How Your Jaw Joints Affect Your Teeth

How Your Jaw Joints Affect Your Teeth

“Good dental function is significantly associated with better brain function, better vision, better hearing, better lung volume, better heart volume, better muscle strength, better bone mineral content, less heart attacks and longer life.”
(SOURCE: British Medical Journal — 1989 & Community Dental Oral Epidemiology — 1990)

“You’re as young as your spine,” the yogis tell us. A supple spine allows us to perform the daily tasks of living with grace and ease – not to mention avoid the pain that comes with an inflexible spine. The spine should be able to move forward, backward, side-to-side, lengthen and twist.

How does this relate to your teeth? Good dental function requires balanced jaw joints.


Jaw joints should be balanced and flexible like a spine

Most people agree that good dental care includes brushing and flossing, getting regular checkups and getting treatment when needed, such as filling cavities or deep cleaning swollen gums. And these are indeed vital to good dental health.

Balanced jaw joints could be considered as important to dental health as spine balance and flexibility is to overall health. Imbalances – often known as TMJ – can lead to all of the health conditions listed below.

Dr Pete’s approach to dental treatment of course emphasizes disease-free gums and strong, healthy teeth that allow you to chew. For good dental function, the jaw joints need to be in alignment in order to chew evenly. Misaligned jaw joints can, over time, cause uneven and premature wear on the teeth and other dental problems as well as head, neck and back pain.

Good dental function means your jaw joints, teeth and jaw are working in harmony.  And all dental treatment should prevent misaligned jaw joints and correct them. This is referred to as “Orthopedic Dentistry.”* (see below)

Proper Chewing Function

The primary role of dentistry is to preserve the function of chewing. The chewing muscles are the most powerful in the human body for their size. The jaw joints and teeth must be in alignment in order for the teeth to withstand the force of chewing – which can be as much as 400 pounds of pressure per square inch on the back teeth. When aligned, this mechanism allows us to chew without injuring the jaw joints or damaging the teeth.

When the jaw joints and teeth are misaligned, the force of chewing can result in seemingly inexplicable dental and health problems.

Some Symptoms of Misaligned Jaw Joints

Orthopedic Dentistry allows many of the problems resulting from misalignment to be treated and prevented. These may include:

  • Head, neck and back pain.
  • Uneven wearing of teeth.
  • Popping or clicking when chewing.
  • Limited range of mouth opening.
  • Limited mobility of of jaw.
  • The necessity for root canals on one side of the mouth.
  • Digestive disturbances.

Whether you need dental treatment that involves most of your teeth or just a few, Dr. Pete’s orthopedic approach honors the importance of creating a bite position for the teeth that allows for a centered alignment of the jaw joints.

*Orthopedic Dentistry honors the integrity of jaw joint position in all dental treatment. This is why Dr Pete’s diagnostics for treatment plan include a full understanding of the relationship of the patient’s jaw joints, teeth and jaw.

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