The Functional Jaw Orthopedic Therapy can be defined as a “specialty of dentistry intended to prevent and treat the anomalies by creating direct effect on the neuromuscular system that manages the development of jawbone in the development-growth period”. In this context, development and growth are monitored, the patient and parents are instructed to enable the correct function and avoid destructive habits, and the factor is identified and treated when deviations are observed. Usually, it is necessary to work in cooperation with specialists such as an otolaryngologist, speech therapist, and pedagogue. The cooperation, trust and harmony of children, parents and dentist is a long process that is maintained until a stable and permanent dentition. It may also be used for adults to regain a correct function.
Our priority is not only teeth. The shift of teeth takes place in harmony with the change in other tissues, therefore the treatment is stable and the healing continues after the treatment.
An intervention performed using functional jaw orthopedics is intended to enable correct function of muscles and create the correct stimuli that will lead to proper development and growth of bone. Any change made in the mouth changes the impulse to the brain which changes the impulse from the brain and the response in turn. The functional jaw orthopedic therapy creates a positional and functional change in the mouth. This change transmits new information to the brain, and the new response to new condition creates the new growth concept.
The muscles and organs forming our body are included in groups cooperated to execute certain tasks, and they take a form based on their function. Although initial form of structures is shaped by genetic factors, the growth occurs in response to forces imposed by peripheral structures. All the functional units are linked to each other both functionally and structurally. Therefore, the traces of shifts related to function, structure or position in the region of jaws are always seen on the rest of the body. For example, in cases where upper airway becomes narrowed, the child must put his/her head back to breathe more easily. However, he/she extends his/her neck forward because he/she is not able to see the horizon in that position. The shoulders appears ahead, the back is slightly hump. Another example is that systemic odontology specialists treat and eliminate knee pains and closure disorders between jaws.
The basic functions that shape the maxillofacial region are breathing, chewing and swallowing. These functions need to be correct and adequate for a child to grow and develop healthily.
It is very useful to monitor the child by a dental professional specialized in development of maxillofacial region from two years of age in order to achieve the correct function and avoid development-destructive habits. Otherwise, parents will need to exert substantial effort to have knowledge about the issue. That’s because changing life styles, our dietary habits, increased chemicals in our daily life, electromagnetic waves and similar waves, genetically modified organisms, radiation… our childhood falls far behind to be a reference to our children.
The pictures with no reference provided are extracted from the book by “Antonio Patti, Guy Perrier D’Arc: Early orthodontic therapy”.