Dental Occlusion and Ophthalmology: A Literature Review is a summary of many years of research and dental clinic of Orofacial Pain Department directed by Professor Monaco of University of L'Aquila on a complex subject: connections between temporomandibular joints and vision. The authors' primary goal is to give clinical advice starting from the study of anatomical and functional connections between dental occlusion and vision. Many studies conducted by Monaco et al. showed the presence of a relationship between malocclusions, temporomandibular disorders and visual defects, remarking a higher prevalence of myopia in patients with class II malocclusions than in patients with class I and III malocclusions, as well as a higher prevalence of patients with astigmatism and cross-bite. Clinical experience in dental practice claims that mandibular latero-deviation is connected both to eye dominance and to defects of ocular convergence. The intermedius nucleus of the medulla is a small perihypoglossal brainstem nucleus, which acts to integrate information from the head and neck and relays it on to the nucleus of the solitary tract where autonomic responses are generated. Professor Monaco et al. have published several articles investigating these links, from mydriasis in patients affected from temporomandibular disorders to a provision of glasses under surface electromyography (sEMG) control. Evidence-based medicine suggests that TMJ examination should include the extraocular musculature. Dysfunctional afference carried by the trigeminal system, deriving from lesions in the masticatory muscles or the TMJ can involve binocular function, because of the functional relationship between the trigeminal and oculomotor systems.
In conclusion, the authors hope that this paper could be a valid aid both for dentists and ophthalmologists in clinical decision making in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders.
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Reference: Marchili, N.; et al (2016). Dental Occlusion and Ophthalmology: A Literature Review. Open Dent. J., DOI: 10.2174/1874210601610010460