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29 Dec

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Body posture depends on teeth

29 December 2014 | By | 39 Comments

posture teeth

Why teeth are so important for the posture? The skull is the heaviest part of our body and it is supported at the top, on the last cervical vertebra (atlas). To ensure that our head, which weighs on average 4 kg, remains at the top with the least expenditure of energy, Mother Nature has devised a very ingenious “bio-mechanical system of levers”.

The question that we must ask is: “What or who is holding the skull on the last cervical vertebra?”

We will try to give you a picture of the situation.

posture skull

Until a few decades ago people believed that the skull was simply supported by the neck muscles operated by our willingness to stand upright. Over time and with the birth of gnathology science, clinical trials have shown a functional-anatomic and physiopathological link between skull-mandible (CMD) and skull-cervical dysfunctions, aggregating various areas of the body in a single tonic-postural system: the skull-cervical-mandible joint.

In short, scientific literature, or rather some pioneers in this new sector, has started to understand the role of the mandible in the human postural system, and that consequently neck and back problems are caused by skull-cervical-mandible disorders.

Having established that, we can realize that in this bio-mechanism that keeps sustained our head on top of the first cervical vertebra, the “jaw” has a vital role in supporting the skull.

It is a matter of fact that these medical-science pioneers have managed to understand, more or less, the bio-mechanism and how to act on it with the use of a bite in order to alleviate people health problems, but they have always proceeded by trial and error without ever being able to develop a proper relationship between correct body posture, jaw and teeth.

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Despite this important scientific progress, no one has yet managed to truly solve the classic postural problems (scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis). In fact, these scientists have been trying to test many different roads for years, in order to solve these problems. They have tried the most diverse methods, yet none of these have really focused on the issue. That is why this matter is still more of academic than practical interest. Even some gnathologists assert that there is no proof of any relationship between occlusion and posture due to a lack of convincing scientific evidence.

You can solve a postural problem only if you know “precisely” how the bio-mechanism works and therefore the exact relationship between teeth, occlusion and posture.

The second question to ask is: “How does this postural bio-mechanism work?”

mandibola-cranio2-280x300

The first thing we do know is that the skull always leans on the first cervical vertebra and that it is supported only by the neck muscles.

The second thing we can notice is that the jaw is suspended between the hyoid bone and the skull and it is equipped with a movable articulation: the TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint), a joint which provides a movement along three planes of space. Considering these peculiarity of the jaw, it is difficult to think that the skull can find support on teeth and lower jaw. And it is even more difficult to understand how a dysfunction in this district can produce such remarkable changes in the whole body.

mandibola-cranio1-300x235

The answer is in the fact that the lower jaw becomes a stable structure and has a carrier function only at the time of occlusion or during the occlusal contact. More precisely the highest stability is produced during the swallowing phase.

The support given by the jaw to the skull, through the occlusal contact, becomes even more stable during a stronger closure of the jaw thanks to the various muscles involved.

In fact, during the swallowing act all the muscles of the stomatognatic system start working and it is exactly at this time that the jaw becomes a solid structure, just like a sailing boat mast supported by cables.

During this process both the raising and lowering muscles of the jaw contract at the same time. When these muscles work together, from opposite points, they become like tie-beam giving a stabilizing effect to the jaw.

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It is exactly during the swallowing act that the forces generated by the contact between the teeth are transmitted to the underlying structures.

Let’s try to progress in steps in order to fully understand this bio-mechanism.

Next questions might be: how this whole system can compromise body posture? How is a correct posture determined? How do back diseases generate? How can you fix scoliosis, and stop the deterioration of lordosis and kyphosis?

The answer to all these questions lies in the “teeth”. We have seen how the skull is supported by the cervical vertebra and we have understood the role of the jaw. We also know that teeth are located between skull and mandible. Sometimes teeth may not be completely extruded in the premolar and molar area for various reasons. In this case there may be several factors that can cause a dental arch inclination. In most cases these problems are related to birth defects, and mainly attributable to jaw bone dysmorphoses (lower bone thickness) or lack of teeth extrusion on thin and porous bones.

Other causes not related to birth defects may be a teeth collapse or bad dental work. Nonetheless, it must be said that stress can be a trigger for the lowering of the tooth thickness. A body under high tension leads all muscles to work harder. Among them there are also those muscles in the mouth that constantly biting, especially on molars and premolars, can cause their collapsing.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Let’s see in profile what happens to the posture of a skeleton looking at it from the sagittal plane. Let’s see if these premolar and molar teeth are not completely extruded or have collapsed over the years.

animazion-cranio-crollo

We note that the skull changes inclination with respect to the jaw then compressing all the cervical area. The skull changes inclination until it is re-established a good occlusal contact. A collapse of the teeth can occur in the years due to an excessive dental consumption or due to a heavy stress that can destabilize an already precarious situation.

