Gnathology is a relatively young subdivision of dentistry, which studies the dental complex consisting of masticatory muscles, teeth, periodontal and temporomandibular joint. As a science, gnathology studies the anatomical and geometric structure of the skull, the biological mechanics of the lower and upper jaws, the functions of sound pronunciation and chewing. Also, this science covers the relationship between the state of the spine, muscules, skeleton with teeth and jaw apparatus.
A gnathologist in diagnosis and treatment is not limited to the oral cavity, since toothache can have many different causes.
Unfortunately, not all dentists have knowledge of gnathology. The dental system consists of a larger number of bones (maxillary, nasal, zygomatic), soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue), muscles (facial and masticatory muscles), as well as teeth, salivary glands and temporomandibular joint.
Proceeding from the structure and functionality, temporomandibular joint can be safely called the most complex joint in the human body, and because of that becomes the first target for a gnathological examination. The most common disorder is the displacement of the articular head of the mandible and, as a result, the pinching of the neurovascular bundle. This causes severe pain and difficulty in chewing.
Reasons for visiting a gnatologist
If the visit to the dentist should occur at least once every six months,there are no such recommendations to visit the gnathologist. But when the need arises, the dentist himself will send you to a gnathologist. Most often this occurs with orthodontic or orthopedic treatment.
If you observe biting of teeth (bruxism), asymmetry of the face or lips, clicks or crunch when chewing and closing teeth, a violation of the pronunciation or toothache, along with pain in the neck and spine, then you should also visit a gnatologist.
Gnathological treatment always begins with the correct diagnosis. If there is a need to draw up a plan for complex correction of the tooth-jaw system, it may be necessary to consult specialists from related dental industries – orthodontics and orthopedics. Further, in the process of an individual conversation between a doctor and a patient, the details of a disturbing dental problem are clarified.
Also, the gnathologist must necessarily assess the condition of the spine and adjacent muscles, and, if necessary, may prescribe a CT scan of the temporomandibular joint in the open and closed position. In addition, other types of research can be applied: condylographic (for the study of moving elements of the temporomandibular joint), axiographic (for studying the movements of the articular head and calculating the inclination angles of the teeth closing surfaces), myographic (for studying the masticatory muscles and the quality of static and dynamic teeth closing).