Dental occlusion, body posture and temporomandibular disorders: where we are now and where we are heading for
Manfredini D, Castroflorio T, Perinetti G, Guarda-Nardini L. Oral Rehabilitation, 2012.
The relationship between abnormaldental occlusion, body posture and development of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) has been a controversial subject for many years. Based on such concepts, many patients have been subjected to extensive and expensive treatments purported to correct existing occlusal and postural abnormalities. In this article, the authors review the existing literature on this subject, as well as the validity of the various devices and clinical methods that have been used to measure this relationship.
These include surface electromyography (an electrical recording of muscle activity that aids in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disease), kinesiology (the study of the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of body movement) and postural platforms (devices that measures changes in body position), that have been used to measure this relationship.
Their results show that the literature does not support the idea that occlusal alterations are associated with either the development of temporomandibular joint problems or masticatory muscle disorders, nor is there any relationship to variations in head and body posture. Thus, they conclude that a mechanical approach to treating TMD by means of irreversible methods such as occlusal adjustments, full mouth dental reconstructions or orthodontics is not justified from a scientific viewpoint.
This summary was written by our clinical advisor, Dr. Daniel Laskin. Dr. Laskin is The TMJ Association's Clinical Consultant, and Professor and Chairman Emeritus at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Richmond, VA.