University of L’Aquila, Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, Building Delta 6 Dental Unit, St Salvatore Hospital-Via Vetoio 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
Stomatognathic system is strictly correlated to other anatomical regions; many studies investigated relationship between temporomandibular joint and posture, several articles describe cranio-facial pain from dental causes, such as trigger points. Until now less interest has been given to connections between dental occlusion and ophthalmology, even if they are important and involving. Clinical experience in dental practice claims that mandibular latero-deviation is connected both to eye dominance and to defects of ocular convergence. The trigeminal nerve is the largest and most complex of the twelve cranial nerves. The trigeminal system represents the connection between somitic structures and those derived from the branchial arches, collecting the proprioception from both somitic structures and oculomotor muscles. 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. This intriguing neurophysiological web led our research group to investigate anatomical and functional associations between dental occlusion and vision. In conclusion, nervous system and functional pathways strictly connect vision and dental occlusion, and in the future both dentists and oculists should be more and more aware of this correlation for a better diagnosis and therapy.
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