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The Unexpected Link Between Posture and Oral Health

Posted by: Osorio Dental Group

balanceEver catch yourself slouching at school or work? Not sitting up straight not only is bad for our back alignment but it is also known to affect our oral health as well.

Good Posture in general is “seen when the head is supported by the vertebral column which in turn is supported by the pelvis, legs, and feet.” In terms of bad posture however, our heads are constantly being tilted forward, throwing off our “natural center of gravity” leading to a constant stress on the muscles “of the neck, shoulder, and lower back.”
Because of this there is said to be a direct link between our head posture, and bite, teeth contact, and ultimately jaw pain.

It is said that the “maintenance of head posture depends on the interaction between gravity and the balance of the muscles that stabilize the head.” Our teeth are the ones that generally give us the stability of keeping our head posture on track, so if it is all thrown off, our bite will be effected the greatest. Most of the “compensations that occur are at the TMJ joints, the vertebrae, or surrounding tissues.” TMJ, temporomandibular joint dysfunctions are most often occurred when we “alter our head and neck posture.” If altered our muscle functions will decrease causing possible “cervical spine disorders. If we do not learn to fix these problems however, they will continue to occur, causing even more issues later on in life.

How does one go about changing a habit that they do not even realize they are doing most of the time? First off, if you experiencing head, neck, or jaw pain contact you dentist to see if it is linked to how you’re holding your body up on a daily basis. After assessing you posture, you will be treated accordingly and shown correct ways to fix your posture. Also a “dental splint” could be issued to try and “postural and muscle abnormalities” that are causing your individual pain. This hopefully will reduce the amount of pain the individual is facing and also help to ensure future issues do not arise.

Unfortunately, when one thinks of incorrect posture the first thing that comes to mind is not how it is going to effect their oral health, but in fact if someone’s posture is unbalanced, it can create much pain and inflammation. It can even be know to “rearrange the position of teeth and facial muscles.”