Gnathology is a rather recent discipline of Dentistry that studies the physiology, pathology and functions of the jaw (chewing, swallowing, phonatory, postural) and therefore, studies the relationships between the jaws, the teeth, the two temporo-mandibular joints, the muscles that move the jaws and the nervous system that controls those muscles, including the tongue.
The gnathological therapy consists in re-establishing the normal relations between the mandibular condyle, the articular disk and the glenoid fossa. Therefore it is the mandibular position of each other to the skull that makes the difference between success and failure. For this purpose, mainly resin and metal (bite) objects are used, which reposition the jaw, producing at the same time a muscular relaxation of the chewing muscles and of all the other muscles involved.
Once the contractures have been eliminated, the results stabilization therapy is carried out, which can include occlusal correction by apposition, subtraction or modification using aids that can go from a simple selective grinding to eliminate interferences (sometimes caused by malposed restorations), to restore the correct heights through onlays, crowns or prostheses, finally, dental positions can be modified by orthodontic treatments.
As there are many gnathological schools, the therapeutic means can vary, even if it is rather constant the use of occlusal plaques (of release/relaxation or "bite planes", indented, orthotic, of recapture meniscus, protective etc ...). If the therapy is unsuccessful, then it is possible to try again with another methodology, only in case of internal problems in the joints and as a last chance, after instrumental diagnosis (nuclear magnetic resonance and more rarely computerized axial tomography of the temporomandibular joints), can abandon the gnathology to resort to more or less invasive surgery depending on the degree of severity of the problem (intra-articular washes, endoscopic surgery, TMJ surgery (temporo-mandibular joint surgery)