Gnathology Treatment


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About Gnathology

Gnathology is the study of the masticatory system, including its physiology, functional disturbances, and treatment. It is studied in some dental schools in the United States. Because it is not part of the training of all dental schools, most dentists learn through post-graduate study clubs. Gnathology is accurate dentistry, verifying the work as it progresses, applying all well founded gnathological principles, and rechecking the work continually. A professional specialised in this field is referred to as gnathologist.

Bruxism - TMJ Disorder

Bruxism is the grinding of the teeth and clenching of the inferior jaw against the superior one, which occurs mainly during sleep and followed by a noisy sound usually lasting for a few seconds.

Generally when the patient wakes up he doesn’t feel any trouble except in cases of intense bruxism when a painful sensation of the jaws could be felt.
The grinding, however, can create damage due to wear of the chewing surface of the teeth of the upper arch as well as of the lower arch, and in most of the cases it has been noticed by the dentist first. During the time bruxism can produce important changes of the teeth, pain in the temporomandibular joints, and if continued, may result in headaches or severe joint dysfunction. To prevent this outcome, an appropriate device called a splint, which can be produced in hard or soft plastic depending on the therapeutic indication, is used to protect the teeth from erosion at night. It is also used as a prosthodontic pretreatment to help us restore correct alignment of the dental arches.

Botulinum Toxin

The application of Botulinum Toxin (Botox® or Dentox® for Dentistry) is a simple, non-surgical procedure. The doctor will administer several tiny injections directly into the muscle to “paralyze” it. Therefore, the benefit of TMJ/TMD patients is the reduction in the number of clenching events and their intensity. This will reduce the destruction of teeth, gums and jaw joint, and reduce the discomfort and pain in the face and chewing muscles. Another possible benefit is that the botulinum toxin does not stay in the body indefinitely, so if there is an adverse effect it is only temporary. There is also the likely possibility that with frequent treatments, the injected muscles will atrophy allowing the patient to go longer and longer between treatments.

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