Poor jaw alignment and poor posture are two problems that often interconnect and cause stress to your joints, muscles, and bones. Both of these issues often coincide with one another because any form of misalignment can cause long-term issues later on in life. Poor head posture can place insurmountable stress along the jawbone and muscles throughout the head, and head posture is often influenced by muscles and joints throughout the back and hips. Because of the constant pressure of poor posture, bites can become misaligned and lead to many dental problems, including malocclusion, bruxism, and TMJ disorder.
But why does poor posture connect to dental problems? We’re here to explore what researchers say about these connections and why we emphasize seeing your dentist for treatment.
How Posture Influences Our Jaw Alignment
Our jaw muscles are what influence our head movement, providing our heads with the balance it needs along the cervical vertebrae to work properly. The muscles throughout our necks help assist our jaw movement, and when supporting the neck muscles, our spines often play an intricate part in that support. Because our spines work so hard to maintain our inner structure and internal organs, poor posture creates imbalances everywhere throughout the body, which ultimately affects our jaw posture to a certain extent.
As for studies citing this connection, studies from the Medical Science Monitor have found that poor posture restricts our breathing patterns and thus affects the way that people breathe through their nose and mouth. Improper breathing can ultimately create issues with jaw alignment and can lead to poor saliva production, which increases the risk of tooth decay, halitosis, and thrush, and other oral health problems.
Even though studies often cite associations between posture and breathing patterns, many medical professionals also believe that when diseases and health problems occur, they can present substantial issues later on, such as how gum disease often spreads bacteria into our bloodstream, leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The same applies to jaw alignment, as poor jaw alignment can ultimately result in issues such as bruxism. The constant grinding that occurs with this condition can lead to a larger buildup of bacteria in the mouth and thus cause more dental problems to emerge.
Caring For Your Spine, Neck, and Jaw
When it comes to your teeth and jawline, caring for the rest of your body goes along with it, which means that alongside oral hygiene, healthy dieting, exercise, and sleep, there should also be good posture. If you’re having issues with posture, then we recommend these tips to follow:
- Neck Rotations: To prevent jaw misalignment, neck rotations to work out the neck muscles can help remove muscle stiffness.
- Comfortable Shoes: Wearing shoes made for your feet and more comfortable soles can help remove pressure off the spine and relieve your posture from any stress.
- Back Exercises: Poor posture can be corrected manually, but back exercises can help reinforce better posture by stretching the muscles, such as leg raises and planks.
In other ways, if you’re having issues with your jaw, visiting your dentist or orthodontist may be able to help, especially if you believe you have signs of bruxism or TMJ disorder.