Dr. Grant Hinze recently completed a two-year learning series on the stomatognathic system.

What is the stomatognathic system you ask?

It is the anatomic system involved in speech and chewing and swallowing food. It is comprised of the teeth, jaws and associated soft tissues.

Dr. Hinze attended six, two-day sessions during the past two years to learn about the latest research and treatments relating to the stomatognathic system.

“The class focused on the relationship between the upper and lower jaw muscles, the airway and efficiencies of chewing,” Dr.  Hinze said.

Dr. Hinze said the upper and lower jaws have to meet at just the right angle to help us chew and for the muscles and joints to work properly in the mouth.

Patient conditions such as headaches, jaw pain, joint and neck pain, snoring and poor sleep quality may be caused by problems in the stomatognathic system.

His new knowledge will help him build patients’ teeth to the right form so the system will function correctly.

“Because as we know, function follows form,” Dr. Hinze said.

And, it has opened his eyes even more to the relationship between the mouth and jaw and the rest of the body.

Dr. Hinze said just like repetitive motion injuries in other parts of the body (such as carpal tunnel), repetitive motion can cause problems in the mouth and teeth. Then, muscles try to overcorrect and could cause multiple problems in the jaw, which could also lead to neck pain and back issues.

When he sees a patient limping in with back problems, he will be sure to see if their mouth has anything to do with the problem.

For more information on this subject, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hinze by calling (308) 995-5331.