Next step will be the consequent change in shape of the entire spine. The spinal column will be forced to stay in a smaller space while maintaining anatomically its length. For this reason, you will have an increase of the curves such as the cervical and lumbar lordosis as well as the kyphosis.

In the image on the side we can see in seconds what happens in years or even in a few months of postural decay (due to strong psycho-physical stress).

decadimento-scheletro-profilo2

It is now clear that the collapsing or the lack of extrusion of molars and premolars over the years can make the skull incline and how this structural change passes on to the underlying structures.

In practice, as you can always see in the image on the side, the skull collapses until the upper teeth do not find contact with the lower ones.

The temporal masseter muscles etc etc. will force the skull to incline pulling it down.

From here on, the skull will lose its center of gravity and the body will perform a series of bio-mechanical changes such as the shortening of its natural physiological curves such as cervical and lumbar lordosis and kyphosis.

In the lower diagram you can clearly see this process broken into four phases.

This article aims to explain the bio-mechanism in a more simplified way.

If you want to know more about this, all information can be found in my book.

Carrying on with the reading we can observe the same mechanism of decay or postural imbalance on the frontal plane.

UpperBody4postures2
Just to sum it up, we analyzed the postural bio-mechanism on the sagittal plane observing a skeleton profile with lack of height in the premolar and molar dental area.

Now let’s see what happens to our skeleton on the frontal plane.

craniosx1-222x300

In the event that there is a lack of dental arch height as the left side of you may see on the picture on the side, the upper teeth will try to find occlusal contact with the bottom.

These are just examples, because, in reality, as already written before, the reasons for this asymmetry are connected to birth defects or bad dental work.

At this point, the skull will lean on the left side and the left masseter will shorten causing a stretching effect on that on the right side.

We also know that a short muscle is also much stronger, while the lengthened opposite side will be weaker.scoliosi1

The skull is pulled to the left side and all the muscles of the body to that side will begin to shorten.

A subsequent actions chain throughout the body will involve the development and worsening of the musculoskeletal asymmetry with abnormal curves of the spine or the origin of muscular imbalances.

The body or better the musculoskeletal structure will go through various stages until they find a new balance, or to be more precise, we could say a new “unbalanced equilibrium”.

There may be different types of unbalance according to the type of cranio-mandibular joint disorder (i.e. different types of imbalance that vary from person to person).

Read the Next Article: “The Scientific Evidence that Body Posture Depends on Teeth

If you want you can download the free e-book and fully understand this theory: http://starecta.com/book/

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Comments

  1. Hassan Akhras

    Essential topic

  2. This is a WONDERFUL article! Thank you!

    I am very aware that in horses, when their teeth become misaligned and/or overgrown and not balanced every 6-12 months that this can create pressure on their TMJ and that in turn creates tightness near the poll, especially at the atlas and axis vertebrae. Muscles then tighten along the back of the equine neck and effect the horse’s normal ability to move. Which in turn causes the rest of the equine body to have to change position to compensate. So many people know of this in the horse world but to see it demonstrated in the human body is amazing too. It makes sense, I’ve just never seen it talked about. Your visuals are excellent!!

    Thank you for taking the time to write this!

    I had wondered

    • Starecta

      Thank you Danielle we did not know these information about horses. Thank you, good to know!

  3. Mariano

    Basically you are using all the same concepts of the ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE and calling it in a different way…by the way A.T was created more than 100 yeas ago…

    • Rain

      As an Alexander teacher Bravo!!!!! I agree this is not new but thank you

      • Starecta

        Thank you very much. But this method has nothing to do with this guy. I think you did not understand the Starecta Method

        • Domoniee

          I would like to know which side do you place the rectifier on the crooked side or on the other side ?

          • Starecta

            The Rectifier cover the entire arch, so it’s on both sides.

  4. ANA

    Oh! I have the first problem you describe in this post and I have a question. Can be fix? How can be fixed? When I sleep, I press my premolar and molar teeth, so I feel they are getting smaller and mi neck hurts me. I had the plastic system for bruxism and I put it in the nights but I bit it with more anxiety, so I gave up this.

  5. Amy

    What happens when people have dentures?

    • Starecta

      Can you be more specific?

  6. Very interesting way to look at things. Some would say it’s like the chicken or the egg…But yes TMD, bite issues, and grinding of teeth have been fixed by correcting the pelvic position, shoulder position, and by looking at the rest of the body posture along with kyphosis, lordosis, and scoliosis. I do it every day with clients using the Egoscue Method which has been around for over 40 years. Don’t forget that big muscles override smaller muscle every day…that’s why pelvic position and function is number one in my opinion.

    • Starecta

      Scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis come from a wrong cranio-mandibular ratio. Ascending dysfunctions do not exist.

