From research to the treatment of children’s masticatory function

Congratulations to Maria Grazia Piancino, Professor at the University of Turin, for her book on “Understanding Masticatory Function in Unilateral Crossbites” published by Wiley. Some children suffer from unilateral posterior crossbite. Teeth on one side of the mouth are not positioned correctly forcing the mouth to close abnormally when chewing. At every single bite, forces are unilaterally generated in the wrong direction, for hundreds of times a day. These forces influence the harmonic growth and development of the masticatory system, especially the lower jaw. The book describes this problem and shows how kinematic analysis and surface electromyography can be a valuable instrument in the clinical evaluation of the chewing cycle, in the dynamic diagnosis of chewing anomalies, and in the monitoring and follow-up of the effectiveness of the treatment. I have been collaborating with Prof. Piancino for over a decade, but I was left speechless when I saw the “before” and “after” pictures of the treated children. Crooked faces and unlikely teeth positioning, that transform into symmetrical and pretty faces with a bright future ahead of them. Knowledge is at the basis of the cure! There is a lot of Merlo Bioengineering within the pages of this book; from the software for the computer analysis of the chewing cycle (developed jointly since 2001 with Prof. Piancino) to the statistical analysis of the kinematic data and surface EMG used for many study cases published together in scientific articles. We are really proud to promote this kind of applied research!