Advanced Dentistry & Aesthetics
What does Functional Dentistry mean?
Functional Dentistry’s Impact: Anatomy and Physiology – The Science of Craniofacial Development
Anatomists, physiologists, and Anthropologist all agree that in a post-industrial revolution world, the growth of the human face has changed. Our genes are being influenced by new and different environmental signals, resulting in a change in bone growth. This change in skeletal growth, from the patterns of the tens of thousands of years previous, can first be identified in the skulls of humans only 400-500 years ago. The new face of man is not due to evolution, but the environment affecting gene expression. More clearly stated, corruption. Appearance and function have changed due to our new surroundings and lifestyles.
This altered anatomy comes with a heavy price. Corruption of growth results in a retracted upper jaw, commonly referred to as “midface deficiency.” As a result, the lower jaw is forced to adapt and change position AND shape. Most often adapting into a retracted position, the tongue is taken with it, narrowing the airway, altering posture of the head and cervical vertebrae, compressing and dislocating the disk of the jaw joint and leaving less room for teeth.
The Result: These anatomical alterations have unfortunate and often life altering consequences. The functioning, or physiology, of the body now suffers. Poor jaw alignment and posture leads to musculoskeletal pain, along with arthritis of the jaw joint and vertebrae. Compressed jaw joints affect the structures of the inner ear. Narrowed airways alter breathing patterns, sleep, cognitive function including IQ and mood. Hormones functions are dysregulated due to sleep disordered breathing and the function of organs and other systems of the body may suffer.
Environment affects Anatomy, then Physiology (or proper body function) is compromised resulting in further anatomical change. It’s a nasty cycle, and when the body’s ability to cope meets it’s limits, quality of life suffers.