My blog, Facial Meltdown – Birth To Death – and How It Affect Your Overall Health, discusses an overwhelming number of poor downstream health consequences from incorrect oral posture, those being:
- A “couch potato” tongue hanging out on the floor of the mouth (sometimes for good reason, like an undiagnosed and/or untreated tongue tether
- Lack of a lip seal in general including while exercising, drawing in air before talking and during sleep
- A reverse swallow, also called a “tongue thrust”
Some of the benefits I talked about are: less acid waste in the body (less out-of-control inflammation), improved physiology, optimal facial growth and attractiveness, crowded teeth and a need for wisdom tooth extractions due to “lack of room,” head and neck tension and the unlikelihood of developing snoring or sleep apnea.
That’s a mouthful! What I barely touched on in that article is what happens to the jaw joint, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when the lower jaw does grow more vertically than it should and the lower face lengthens. To review:
Long Faces: A. Orange: short posterior face. Green: long anterior face, particularly the lower facial third. This often leads to gummy smiles. Ideally, the orange and green lines should be about the same length, making the red line more horizontal. That is to say the face grows more horizontally than it does vertically, as it should. Red + orange: a wide jaw angle. This compromises the airway, as does a narrow face and poor muscle tone from incorrect oral posture.
Jaw joint problems are common for those with this profile because the jaw remodels too far backwards in the joint. As I said, the jaw joint can fail sometimes because a person consistently puts the lower jaw in a different position to breathe. Clicking and popping are signs of an early stage functional problem, but over time, the jaw joint remodels in a backwards position. The three-branched trigeminal nerve traverses right through the jaw joint, so it shouldn’t be surprising that an unhealthy joint can lead to mild to sever lightning-like pain as well as dysfunction.
Headaches, chewing difficulties, poor digestion, neck, shoulder and lower back pain, cold hands and feet and other symptoms can be terribly debilitating. Equalizing pressure in ear canals during flying or scuba diving is difficult in these cases, if not impossible.
I also mentioned that sometimes jaw joint remodeling can lead to debilitating movement disorders as it pinches the facial trigeminal nerve that passes through the joint and reduces the blood supply to the area.
A few dentists specialize in remediating these painful cases and that is the point of this blog. If even one parent guided their child away from a similar possibility after contemplating some of the following videos of those who did actually develop movement disorders, it is worth the effort.
- The Dental/Neck & Shoulder Pain Connection (Case Stories)
- Neck spasms accompanied by head and body tremors
- Dental Posture and Walking Connection
- The Dental/Tourette’s Connection (Case Stories)
- Movement Disorder & Body Tremor Case Stories from Dr. Stack
- Orofacial Development Case Stories from Dr. Laughlin
Yes, these dental appliances that decompress the joint are life-changing, but I imagine most of the clients would have loved to be able to turn back time to create a different future!
Few dentists are trained to do this, so you may even know someone who is suffering from something that seems to be a movement disorder like Parkinson’s disease but it may indeed by their TMJ.
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Limited Availability: apologies in advance for the impossibility of answering/researching all personal e-mail queries or comments posted to various blogs. I will however selectively answer those of a general nature so readers can benefit from other’s questions. Please note: Carol Vander Stoep is a dental hygienist. Just as a dentist may not legally diagnose or offer personalized dental treatment advice via the Internet, neither may she. Carol will not dispense dental/medical advice via email – if you have dental concerns, please schedule a consultation with a dental professional whose philosophy most closely aligns with yours. Mouth Matters and Primal Dentistry books and database as well as this website is an offering to help enlighten you about possible considerations and choices.