Researchers at the University of Valencia in Spain have announced that they have developed a new abstract model of the head called the Anatomical Network Analysis (AnNA) that provides insight into the complex relationships that govern the function of the body’s systems, including some of the relationships that lead to TMJ symptoms.
AnNA has been in development for a long time, but researchers recently accomplished the addition of muscles and cartilage to the model. This brings the number of individual elements in the model (called nodes) up to a total of 181. The model also includes 412 physical contacts between nodes.
Looking at the way these nodes interact with one another, researchers say that the head can really be seen as being made up of a total of ten well-defined modules. according to researchers, these modules showed developmental independence as well as some degree of functional independence.
What’s good about this model is that it highlights many important connections that govern TMJ symptoms. For example, researchers linked the lower jaw and inner ear into a single module. They point out that it might not at first seem obvious that the bones involved would be connected, such as the temporal bone, the parietal bone and the bones of the inner ear. the connections between these bones are not readily apparent until one incorporates the muscles into the model. once the muscles are added, it becomes clear that the muscles of mastication (chewing) link all these bones together.
If you are experiencing ear or jaw symptoms related to TMJ, we understand how the connections in your head contribute to the spread of symptoms, and how TMJ treatment uses those connections to give relief of symptoms. Please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbus, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry today.