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Journal of Craniomandibular Function
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J CranioMand Func 1 (2009), No. 4     18. Dec. 2009
J CranioMand Func 1 (2009), No. 4  (18.12.2009)

Page 283-294, Language: English/German


Allostasis and dentistry
Sato, Sadao / Slavicek, Rudolf
Allostasis is defined as a set of adaptive processes that protect the body by responding to internal and external stress through the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and the immune system. Allostatic load refers to the price the body pays for being forced to adapt to adverse psychosocial or physical situations, and it represents either the presence of too much allostasis or the inefficient operation of the allostasis response systems. Evidence has accumulated that masticatory activity, which includes bruxism, plays an important role in attenuating stress-induced psychosomatic disorders through downregulating the limbic system. In this field of study, two concepts play a central role: the concept of a centrally regulated feedback control system and the concept of the stress-bruxism axis. The role of the masticatory organ as a stress release valve must be recognized as the most important component of occlusion medicine.

Keywords: Allostasis, allostatic load, homeostasis, masticatory organ