How does my dental health and jaw function affect my spine and wellbeing?

For most people, to think that there is a link between your dental health, jaw function and spinal health would sound like madness. “They are 2 separate areas of the body that have nothing to do with each other” is perhaps something even I would have said many years ago!  However, not any more, as this is not the case at all. 

The average human contacts their teeth through swallowing or chewing between 2000-3000 times per day. It’s essential that our teeth and jaw touch and function in the correct positions and manner. However, according to research “adults between the age 20-64 have an average of 3 decayed or missing teeth and 13 decayed or missing permanent surfaces” (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reviewed 2018). Added to that, an allowance of discrepancy for the contact surfaces of our teeth when touching is ...70 microns (0.07 mm), you might start to be interested. What this essentially implies is that, even if you receive world class dentistry to restore decayed teeth, it is very hard to re-create what nature intended for our teeth as precisely (though great dentists do a fantastic job). If you have lost teeth, have decayed surfaces, fillings, crowns or inlays too high, wisdom teeth removed or even many variations of teeth positions, like over or under bites - these all have the potential to alter your jaw position and function.

The important thing, that most people don't know, is that our brain is relying on accurate and healthy nerve signals and information from sensitive nerve tissue at the back of our jaw sockets to be able to control key muscles for our posture, thus holding us up against gravity and ensuring normal standing and walking reflexes. If this nerve tissue gets interfered with over time, with faulty jaw function and dentition, or worse gets damaged, our spine and spinal cord create a ‘defensive’ torque which alters our skeletons position. Then key muscles over contract, leading to constant tightness, stiffness, aching, irritation of nerves etc. 

This has a significant impact on how well our brain can control and coordinate our bodies daily performance in movement and many other functions. Interesting right? This is not rare… i would go as far to say we see this phenomenon to some degree in close to 1 out of every 4 new patients at Human Health. 

The results we are seeing; from spotting and working with this complex at Human Health are beyond fascinating. People are reporting huge shifts in sports performance, balance in elderly, reduced and resolved headaches and back pain, increased confidence in walking etc, the list goes on! Very often the issue is minor and Chiropractic helps the body to remove the interference easily. However, sometimes people require a dental intervention to clear and remove the interference and achieve great results. We are fortunate to work with some fantastic dentists in Jersey, the Netherlands and Italy who have a keen interest in this emerging field and most importantly a heart and mindset to help people get back to being their best and living the quality of life they wish for. 

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