Occlusion

The manner in which our teeth hit each other has a strong relationship to function of both the masticatory system and the postural musculoskeletal system.  The alignment of the teeth and how the teeth fit and feel to us can have a high impact on overall function of the neck, trunk, arm, and leg movement.   Patterned chewing, swallowing, and speech are directly related to patterned positions of the mouth and face that are created by the dental occlusion.  Inclined surfaces of tooth structure can direct our brain to hold onto these patterns and more than likely can contribute to faulty and imbalanced posture.  Abnormal neck rotation and body asymmetry becomes difficult to manage when this happens. If these occlusal patterns are not corrected our behavior on what we do is directed by and through our occlusion and not through our feet, spine and overall postural supportive muscle.  Increased functional or behavioral demands that are placed on those of us who have poor occlusion patterns create patterns of migraines, headaches, neck tension, dizziness and facial pain.

Abnormal tooth position and patterned contact from the opposing teeth can result in the enhancement or development of head, neck and body instability and postural balance that becomes reliant on tooth occlusion.  If occlusal surfaces of a tooth are not properly identified or correctly used, on a daily basis, dynamic references for stabilization of the head and neck are challenged and our tendency to develop bad postural movement patterns and strategies take place and are well established, unfortunately, over time. These habits reinforce the need to rely on other parts of our body for head and neck forward, backward and side to side movement.  These compensating areas include the back muscles, the anterior and lateral neck muscles and the anterior hip muscles. 

Patients who are accepted in our PRIME program will be placed in a position where the head, neck and trunk muscles can relax, when they are in positions where they should be relaxed.  This relaxed state will allow the body to relearn how to move without depending on the occlusion for stability and thus postural direction coming from the head and neck.  A mouth appliance will be specifically fabricated to fit on the bottom teeth to help with regaining forward, backward and lateral function of the head and mandible or jaw bone.  This new orientation of occlusal guidance then will allow the patient to find and feel more appropriate references from the visual, abdominal, foot and respiratory systems.  Once this more appropriate pattern of neurologic dental occlusion is appreciated by the patient, both functionally and consistently, the teeth may need assistance from a dentist or an orthodontist to direct the teeth into an occlusal state that matches this new head and neck position of rest.

Postural Restoration Dental Occlusion and intervention therefore, is aimed at providing the best neurologic sensory input the patient can achieve for good postural and upright function without relying on occlusion that is related to painful patterned function.  This powerful neurologic input from the teeth can allow a person to sense and regain control of body position when using the ground to move forward or when their arms or legs are swinging forward; without overusing the neck, back and nervous system to compensate for poor alignment that is reinforced or created by poor tooth contact and poor tooth position.