry out a clinical intraoral and extraoral evaluation. In some cases, they could require a joint MRI as an aid in defining the diagnosis.
The therapeutic approach usually involves the use of removable intraoral devices, such as the bite, associated with behavioral advice and with physiotherapy which give satisfactory results.
However, if the conservative approach is not enough, an orthodontic, prosthetic or surgical therapy can be taken into consideration.