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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2003 July-August;52(7-8):339-50


language: English, Italian

Etiopathogenesis of parafunctional habits of the stomatognathic system

Manfredini D., Landi N., Romagnoli M., Cantini E., Bosco M.


A broad consensus does exist among main authors on the importance of parafunctional habits in the etiopathogenesis of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Mechanisms through which an intense parafunctional activity determined a pathological effect on the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and their related structures have still not been definitively clarified; nevertheless, before investigating those mechanisms, it's useful to study predisposing, triggering and/or worsening factors of parafunctions themselves. At present the theory, once widely accepted, according to which occlusal interferences can trigger a muscular hyperactivity through the activation of periodontal receptors, has lost a lot of credit. Recently, the hypothesis that bruxism and other parafunctions have a central etiology has become more and more accepted. In such a context, the role of the psychic component assumes a strong relevance, particularly for its relation with the limbic system, which is the part of the central nervous system (CNS) that regulates emotions. Such a hypothesis is confirmed by clinical practice, but it doesn't explain why some patients have reported a worsening of parafunctional activities after occlusal adjustment. The aim of this study is to investigate this issue through a critical review of the literature, indicating how the 2 theories might be complementary for the development and worsening of a parafunctional habit. From this review, despite the number of clinical opinions, there emerges a lack of methodologically appropriate associative works and controlled clinical trials which consent to clarify the effective importance of psychic and/or occlusal factors in the etiopathogenesis of parafunctional habits.

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