Why Jaw Alignment Affects Posture and Balance
Why jaw alignment affects posture and balance negatively is
easy to understand. Remember the
children’s song, “Dem Bones”. Well, just
like the song says, everything is connected.
When one part of the body is out of alignment, the whole body is affected.
The jaw is no exception.
When your upper and lower teeth are clamped together, each
tooth forms a tight fellowship with its opposing tooth. This bite determines
the position of your jaw, and in turn, the position of your head on your spine. A misaligned jaw can have a domino effect
that alters the posture and sends the entire body out of balance.
Studies have also found that a misaligned jaw can increase
muscle strain in the face, neck, head and shoulders. The continual strain can cause a host of
symptoms like backaches, ear ringing, headaches and vertigo.
Strained muscles have been linked to pinched nerves in the
face and neck. These nerves don’t
operate separately from the nerves that run throughout the body. One pinched nerve in the jaw or face can cause
numbness and tingling throughout the entire body which in turn impacts nerves
that control the balance.
Another problem caused by a poorly aligned jaw is the alteration
of the head’s posture. By changing how the head is held, undue
pressure is placed on the spine. This
strain impacts the entire posture and can lead to chronic pain, additional
nerve impediment, increased muscle strain…there go those dominoes.
Two studies were conducted to look at the correlation
between occlusion, how your teeth fit together, and balance. Researchers in Australia and Spain held
parallel experiments to answer the question. They looked at different
malocclusions like crossbite, crowded teeth, gaps between teeth and missing
teeth. First, they demonstrated that these types of tooth problems were
linked to poor stability. Then they showed that repositioning the jaw in a
neutral position fixed the problem.
Researchers in these studies also discovered that when the
jaw was out of position, it would negatively impact the trigeminal nerve, which
controls chewing and the vestibular nerve, which controls balance.
A dentist, who understands TMJ, can offer treatment to correct
the jaw so that the muscles, bones, and teeth can function without strain and
If you live in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico and have
questions about jaw alignment or TMJ,
please call the The Best Albuquerque Dentist at 505-293-7611 or visit our contact page to fill
out your information and take a virtual tour of our office.
Does acupuncture provide help for Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?
TMD is defined as pain in the muscles of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and affects a lot of people. Some sources state an estimated 10 million Americans will experience symptoms of TMD at some point in their life. We often suggest acupuncture for Temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
Even though millions of people utilize acupuncture throughout the US each year for chronic pain, there are those who decry the value of acupuncture for alleviation of pain. We can tell you it works and invite you in to see for yourself.
Traditional Chinese medicine ancient theories state acupuncture works by restoring the balanced flow of Qi, or energy throughout the body, but especially where there is an issue.
Western medicine finally got on board in the 1970’s with research suggesting acupuncture can reduce pain by stimulation of the nerves, in turn changing the way the signals travel along the nerve cells.
Whether by affecting Qi or nerve endings, or something else Western science has yet to “prove”, what is more important to our clients is the evidence of relief of pain. Recently, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), stated “results from a number of studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease chronic low-back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis/knee pain. It also may help reduce the frequency of tension headaches and prevent migraine headaches.”
Measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture is only beginning to be understood. “Current evidence suggests that many factors—like expectation and belief—that are unrelated to acupuncture needling may play important roles in the beneficial effects of acupuncture on pain,” noted NCCIH.
If the end result is relief from the pain, then we recommend you visit us for a professional who is skilled at acupuncture for Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).
As some of you may know, Lee, our hygienist, will be going to China this month to study oriental medicine and acupuncture!
We wish her all the best! As most people know, acupuncture is the use of needles to change the chi in one’s body. Each needle helps to release the imbalance of the chi, allowing the body to balance and renew itself. Once Lee has completed her Doctorate of Oriental Medicine, she will also be offering her services!