Somatosensory nerve fibers of the oral mucosa, periodontal tissue, dental pulp, jaw joint, jaw bones and masticatory muscles transmit signals to the central nervous system (CNS). Vice versa, the CNS produces signals that reach peripheral tissues. These neuronal signals are modified by the subject’s attention/distraction, thoughts and emotions (among other factors).
Our research focuses on:
- applying modern neuroimaging technologies (fMRI, H1-MRS; NIRS) for gaining knowledge on how peripherally generated neuronal signals are processed in the brainstem and cerebral structures, particularly how they evoke the perception of touch, proprioception, temperature and pain. We also investigate modifying influences.
- designing and developing novel stimulus application methods and using innovative study paradigms to analyze the effects of various interventions on individual perceptions.
- investigating the broad spectrum of anatomical and functional variations of single components of the masticatory system (jaw joint, masticatory muscles, trigeminal sensory and motor nerve fibers) and processes that result in component and system failure.
- searching novel approaches for accelerating mucosal wound healing (e.g. application of low level laser light and acupuncture)