gnathologic problems
otorhinolaryngology problems
oculistic problems
temporomandibular joint desorders
muscle problems
postural syndroms
snoring and sleep apnea problems
diagnostic equipments
orthodontic problems

Piero Silvestrini, M.D., Ph. D., D. S.

One of the universally accepted causative co-factors arousing gnathologic problems are parafuntions, i.e. vicious behaviors repeated and perpetuated over time, leading to overload of teeth, muscle and joint structures. Common examples are lip biting, keeping a stick or a pen in the mouth, resting the chin on the palm, nail biting, digital sucking, nervous cheek popping, clenching, playing a musical instrument, etc.

Ma ci sono parafunzioni più subdole, che si svolgono senza che ce ne accorgiamo, come digrignare i denti di notte, sempre nel sonno serrarli fortemente, tenerli appoggiati fra loro costantemente anche di giorno, deglutire in modo anomalo ecc.

Parafunction: lip biting
Parafunction: frequent facial tics (grimacing)
Parafunction: frequently resting the chin on the palm
Parafunction: in predisposed subjects, even playing a musical instrument may cause injury
However, other subtle parafunctions may occur unconsciously, as bruxing at night, teeth grinding in sleep, constant teeth clenching even during the day, abnormal swallowing, etc.
These behaviors will lead, on the one side to the development of the involved muscles as a result of a hyperfunction, and on the other to teeth and joint overloading which, sooner or later, will derange the mandibular system.
There ia a multitude of parafunctions and only a careful analysis of the patient will reveal their importance .
Self-test on parafunctions
Do you have a lip biting habit?
Are you biting your nails obsessively?
Have you got facial tics?
Do you clench your teeth uncosciously during the day?
Are you a professional woodwind or violin player or singer?
Are you usually resting your chin on the palm?
Do you sleep in the prone position?
Have you the habit of keeping your teeth clenched?
Have you the habit of grimacing with your lips or tongue?
Do you grind your teeth at night (loudly)?

If you have scored more than 4 "YES", it is important to try to reduce parafunctional intensity and frequency, since your risk to overload your muscle and joint structures is significant.


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