My postural problems are due to a dental issue?
Your mother probably told you it was important to have good posture, but there may be a good reason you are having a hard time following her well meant advice. You may have TMJ, a painful disorder, caused by a misaligned bite, which can affect your neck, shoulders and back, causing your body to constantly adjust to deal with the pain and stiffness. It may be almost impossible for you to have good posture without some help.
The head bone really is connected to the jawbone
The source of your posture problems could be caused by a ‘bad’ or ‘uneven’ bite. A bad bite can cause your jaw to become misaligned resulting in strained, sore muscles in the jaw that radiate pain down to your neck, shoulder and back muscles, leading a stiff upper body. This can affect your posture, and may make it difficult for you to stand as straight as you’d like to.
When your jaw is out of alignment, your upper and lower teeth meet incorrectly in what is called malocclusion. Malocclusion causes your jaw muscles to work extra hard to do the job they were meant to do. As they tire, they recruit the muscles of your neck, shoulders, and back to help out. If the condition is not resolved, these muscles eventually fatigue as well.
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Over time, inflammation can build up in these strained, tried muscles. Your neck, back and shoulders become stiff. When you are constantly adjusting to cope with the strained muscles, your whole body can go out of alignment.
Stand straight with TMJ treatment options
To treat a postural problem that’s caused by a TMJ disorder, the first step is to release those tight, strained jaw muscles. As they relax, the surrounding muscles of you neck shoulders and back should follow suit.
How is this done? Step one is to evaluate the cause of the disorder. TMJ can be a result of:
Step two is to temporarily relax the jaw muscles. Once relaxed, your optimal bite can be determined, and physiological health can be returned.
Step three is to keep your muscled relaxed for the long term. Is can be done through restorative dental treatments like dental bonding, veneers or implant. Other log-term treatments are orthodontics to reshape the jaw or reposition the teeth, or an orthotic to retrain your jaw muscles into their new bite position.
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Learn more about TMJ and posture
If you would like to find out if or how TMJ could be causing postural problems for you, please come in for a consultation.