Gnathology is a branch of dentistry that humans (but, comparative research level, even in animals) studies the physiology, pathology and function of the jaw (chewing, swallowing, phonation, postural) and therefore, studying reports between the jaws, teeth, temporomandibular joints of right and left, the muscles that move the jaw and nervous system that controls those muscles, including language.


The term "occlusion" literally refers to the contacts between the teeth of the opposed arched both in a static position and dynamic. For "gnathology" means the study of all organs or organ systems that from a physiological or pathological side can be connected dental occlusion "

(Mario Molina, Fundamentals of Modern gnathology)

It is a wider definition, which opens wide on the correlations space with many other organs or systems. It can be defined as Gnathology postural (some authors have also called "Ortoposturodonzia"): here increases the importance of the lingual function, respiration, the cranio-sacral breathing, swallowing mediated the hyoid bone with muscles to it connected (directly connected with: mandible, temporal bone of the skull, sternum bone handlebar, clavicles, first thoracic ribs, shoulder blades, cervical vertebrae). From these areas of interest related to postural Gnathology it is easy to understand how the stomatognathic apparatus participates in the global posture of the human being.


The gnathological therapy is to restore normal relations between the mandibular condyle, articular disk, and glenoid fossa. Therefore is the mandibular position each to the skull that makes the difference between success and failure. In order artifacts serve mainly resin and metal (bite) that reposition the lower jaw while producing a muscular relaxation of the masticatory muscles and all other affected muscles. Once deleted, contractures proceed to the results of stabilization therapy, which may provide for the occlusal adjustment for affixing, by subtraction or modification using aids that can range from a simple selective grinding to eliminate interference (sometimes caused by ill-posed restorations) to restore the correct heights by onlays, crowns or missing teeth by implants, finally you can change positions by dental orthodontics.

Gnathological many existing schools, the therapeutic means can vary while fairly constant use of occlusal splints (retraction / relaxation or "bite planes", indented, orthotic, recapture meniscus protective etc.). If therapy is not successful it can then try a different method. Only in case of permanence of internal problems in the joints and as a last resort, after instrumental diagnosis (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and more rarely Cone Beam CT scan, the temporomandibular joints), you can leave the gnathology to resort to more or less invasive surgery the degree of severity of the problem (washing intra-articular, endoscopic surgery, TMJ surgery classical)

Dr. Alcide Pirazzi Maffiola has long experience in this field having worked as an assistant with Dr. Mario Molina at the Stomatologico Institute in Milan for 10 years and is co-author of some of the most important texts on the subject.