  7. pat

    growing up i had many dental problens and mandibular inbalances..as an adult i discovered the practice of yoga and to my surprise all the changes in my spine and hip flexibility have fone wonders for my teeth and jaw

  8. pinky

    Thank you so much. Your visuals are so helpful that it made everything even more easier for my patients to understand their cases.

  9. Lesley Bludworth

    Yes, this stuff is wiell recognized in horses. But their teeth grow out ward. And are ground down by chewing. .. there are all kinds of things that effect how they wear their teeth…poor rider positioning, poor saddle fit. .. poor shaping to their feet, feeding off the ground…etc. ..and of course stress… being separated from others in a small stall. ..I don’t have an axe to grind 😉

  10. Yes, the position of the jaw and teeth are important, but this doesn’t go into the many things going on with the Cranial bones and the rest of the body that can play into this. Having the jaw and teeth out of good alignment does not mean that the origin of the problem is there.

    • Starecta

      The origin of postural biomechanism comes from the cranio mandibular ratio. Ascending dysfunctions are only a stupid invention made by those who never understood the problem.

  11. Art

    Your assertion that ascending postural problems are a falsity makes little sense and diminishes your credibility in my view. One simple example would be a person born with different length leg bones. Since we stand on our feet and gravity is a constant, imbalances that occur below the neck will be causative of overall body compensatory balances.
    This in no way diminishes the value or usefullness of your perspective and information, both as a diagnostic and therapeutic point of view.
    However, taking the position that this point of view is exclusively correct does more harm than good in my view.

  12. Jack o

    The common procedure in the dental business is to have alk four wisdom teeth removed, according to the knowledge at the current moment, would this cause any problems with posture etc?

    • Starecta

      Probably yes, it’s not sure. It depends on each situation.

  13. Christina

    What about mouth breathers? What consequences can appear from breathing like that since birth?

    • Starecta

      Those who tried the Rectifier breathe with the nose again

  14. Dearek Payne

    If you have had your teeth removed and have worn dentures for over 10 years can this problem still occur in an individual or does it cease, and possibly reversed, when starting to wear the denture?

    • Starecta

      Yes it’s possible

  15. Javier Alejandro García Atencio

    Hello haven’t read the comments… i believe that this is happening to me . I thank you so much for this , i was waiting for an answer to wtf was happening to my TMJ . I do not know in Wich phase i am, but i have several issues on the lower left side of my teeth. I know for a few years that one premolar have been extracted… fisrt, i had a nerv pulled out (spanish: conducto) , then twice. Plus judgement day extraccted from up and down of the left side. Nowadays i’ve been experimenting several painfully times , a kind of «Click!» on the left temporal mandibular joint… i have birth escoliosis, plane foot. I am 34, lately under stress and nervious plus i am a overwheight drummer… luckyly i am on vacations for a few days, so i was able to read this article . Please help me! What can i do to revert this situation? I mean beside buying expensive new teeth? !!!

    • Starecta

      Hi Javier, join our online group

  16. Javier Alejandro García Atencio

    «. I know for a few years that one premolar should have been extracted… » sorry for my poor latin inglish

  17. Thank you for taking the time to write this easily-understandable and shockingly succinct and comprehensive article. I would like to translate it into french for free if you could find some hosting for a 2nd language version, as disseminating info about tmd and tmd related subjects is a bit a passion project for me. Thanks!

    • Starecta

      Thank you very much, this is an amazing idea. Contact us privately

  18. EUGENIO CORDERO

    Interesting article. I’m an University professor at University of Seville, Dental School, Spain. I’m wondering how can I achieve these images in full resolution so I can use them to teach my students.

  19. Susan U. Valmayor

    Thank you very much for this very informative learning about TMJ dysfunction. Can you please give me some idea how much will it cost to have this management done – and details of the procedure ?

  20. Interesting article, as above so below and vice versa. Wondering about braces that cross the midline of the maxillary bone and hold it in exhalation craniosacral mid tide motion. Any info on that? I have theory that braces can cause scoliosis.

    • Starecta

      In our opinion it depends on the specialist, not all braces causes scoliosis

      • That’s a crkaecrjack answer to an interesting question

  21. Good reply. It does depend on the specialist. Very light force wires, with diameters smaller than the slot on the braces, even though they cross the midline, avoid locking the palatal-maxillary complex and, in fact, can release a compressed pre-maxilla, vomer and ethmoid cranial components. By using the teeth as handles for the bone, the temporal-sphenoid-occipital synchondrosis can be re-aligned to relieve many cranial problems incurred during the “inside the womb” and birth experience. Leveling the bite with boded “splints” does indeed level the rest of the spinal components. Extraction of teeth should be avoided if at all possible (wisdom teeth excluded) commensurate with excellent cranial-orthodontic results.

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