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J Oral Rehabil. 2012 Jun;39(6):463-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2012.02291.x. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Dental occlusion, body posture and temporomandibular disorders: where we are now and where we are heading for.

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  • 1Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, TMD Clinic, University of Padova, Carrara, Italy. daniele.manfredini@tin.it


The aim of this investigation was to perform a review of the literature dealing with the issue of relationships between dental occlusion, body posture and temporomandibular disorders (TMD). A search of the available literature was performed to determine what the current evidence is regarding: (i) The physiology of the dental occlusion-body posture relationship, (ii) The relationship of these two topics with TMD and (iii) The validity of the available clinical and instrumental devices (surface electromyography, kinesiography and postural platforms) to measure the dental occlusion-body posture-TMD relationship. The available posturographic techniques and devices have not consistently found any association between body posture and dental occlusion. This outcome is most likely due to the many compensation mechanisms occurring within the neuromuscular system regulating body balance. Furthermore, the literature shows that TMD are not often related to specific occlusal conditions, and they also do not have any detectable relationships with head and body posture. The use of clinical and instrumental approaches for assessing body posture is not supported by the wide majority of the literature, mainly because of wide variations in the measurable variables of posture. In conclusion, there is no evidence for the existence of a predictable relationship between occlusal and postural features, and it is clear that the presence of TMD pain is not related with the existence of measurable occluso-postural abnormalities. Therefore, the use instruments and techniques aiming to measure purported occlusal, electromyographic, kinesiographic or posturographic abnormalities cannot be justified in the evidence-based TMD practice.

© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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